Zimbabwe’s Tsvangirai Says Coalition Government ‘Served Purpose’

Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said the country’s coalition government had “served its purpose” and further political progress is unlikely in a “unity government.”

Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change has shared power with President Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front since February 2009. The Southern African Development Community brokered the power-sharing agreement after violence marred elections the previous year.

“It’s been a marriage of convenience,” Tsvangirai said today at his party’s 13th anniversary celebration in Zimbabwe’s second-largest city of Bulawayo. “Zanu-PF doesn’t like it and we don’t like it.”

Tsvangirai, 60, didn’t commit himself to an election date, which Mugabe said this week will be held in March next year. The MDC said Sept. 28 that Mugabe doesn’t have the authority to set election dates without political consultation and the approval of SADC.

MDC, which won the 2008 parliamentary ballot, will contest elections in 2013, Tsvangirai said without being more specific.

“The MDC has never lost support. Next year we will be celebrating our 14th anniversary, but we will be celebrating the anniversary under different circumstances, we will be celebrating as an MDC government,” he said.

Zanu-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo in Harare didn’t respond to calls from Bloomberg News seeking comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Latham in Johannesburg at in Harare at blatham@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nasreen Seria in Johannesburg at nseria@bloomberg.net.

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