Tsvangirai attends meeting with Zimbabwe generals
Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Thursday attended the first national security council meeting to be held since he and President Robert Mugabe formed a unity government in February, Reuters reported.
Tsvagirai, who had not pushed for an earlier meeting to avoid alienating a military crucial to Mugabe's hold on power, sat with generals who had previously vowed not to work with him at the meeting chaired by Mugabe.
The generals were seen laughing during a brief photo opportunity and wore business suits for the meeting, also attended by the country's vice president Joice Mujuru and the ministers of defense, home affairs and security.
"It was very warm, very cordial and very inclusive. Everybody who spoke, spoke on the centrality of national interest as the most important aspect of our nationhood," State Security Minister Sydney Sekeramayi said.
Under the February deal, Mugabe is supposed to chair meetings of the National Security Council (NSC) every month, but this was the first. Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic change had urged him to demand that the NSC convene earlier.
Both Mugabe and Tsvangirai say they are working well together in Zimbabwe's new administration although some disputes remain over the appointment of some top state officials and the recent arrests of MDC lawmakers.
Cooperation between Tsvangirai and Mugabe is vital because any signs of political turmoil will hurt their chances of gaining the confidence of Western economic powers.
Zimbabwe's economic recovery depends heavily on Western donors who want a democracy and economic reforms before their cash starts to flow to the southern African country.
A Harare magistrate court on Thursday remanded in custody MDC Deputy Youth Minister Thamsanqa Mahlangu, who is facing charges of stealing a mobile phone belonging to Joseph Chinotimba, a staunch Mugabe ally and leader of a group of veterans of Zimbabwe's 1970s liberation war.
Mahlangu, who was not asked to plead, will apply for bail on Friday, the MDC said in a statement.