Tsvangirai on diplomatic offensive

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has launched a diplomatic offensive aimed at sensitising regional leaders about the deteriorating political situation in Zimbabwe and President Robert Mugabe’s alleged disregard of the GPA.

But George Charamba, President Mugabe’s spokesperson, said yesterday the Prime Minister’s whirlwind regional campaign was misdirected.

“Let him go anywhere where he thinks he can get help, but I can assure you that the momentum in Zimbabwe is unstoppable,” Charamba said.

“There is no stopping. We are going for elections.
“ I have no respect for a political leader who conscripts a regional leader to douse a fire in his own home. The essence of politics is to be able to handle pressure.”

Tsvangirai, leader of the MDC-T, left for South Africa yesterday and will head to Zambia to meet President Rupia Banda, chairperson of the Sadc Troika on Defence, Security and Politics, before proceeding to Mozambique to meet President Armando Guebuza.

The Sadc Troika is made up of Zambia, South Africa and Mozambique.

Tsvangirai’s regional campaign comes amid indications the Premier could be arrested on contempt of court charges arising from his condemnation of a Supreme Court ruling which set aside the election of MDC-T chairman Lovemore Moyo as Speaker of Parliament.

The diplomatic campaign comes in the face of growing concerns from the MDC-T leadership and civil society groups that the political situation in Zimbabwe was deteriorating.

Tsvangirai last week complained the marriage of political parties was not working saying it was time to consider a “divorce”. He said the MDC-T would want elections to be held but the conditions must be conducive for a free and fair poll.

President Mugabe and his Zanu PF party want elections to be held this year.

The 87-year-old leader says he is not happy with the behaviour of other principals in the inclusive government and would want a single political party to govern the country.

“It is true that the Prime Minister is meeting heads of state in the region,” said Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka.

“There is a siege mood in the country against democratic forces and this is a serious choreographed assault on the GPA and the inclusive government.”

He said the Prime Minister was expected to update regional leaders on the situation in Zimbabwe and the need for a proper roadmap to a credible election.

A credible election would lead to a legitimate government, he said.

“At this rate, judging by the violence and the deliberate assault on the GPA by one of the coalition partners, we run the risk of sliding back to the chaos of 2008,” Tamborinyoka said.

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