PM to push for free, fair elections

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who believes a coup has taken place in Zimbabwe, is scheduled to meet South African President Jacob Zuma to brief him on the deteriorating political situation in Zimbabwe.

Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said the meeting would take place in Durban, South Africa, on Saturday.

The MDC-T leader, who returned from a similar regional diplomatic offensive last week, where he met Zambian President Rupiah Banda, who is chairman of the Sadc Troika on Politics, Defence and Security, as well as leaders of Botswana, Swaziland and Mozambique, is also expected to push Zuma to ensure that a roadmap towards free and fair elections was crafted speedily.

“They will also talk about the roadmap for elections, with time-bound milestones, so that we do not have a repeat of June 27 (2008) when the elections are held.”

Tsvangirai’s diplomatic offensive followed the recent purge on senior party officials and activists by state security agents.

Several MDC-T officials and civil society members have also been arrested in recent weeks while the police have stopped the two MDC parties from holding rallies, despite a Cabinet resolution to the contrary.

Addressing journalists after the first leg of his regional tour last week, Tsvangirai said “sinister forces” had taken over the country.

“While I was away in the last four days, it appears the civilian authority is no longer in charge and dark and sinister forces have engaged in a hostile take-over of running the affairs of the country, with or without the blessing of some leaders of the civilian authority,” he said.

His statements were echoed by MDC secretary-general Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, early this week.

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