PM scoffs at $1,5m fraud allegations

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Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday scoffed at allegations that he misappropriated $1,5 million meant for the purchase of his official residence saying those investigating him were wasting their time.

Tsvangirai, speaking for the first time since the alleged scandal was first publicised last year, told journalists in Harare he had nothing to fear.

He is accused of receiving $3 million from Treasury and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) for the construction of his residency at 49 Kew Drive in Highlands.

The State media has been running a series of stories quoting Zanu PF politicians calling for
Tsvangirais arrest for alleged double dipping.

There is no case, its not an issue at all but at the moment continue with the wild goose chase, he told journalists.

ZBC claims it has documentary evidence showing that Tsvangirai used his close relative and Zimbabwes ambassador to Germany Hebson Makuvise to withdraw the funds.

A report in NewsDays sister paper, the Zimbabwe Independent quoted sources saying the plot to arrest Tsvangirai was engineered by the Joint Operations Command (JOC).

JOC comprises commanders of the police, army, prison services and the Central Intelligence Organisation.

Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri, who is said to be closely monitoring the investigation, is a member of JOC.

Tsvangirai said he was aware of plans to frustrate the MDC-T into pulling out of the inclusive government but vowed to soldier on.

We are aware of the plot to frustrate us, to wear us down and force us out but we have a mandate and a covenant with the people, he said.

We will brave on and ensure that we hold a free and fair poll by creating an environment that will guarantee the security of the person, the security of the vote and the security of the peoples will.

He described the inclusive government as a sorrowful experience because of non-implementation of reforms, mistrust, insincerity and lack of common understanding.

This government is a painful sorry of frustrations due to mixed messages from what is supposed to be the same team, non-implementation of key reforms
necessary for a credible poll, violence, Chipangano in Mbare and arbitrary arrests among other issues, he said.

I agree with the President that we have cowards who are afraid of a poll.

Cowards refuse to implement reforms that will result in a free election.

Cowards beat up people to coerce them into supporting them. Cowards are afraid of facing me in an election.

Their best bet is to field a tired candidate because they believe he is the only one who can stand against Morgan Tsvangirai.

In interviews on the eve of his 88th birthday on Tuesday Mugabe said his opponents were afraid of early elections because they were cowards.

Tsvangirai said he would resist any calls for elections before reforms agreed under the Global Political Agreement.

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