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Tsvangirai rules out unity talks

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OUTGOING Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has ruled out the possibility of fresh unity talks that could culminate in a second government of national unity (GNU) with President-elect Robert Mugabe, saying doing so “will sanitise” the “rigged election”.

Wonai Masvingise

Speculation swirled at the weekend that Tsvangirai’s withdrawal of the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) petition challenging the re-election of Mugabe last Friday could have been a trade-off and that the two political rivals would hold unity talks.

Tsvangirai has described the July 31 polls as a “farce”.

The Premier’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka told NewsDay yesterday that entertaining talks with Zanu PF would be akin to “sanitising” the “rigged election”.

“He (Tsvangirai) is not open to negotiations. We will not sanitise this theft. Remember he has already said he will not entertain any talks for another GNU.

“We have already said the MDC will pursue legal, political and diplomatic means and the legal route has discredited itself so we will pursue the political and diplomatic routes,” he added.

On Friday, Tsvangirai withdrew his ConCourt petition citing among other reasons the non-availability of crucial vote material which had formed the basis of his court challenge.

In a sworn affidavit, Tsvangirai said: “For these reasons, I consider that I have no other option, but to take this grave decision. This, sadly, as far as I am concerned, entails that the Zimbabwe situation is far from resolved and on my part as leader of my political party, I shall endeavour to use all democratic means to bring about a successful resolution of this issue. I wish, however, to thank the court and all its officials who have taken time to consider the petition that I had filed.”

Writing on his Facebook page yesterday, Tsvangirai said the MDC-T would now pursue the political route without explaining what this entailed.

“We were going to use the legal platform to expose the electoral fraud and also show Zimbabwe and the world how just or unjust is our judiciary system. But remember the struggle for democracy is fought not only on a legal basis, but also on a political one,” said Tsvangirai.

Last week, Tsvangirai told mourners at the burial of party activist Rebecca Mafikeni that he had rejected talks with Mugabe.
“After stealing the vote, they don’t even know where to start. They are now asking, ‘Where is Tsvangirai, so that we can talk?’ Talk about what?

Zanu PF also insists there is no need for unity talks as the party won an outright two-thirds majority.

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