MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has described his shutout from the just-ended Sadc Heads of State and Government Summit in Malawi as having denied his party an opportunity to expose President Robert Mugabe’s electoral fraud in the July 31 poll.
In an interview with South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), Tsvangirai said it was unfortunate that the regional bloc — as guarantors of the Global Political Agreement — had failed to invite other parties in the inclusive government and rushed to endorse Mugabe’s victory without hearing the other side of the Zimbabwean poll story.
Listen to Morgan Tsvangirai on SABC below:
At the summit Mugabe was also nominated vice-chairperson of Sadc, paving way for him to assume the chairmanship next year.
“Although we were aware the decision was predetermined, we wanted to use this platform to expose the extent of the rigging,” Tsvangirai said.
“How do you close a chapter you have guaranteed without even asking the parties that are part of that arrangement?” asked Tsvangirai.
Tsvangirai and his MDC counterpart Welshman Ncube were not invited to the just-ended Sadc meeting. The MDC-T, however, sent its vice-president Thokozani Khupe who reportedly met some Sadc leaders and briefed them on the Zimbabwean issue.
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Tsvangirai said his party had wanted to provide regional leaders with evidence to substantiate claims that Mugabe and his Zanu PF party rigged the elections using a shadowy Israeli firm, Nikuv International Projects (NIP).
“There is no political party that could have anticipated the level of rigging. It’s a sophisticated militarised operation. The people have said the struggle continues and I should lead until victory is achieved.”
MDC-T secretary for international relations Jameson Timba yesterday said the party remained confident in Sadc and the African Union, but would not agree with them all the time.
“I note that Sadc did not express itself on the fairness of the elections. Peace is not the absence of war or physical violence, but is the presence of justice and fairness and to that extent, it is our view that the elections was neither free nor peaceful or fair, credible or legitimate,” Timba said.
“The party gave its position to the Sadc leaders and the vice- president of the party (Khupe) was in Lilongwe to meet various leaders. The political question in Zimbabwe is yet to be resolved and all Zimbabweans across various sectors know that and, therefore, the struggle for democracy is only just beginning.”