Tsvangirai descends on region

MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai is expected in Matabeleland this week for high-level consultative meetings with party structures to map a way forward after the disputed July 31 elections.

Nqobile Bhebhe/Wonai Masvingise

Tsvangirai’s visit was originally set for last weekend, but the Friday court application challenge withdrawal, 24 hours before judges of the Constitutional Court (Concourt) were due to hear the case, forced a postponement.

MDC-T national organising secretary Nelson Chamisa yesterday told Southern Eye that Tsvangirai’s trip was part of a nationwide tour in the aftermath of the disputed polls.

“Our party president was due in Bulawayo at the weekend, but due to extraordinary circumstances surrounding the court petition, he could not come,” he said.

“Tsvangirai and the party leadership are touring all provinces to listen to their election experiences and also to give feedback on election developments, particularly on the court withdrawal and mapping the way forward.”

Chamisa could not give definite dates. He said after a visit to all the country’s provinces, a clear course of action would be decided by the MDC-T. There have been suggestions that Tsvangirai and his delegation might meet Matabeleland North and South executives in Bulawayo.

Tsvangirai has already met Harare, Manicaland and Chitungwiza executives. On Friday, the MDC-T dropped a legal challenge to the presidential election victory of rival President Robert Mugabe, saying it would not get a fair hearing in the case.

Mugabe was declared the winner of the July 31 election with 61% of the vote while Tsvangirai got 34%.

Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba yesterday told journalists in Malawi that the 89-year-old ruler would be sworn in for a seventh consecutive term on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Tsvangirai’s office has ruled out the possibility of fresh unity talks that could culminate in the second government of national unity with Zanu PF. There was heightened speculation that Tsvangirai’s decision to abandon the Concourt challenge to Mugabe’s victory followed progress on talks to reach a political settlement between MDC-T and Zanu PF.

But the MDC leader’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka yesterday said talks with Zanu PF would be akin to “sanitising” the “rigged election”.

“He (Tsvangirai) is not open to negotiations,” he said. “We will not sanitise this theft.

“Remember he has already said he will not entertain any talks for another inclusive government.

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

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