4 December 2017

Zimbabwe: Tsvangirai Says Never Approached By Mnangagwa

Photo: Nehanda Radio
Opposition Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai (file photo).

The MDC-T has rubbished claims that party leader Morgan Tsvangirai turned down an offer by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to form a coalition cabinet, demanding that he be included in the presidium.

The claim was made by presidential advisor Chris Mutsvangwa at the weekend who said Tsvangirai vowed to block MDC-T officials joining the cabinet unless he was appointed vice president.

Tsvangirai's spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka described the allegation "as false and typical of a government used to misrepresenting facts".

He said Mnangagwa never approached Tsvangirai who was himself open to such an arrangement, hoping it would create an environment for implementing reforms which could lead to a credible election in 2018.

"The whole matter has never been about President Tsvangirai and his personal position in that inclusive set up. It has never been about him and, in any case, he was never approached by anyone, whether formally or informally," said Tamborinyoka in a statement this Sunday.

"Now it appears the more things change, the more they remain the same. President Mnangagwa and his administration appear shackled by the same dishonesty as the previous administration.

"It is unfortunate that this new administration naively sought to project a selfish and self-centred leader in President Tsvangirai when in fact Zimbabweans know the truth."

Tamborinyoka said the interests of Zimbabweans always come first for the opposition leader, adding that Tsvangirai would never have sabotaged such an opportunity if presented with it as evidenced by the compromise agreement which gave birth to the coalition government in 2009.

"For President Tsvangirai, it has never been about himself but what is in the best interest of Zimbabweans.

"That is why, despite winning the only credible election on 29 March 2008, he still agreed to be part of an inclusive government, albeit in the junior position of Prime Minister of the country.

"President Tsvangirai has never been fixated with personal positions but about the people. This time his only concern is about a return to legitimacy which can only come through a free and fair election next year.

"An agreed transitional mechanism would have assisted in instituting the necessary reforms ahead of the 2018 elections but no one approached him."

Tamborinyoka said it is unfortunate that Zimbabweans have again been robbed of an opportunity to have "an honest and good government" as Mnangagwa's leadership has already proved to be "fraught with lies, U-turns and legal mistakes".

"It appears the so-called new dawn has instead turned out to be a new sunset of lies and boobs as evidenced by the shameful fits and starts even in sculpting a cogent administration.

"This whole government appears built upon a quicksand of falsehoods and mistruths. That Mutsvangwa himself barely lasted 24 hours as a Cabinet Minister speaks to the ineptitude of this so-called new dawn of our time," Tamborinyoka said.

Mnangagwa was sworn in to office over a week ago after predecessor, and the country's leader of 37 years Robert Mugabe resigned amid a militarized power transition.

Carrying the hopes of Zimbabweans after long years of misgovernance, Mnangagwa was seen to have wasted the opportunity to make a first impression through a cabinet which, according to critics, features "dead wood and the same old faces".

The new president, who is a lawyer, also had to recall and re-appoint some ministers after realising he appointed more non-constituency ministers than provided for under the constitution.

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