Tsvangirai denies Mnangagwa approach

Zimbabwe's main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai speaks during an interview with the Associated Press at his home in Harar. Picture: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP

MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday refuted claims by presidential adviser, Christopher Mutsvangwa that President Emmerson Mnangagwa had engaged the opposition, inviting them to take up Cabinet posts in an inclusive government.


Tsvangirai, through his spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka, described Mutsvangwa’s comments as “unfortunate lies”, adding the new administration is already behaving like former President Robert Mugabe’s regime and are trying to give an impression that Tsvangirai is a selfish person.

Mutsvangwa, at the weekend, claimed Mnangagwa had tried to woo opposition parties to join his Cabinet, but the leaders blocked him from choosing his preferred candidates for Cabinet posts.

“Yesterday (Saturday), the short-lived minister of Information and now presidential adviser, Chris Mutsvangwa, told a motley crowd in Chinhoyi that President Emmerson Mnangagwa had engaged president Tsvangirai with the intention of creating an inclusive Cabinet with MDC ministers, but the MDC leader, driven purely by selfish interest, had given the precondition that he ought to be included in the Presidium of the new administration,” Tamborinyoka said.

“Nothing could be further from the truth and, for the record, Tsvangirai was never consulted by anyone, and the new State President never engaged him and it is unfortunate that the new administration appears bent on thriving on the same lies, dishonesty and stinginess, with objective facts as the old Mugabe regime.”

He said Tsvangirai was never consulted, but only exchanged pleasantries with Mnangagwa when he congratulated him during their brief exchange at the swearing-in ceremony at the National Sports Stadium on November 24, 2017.

Tamborinyoka said there is no way Tsvangirai could be against an inclusive set-up, when it was him who first broached the need for such an arrangement, as it was only an agreed transitional set-up that could provide a soft landing to the national crisis and help institute reforms for a free, fair and credible election next year.

“As long as there had been formal discussions and an agreed mandate of that inclusive set-up, Tsvangirai and the MDC had already said they are amenable to such an arrangement, but no one formally approached him,” he said.

“What we have always been against is to be an appendage of a factional Zanu PF government that is not prioritising reforms ahead of the next election as well as the plight of ordinary Zimbabweans.”

MDC-T said Tsvangirai was never approached formally and informally, adding the claims by Zanu PF showed that Mnangagwa and his administration appear shackled by the same dishonesty as the previous regime.

“It is unfortunate that this new administration naively sought to project a selfish and self-centred leader in Tsvangirai, when in fact Zimbabweans know the truth,” Tamborinyoka continued.

“For Tsvangirai, it has never been about him, but what is in the best interest of Zimbabweans. That is why, despite winning the only credible election on March 29, 2008, he still agreed to be part of an inclusive government, albeit in the junior position of Prime Minister of the country.”

He said Tsvangirai’s concern now is about the return to legitimacy, which can only come through electoral reforms and free and fair elections next year.

“Zimbabweans are tired of governments and leaders that lie and take them for granted,” Tamborinyoka said.

“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.

“The lies about president Tsvangirai do not come as a surprise.

“This whole government appears built upon a quicksand of falsehoods and mistruths.”

He said the fact that Mutsvangwa lasted only 24 hours as a Cabinet minister speaks to the ineptitude of the so-called new dawn of a new era. – NewsDay