MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has rubbished claims by former higher education minister Jonathan Moyo that there was a discussion with government regarding possible delay of
elections due this year.
In an interview with the BBC’s HardTalk programme, Professor Moyo claimed President Emmerson Mnangagwa used his much-publicised visit to the ailing Tsvangirai last week to propose a delay in holding elections by at least three years.
However, Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka suggested Moyo was making up things.
“I am not aware of that. I issued a public statement soon after that meeting of the matters raised and discussed,” said Tamborinyoka.
“Maybe the good professor (Moyo) can provide the details if he attended the meeting or where he is getting that from. I am not aware of that issue having been discussed at all.”
However, Moyo’s claims also flew at a tangent with Mnangagwa’s version of events as narrated by presidential spokesperson George Charamba.
Charamba told a local media that it was in fact Tsvangirai who had broached the subject of the possibility of pushing the elections forward. He claimed that Mnangagwa had requested that the opposition leader puts his proposals in writing.
“Tsvangirai asked if we could delay elections, his reasons were couched in legalism,” said Charamba.
“The President said there was need there was need for a formal submission on the issues that needed attention so that they could be considered.”
Charamba went further to explain the process that would be followed once Tsvangirai makes his requested formal.
“What you need to understand is that the processes of communicating with government are different. You need formal legal submissions; then, after the submissions are made they are negotiated and we go to Parliament with an agreed position.
“What should be noted is that when there is consensus reforms can be done in one day,” Mnangagwa’s spin-doctor said.
Meanwhile, in his BBC interview, Moyo argued that Mnangagwa “cannot hold a free and fair election” despite the new Zanu PF leader promising the same in all his speeches thus far.
However, Charamba added that Mnangagwa and his deputy Retired General Constantino Chiwenga have the wind in their sails politically and are ready for elections any time.
It is Tsvangirai and his party, said Charamba, who need time “for a new leader to settle down in the job” given the MDC-T leader has indicated his wish to retire and pass on the leadership to a younger person.