Latest on Zimbabwe’s 2018 elections: Tsvangirai begs President Mnangagwa


MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai broached the subject of the possibility of a postponement of 2018 general elections during a meeting with President Emmerson Mnangagwa last week, George Charamba has said.

Charamba told a local independent daily paper 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. “The President said there was need for a formal submission on the issues that needed attention so that they could be considered,” the presidential spokesman said.

Former Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo, in an interview with the BBC’s HardTalk program, claimed Mnangagwa is scared of elections and his impromptu visit to ailing Tsvangirai was an attempt to push poll dates forward by at least three years.

But Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka rubbished both Charamba and Moyo’s version of events. “I am not aware of that. I issued a public statement soon after that meeting of the matters raised and discussed. ”

Maybe the hood 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,” said Tamborinyoka.

Charamba went further to explain the process that would be followed once Tsvangirai makes a formal request. “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.

Moyo argued Mnangagwa “cannot hold a free and fair election” despite the new Zanu PF leader promising the same in all his speeches thus far. Charamba added that Mnangagwa and his deputy, Retired Constantino Chiwenga, have the wind in their sails politically and are ready for elections any anytime.

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.

– New Zimbabwe

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