MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai is expected in United Kingdom later this month to meet supporters as well as attend an event arranged to help raise funds for the party’s October congress.
The MDC-T has brought forward its elective congress from 2016 to resolve a leadership dispute that has seen the party split into two after a group of dissenters demanded that Tsvangirai step down – a call the former premier rejected.
In a statement this week, the MDC-T’s UK branch said Tsvangirai – accompanied by wife Elizabeth – would be in the UK on July 26 to meet the local Zimbabwean community as well as address party structures.
“The party in the UK has also laid on a fundraising dinner to support the October congress, where members of the Zimbabwean community in the UK will be able to have an intimate Dinner with President Tsvangirai,” said a party spokesman in the statement.
“He (Tsvangirai) will be accompanied by his wife Elizabeth and the acting treasurer-general, Theresa Makone, and the meetings with the structures and members will be held in the Midlands on the 26th July at a venue to be advised.
“The dinner will be held in Birmingham, also on Saturday 26th July in the evening. Invitations will be sent to those who would have indicated their willingness to attend by … depositing their £100 into the MDC-T account.
“All Zimbabweans in the UK and those who support democracy in Zimbabwe can support the party congress while also having an opportunity to have an intimate dinner discussion with President Tsvangirai by paying £100 into the MDC account at HSBC.”
The opposition leader is expected to discuss with his UK supporters the leadership dispute which has rocked the MDC-T as well as explain his recent calls for national dialogue to address the Zimbabwe’s deepening economic problems.
Zanu PF has said it was open to the proposed talks on condition Tsvangirai endorses his defeat in last year’s elections which the opposition leader dismissed as fraudulent.
Addressing party youths in Harare recently, Tsvangirai said Zimbabwe had no prospect of attracting much-needed investment and new funding under the Zanu PF-led government.
“Zanu PF Ministers are not given money … we meet them oversees begging for money but they are not given … Vanoti kana manga muri vaya vaya tingadai takupai (investors say we cannot give you money unless you with the MDC),” said the MDC-T leader.
Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa is understood to be currently in China where the government is trying to secure an immediate US$10 billion injection to help stem the country’s economic slide.
Longer term, the government requires about US$27 billion to fully implement its ZimAsset economic blueprint.
But Tsvangirai said no investor would put money into Zimbabwe with President Robert Mugabe still in charge.
“There is no investor willing to invest in Zimbabwe as long as Mugabe is still in power. I would rather keep my money under the pillow than put it in a bank, lest Mugabe comes and takes it,” he said.