MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai at the weekend held marathon meetings with several African leaders attending Ghanaian President Nana Nankwa Akufo-Addo’s inauguration ceremony and pleaded with them to intervene in Zimbabwe’s worsening economic and political crisis.
Source: Tsvangirai courts African leaders – NewsDay Zimbabwe January 9, 2017
BY XOLISANI NCUBE
Tsvangirai was among several top African politicians invited to the ceremony, where President Robert Mugabe was conspicuous by his absence.
MDC-T vice-president, Nelson Chamisa, told NewsDay yesterday that the opposition leader briefed African leaders on Zimbabwe and how the continent ought to help in shaping its democratic journey, among other issues.
“The president had a fruitful meeting and engagement in Ghana. He met a number of African leaders and raised key concerns and shared ideas for a better Zimbabwe. The most important aspect is that African leaders are prepared to work with Zimbabwe and help our country regain its status — the torchbearer for economic growth,”he said.
“Some of the issues discussed are privileged, but I can tell you that we engaged on a number of issues, particularly election management, governance and challenges bedevilling our continent,” he said.
The former prime minister, according to pictures circulating on social media platforms, met Zambian leader, Edgar Lungu and former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, among others.
Chamisa said they also held a private meeting with Akufo-Addo and exchanged ideas that he said would deepen Zimbabwe’s democratic quest, as well assist them on the electoral management system.
Regionally, Tsvangirai has a long-standing cordial working relationship with Botswana leader, Ian Khama, who on a number of occasions has had run-ins with Mugabe over the latter’s perceived autocratic tendencies and rights abuses.
The MDC-T leader also enjoys warm relations with opposition parties in Kenya.
Akufo-Addo was sworn in on Saturday after winning convincingly in the country’s just-ended presidential elections in which he defeated incumbent, John Mahama Dramani. Mugabe did not attend the inauguration ceremony and it is not clear if the Zanu PF leader had been invited.
Ghana is one of Africa’s most stable democracies and has seen successive peaceful changes of government since former military ruler, Jerry Rawlings handed over power after losing elections to John Kufuor in 2001.