Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Mon, 08 Dec 2008 23:53:00 +0000
THE leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, Morgan Tsvangirai and his delegation were in Brussels, Belgium as the E.U. met Monday to extend sanctions against Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Guardian has learnt.
Tsvangirai was shuttled by Botswana President, Ian Khama’s presidential jet between the African continent and Europe. The MDC leader is now believed to be exiled to Botswana.
It is believed that the MDC-T leader sat as an observer in the E.U. foreign ministers’ meeting where further sanctions were approved against 11 individuals linked to the Government of Zimbabwe.
The MDC leader held talks with the foreign ministers of Britain and Germany before meeting the French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner who chairs the E.U. foreign ministers’ meetings.
Tsvangirai is said to have briefed the foreign ministers on the cholera crisis in Zimbabwe, although he has been out of the country for more than three weeks now.
Reports say he briefly met with UK Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, who briefed the 27 nation strong E.U. on the “situation in Zimbabwe”.
Tsvangirai and his delegation are believed to have been instrumental in the drawing up of the list of “10 names to be added to the 168 existing names under sanctions. The list of ten people includes "persons actively engaged in violence or human rights infringements" according to a draft document released by the E.U.
The E.U. is said to be discussing the list with an MDC delegation currently in Brussels and the names will be released as soon as those discussions are concluded.
An MDC-T source in South Africa, that spoke to the Zimbabwe Guardian on Monday revealed that Tsvangirai’s visit to Brussels was meant to be “top secret” and “even party insiders were not even aware of his (Tsvangirai) whereabouts”.
Our source revealed that: “I only knew about Tsvangirai’s presence in Brussels after speaking to his spokesman, who rang this office (the Johannesburg MDC office) from Brussels asking for some papers to be faxed over.”
Last week, the MDC-T leader was in Kenya where he met with PM Raila Odinga who immediately issued a statement calling for President Mugabe’s ouster. He also visited Morocco, Senegal and Tanzania (where he asked President Jakaya Kikwete to facilitate the power-sharing talks in Zimbabwe).
Tsvangirai is also believed to travelled to Uganda to lobby for UN Security Council involvement in the power-sharing talks despite asking President Kikwete and the AU to take over from former SA President Thabo Mbeki.
Uganda assumes the chairmanship of the UN Security Council in January, taking over from South Africa.