Cameron left 'speechless' by Tsvangirai praise for Mugabe: report
by Staff Reporter
BRITISH Prime Minister David Cameron was “lost for words” after Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai gave a “bright-eyed and bushy-tailed” account of his relationship with President Robert Mugabe, a newspaper reported.
Tsvangirai met Cameron in Davos, Switzerland, in January and stunned the UK premier with his optimistic portrayal of his ruling coalition partner Mugabe, according to the Financial Times.
After sitting down for an interview with Tsvangirai in Harare in February, the Financial Times’ comment and analysis editor concluded: “The Zanu PF lion lying down with the MDC sheep: it is a charming vision of reconciliation but utterly unconvincing. Mugabe may have celebrated his 87th birthday a week before my visit but all the talk in Harare is that he is running rings around his 59-year-old prime minister …
“So I am all but lost for words at Tsvangirai’s Milquetoast reference to his and Mugabe’s latest meeting – as, I have been told, was David Cameron when he was given a similarly bright-eyed and bushy-tailed account by Tsvangirai at Davos earlier this year.”
In the interview, Tsvangirai tells Alec Russell that cabinet meetings with his Zanu PF adversaries are “very good, very productive”.
“It’s enlightening that everyone was serious about addressing the concerns. If you were to enter the room, you would not know who was who, MDC or Zanu PF. The seating is Zanu PF, MDC, Zanu PF, MDC ... and he [Mugabe] and I direct. We really do consult when things get out of hand,” Tsvangirai said.
Tsvangirai, who has previously elicited attacks from Western commentators for describing Mugabe as his hero, opened himself up for fresh ridicule.
“I used to think he is callous and all that,” he said of Mugabe. “But you know what? He’s human after all. He’s very humane. There is a split personality between Mugabe the [revolutionary] hero and Mugabe the villain ...”
Russell admitted he struggled “to elicit an insightful word about one of the world’s more notorious leaders” from Tsvangirai.
[That is code. He meant he struggled to get Tsvangirai to say anything negative about President Mugabe. Now why would any 'journalist' want to do that. - MrK]
And in a damning conclusion about the MDC leader, the reporter added: “Some party insiders echo the assessment of a former US ambassador, published on WikiLeaks, that Tsvangirai has ‘questionable judgment’. Then there is the speculation about his private life …
"In his office is another poster – this one of Nelson Mandela. The great statesman is smiling beneath the slogan: ‘There is no easy walk to freedom.’ Tsvangirai is no Mandela. A better analogy is Lech Walesa, the Polish union leader whose finest days were in opposition and who proved rather better at rousing rallies than the subtleties of government.”
The Prime Minister’s interview with the Financial Times was recorded before last week’s dramatic events sparked by the arrest of one of Tsvangirai’s ministers Elton Mangoma and a Supreme Court ruling reversing the election of his MDC party’s chairman Lovemore Moyo.
Tsvangirai, in a coalition with Mugabe’s Zanu PF since February 2009, said of the recent developments: “The fact of the matter is that Zimbabwe is in a crisis. If there is a breakdown in the relationship of the parties in the GPA, it is important for the parties to agree on a clean divorce.”