Thursday, May 31, 2012
Thursday, 31 May 2012 00:00
Takunda Maodza Senior Reporter
PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai secretly met former US Supreme Allied Commander of NATO Forces Europe, General Wesley Clark, during his visit to Austria last month, it has emerged.
Gen Clark commanded Operation Allied Forces in the Kosovo war during his term as the Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO from 1997 to 2000. He also took part in several other wars in the Gulf, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia, which left thousands of innocent civilians dead.
Prime Minister Tsvangirai, The Herald is reliably informed, met Gen Clark when he visited Vienna and attended the second meeting of the Centre for Global Dialogue and Co-operation from May 16 to 18.
Gen Clark is a board member of the centre.
“The Prime Minister held an hour-long private meeting with General Clark,” a source said.
PM Tsvangirai and MDC-T have kept the meeting under a tight lid.
NATO, which Gen Clark commanded, has of late been used by the US and its Western allies as a vehicle for effecting illegal regime change, especially in smaller countries.
Before meeting Gen Clark, PM Tsvangirai told delegates attending the Centre for Global Dialogue and Co-operation that Sadc leaders coerced him into forming an inclusive Government with President Mugabe.
The delegates included former US president Bill Clinton, former Bulgarian president Petar Stoyanov, Gen Clark and chairperson of the Botswana National Front Duma Gideon Boko.
“The Prime Minister claimed that Sadc had coerced his party into a power-sharing arrangement which he only accepted in order to prevent the loss of lives in the country,” the source said.
PM Tsvangirai claimed that while there was stability in Zimbabwe, there was no democracy.
He cited the alleged existence of obstacles to free and fair elections, the need for media reform, lack of respect for the Constitution and the manipulation of Government institutions like the judiciary, army and the police.
PM Tsvangirai claimed that the army, police and judiciary were partisan and aligned to Zanu-PF due to liberation struggle ties.
“The PM said elections were likely to be held in 2013 and that his party was working towards ensuring peaceful elections,” said the source.
“He also informed the meeting that he had asked the President to leave office after he had confided in him that he wanted to relinquish power but could not do so due to divisions within his party.”
PM Tsvangirai went on to claim that President Mugabe had “no legitimacy to rule since the people had rejected him”.
During the meeting, Mr Clinton commended PM Tsvangirai for “his struggle to bring democracy to Zimbabwe” and “for sacrificing his life” in order to bring about the “rule of law” in the country.
Efforts to get a comment from the PM’s Office were fruitless yesterday.
Principals to the Global Political Agreement are in Angola to attend a Sadc Troika meeting.