Saturday, May 04, 2013

(NEWZIMBABWE, CONFIDENTE NM) Namibian leader 'snubs' Tsvangirai
02/05/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

MDC-T leader and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has suffered a setback in his bid to lobby SADC leaders to lean on his Zanu PF rival, President Robert Mugabe, to force him to agree a string of reforms ahead of elections.

Reports from Namibia say President Hifikepunye Pohamba – a regional ally of Mugabe – refused to meet Tsvangirai.

The MDC-T leader should have arrived in Namibia on Wednesday after stops in South Africa where he met President Jacob Zuma, Tanzania where he met with President Jakaya Kikwete and Angola which put forward its foreign minister.

But Namibia’s Confidente newspaper reported on Thursday that Pohamba and Prime Minister Hage Geingob “showed no inter­est in meeting with Tsvangirai” who is believed to have stayed away.

A source told the newspaper: “It appears that Pohamba and Gein­gob are not so keen to engage with Ts­vangirai on this matter because of their relationship with Mugabe and his party so they will not meet with him.”

Tsvangirai is travelling with his spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka who was not available for comment on Thursday, but Alex Magaisa, the Prime Minister’s political adviser responsi­ble for transitional affairs, confirmed earlier this week that “a stop in Namibia by the Prime Minister is on his itinerary”.
Namibia’s Presidential Affairs Minister Albert Kawana said he knew of no scheduled meeting between Tsvangirai and Pohamba.

Facing attacks at home from Zanu PF and the Welshman Ncube-led MDC, Tsvangirai is crisscrossing the region trying to convince SADC leaders to convene an extraordinary summit to discuss Zimbabwe and possibly force the parties to agree some election rules.

Tsvangirai, in a coalition with Mugabe and Ncube since 2009, fears the Zanu PF leader is preparing to call elections in June before agreement can be reached on a raft of reforms his party insists on including the issuing of licences to “truly independent” radio stations.

South Africa’s Zuma, who took over the mediation on behalf of SADC from his predecessor Thabo Mbeki, told Tsvangirai during their meeting that he would be travelling to Zimbabwe soon for talks with the main parties.

Tsvangirai is expected back in Harare on Sunday.

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