FORMER Prime Minister and MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has wasted no time in taking advantage of the annual changeover of Sadc’s rotating chairmanship, with a team already in Botswana to lobby the neighbouring country’s leader Ian Khama.
Khama is taking over as chairperson following the expiry of President Robert Mugabe’s tenure this week. The Sadc 35th annual summit begins Monday in Gaborone.
Impeccable sources told NewZimbabwe.com that Tsvangirai sent a team led by his chief-of staff Abisha Nyanguwo.
“It is true there is a team in Botswana led by Nyanguwo to lobby Khama. We want Zimbabwe back in the international spotlight and Sadc is the curator on the crisis.
Tsvangirai and Khama are close and we will use that to great effect. It is politics and nothing personal. Mugabe has been chair for 12 months and has managed to muzzle any discussion on Zimbabwe since August last year,” a senior MDC-T official told NewZimbabwe.com.
Mugabe and Khama reportedly don’t see eye to eye.
Last year as Mugabe took over as chair of the regional block, Khama arrived in Victoria Falls for official proceedings staying only for a few hours before leaving in a huff. The Botswana leader did not even have the courtesy to stay for the traditional group photographs.
A senior official in the MDC-T said it was important to remind Sadc that the Zimbabwean crisis remains unresolved.
It is very important to remind the region that they must not think that they have resolved the Zimbabwean issue. They have a mandate from the African Union and they must see it through until stability is established.
Problems in Zimbabwe will affect the region as a whole and we must keep reminding them. The 2013 elections were stolen but still Sadc endorsed it in the hope that things might change but we are worse off,” said the official on condition they were not identified.
MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu was not available for comment as he was said to be outside the country. Secretary general Douglas Mwonzora declined to comment.
“Find the spokesperson; he speaks on behalf of the party. I have no idea what you are talking about,” said Mwonzora.
But the official said it is “important and critical” that democratic activists and those who support the establishment of rule of law in Zimbabwe take advantage of Mugabe’s leaving the Sadc chair to re-establish and pile more pressure on his regime.
“Zimbabwe is a very pivotal country and Sadc cannot afford an implosion. They cannot fold their arms or look away for a second. Zimbabwe must be resolved and we have a chance to do that in the next twelve months,” said the source.