Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of Zimbabwe’s main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), arrived in Nigeria early Monday to confer with former President Olusegun Obasanjo on the crisis in the Southern African nation.
Tsvangirai and Obasanjo were scheduled to hold talks at the former President’s sprawling farm at Ota, near the commercial city of Lagos, Monday morning.
Political analysts said the MDC leader might be using his contacts with Obasanjo to reach out to the Nigerian government, Africa’s ‘Big Brother’ which has been unusually silent over the crisis in Zimbabwe, despite its role in helping the country to secure its independence.
The Nigerian government’s silence has attracted comments from the opposition Action Congress (AC) party, which said the government might have been ”shamed to silence” by the poor conduct of its own general elections last year.
MDC leaders have fanned out of Zimbabwe in an effort to persuade African and world leaders to do more to force the Zimbabwean government to release the result of the 29 March presidential election, which the MDC leader claimed to have won.
MDC Secretary-General Tendai Biti was in South Africa Sunday to tell the world the situation in his country was becoming ”desperate”, and that at least 10 people have been killed and over 500 injured since the polls, in what he described as ”war” against the opposition.
Biti alleged that 84-year-old Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe was now suffering from ‘senile dementia’ hence had been completely cut off from reality.
All attempts, including a court case, by the MDC to compel the Zimbabwe electoral authorities to release the result have so far failed.
Only the result of the parliamentary vote conducted on the same day has been released in full, with the MDC defeating the ruling ZANU-PF for the first time since the country’s independence.
The African Union (AU), the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan have called for the immediate release of all outstanding results of the 29 March elections.