Morgan Tsvangirai’s European trip has puzzled the Robert Mugabe regime which has not issued him a passport for several months. Prime minister designate, only has a temporary travel document valid only for Southern African countries.
After the last SADC mereting in South Africa he remained there in the processes missing the Friday crucial meeting of his party’s national council.
The Mugabe regime thought Tsvangirai was still in South Africa but he quietly left for Europe, and held meetings with the European Union’s Development Commissioner Louis Michel in Strasbourg, France, on Sunday – prompting a state-run newspaper to wonder how he got there.
The Zimbabwe government has failed to satisfy the MDC that the denial of a passport to its leader is not a political move to curtail his travel, and box him into joining a unity government with Mugabe’s Zanu PF party and a rival MDC faction led by Arthur Mutambara.
Ignoring the mystery of how Tsvangirai got to Europe, a senior Zanu PF official said he hoped the MDC leader was directing his efforts towards the normalisation of Zimbabwe’s relations with the European Union which slapped asset and travel sanctions on Mugabe and over 100 of his closest associates.
“One hopes that he is sending a message to those countries that we have come together and we are forming an inclusive government,’’ said Chris Mutsvangwa, a Zanu PF spokesman.
Tsvangirai’s MDC has set conditions for joining a unity government – chiefly the adoption of Constitutional Amendment Number 19 which will create the post of Prime Minister, which Tsvangirai is set to assume.
Tsvangirai said on Sunday he had defended the power sharing deal and remained hopeful that agreement will be reached shortly, saying “we cannot go on and on and on.”
He added: “If we miss the opportunity for inclusive government, then the tragedy for the country is even too desperate to contemplate.”