Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has declined an offer to move into a government residence and rather chosen to stay put at his famous
Strathaven home, where his grand son, Shaun, drowned in a swimming pool last saturday.
Tsvangirai was expected to take up residence at State House which is opposite to President Robert Mugabe’s official residence, at Zimbabwe House. Mugabe had extended the offer in the spirit of the all-inclusive government.
Tsvangirai’s spokesperson James Maridadi could neither confirm not deny whether the offer was extended.
“The most important role for Prime Minister Tsvangirai is to work towards the rebuilding of Zimbabwe’s economy and the democratisation of the country,” Maridadi said. “Issues of whether he stays at State House or not are not important. What is important to him is to get the job at hand done.”
He, however, was quick to say that in future Tsvangirai would consider where he would live.
In the early 1980s the President Canaan Banana lived at State House while Prime Minister Mugabe was at Zimbabwe House.
Tsvangirai’s decision not to move into State House was arrived at because the inclusive government was not permanent and in case he lost future presidential elections expected in two years, it would be embarrassing for him to move back to his Strathaven home.
State House used to be Government House, the home of Southern Rhodesian governors. The last governor to occupy it was Lord Soames from December 1979 to April 1980. Prime Ministers lived across the road at what is now Zimbabwe House.