Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter—
MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday hailed the visit last week to his Highlands, Harare, residence by President Mnangagwa to check on his health since he was diagnosed with cancer of the colon more than a year ago. The visit was significant both in terms of the issues discussed and its relevance, said Mr Tsvangirai in a statement. He described the visit as heralding a new politics of engagement.
“For me, that visit to my residence by the new President was significant not only in terms of the content of what we discussed, but in the import of its overall relevance. “The visit signalled what must be the bane of the new politics of our time that an opposition party, especially one represented in our national Parliament, does not in any way constitute an enemy of the State. The opposition is just as patriotic and aspires and wishes for the best for our people,” said Mr Tsvangirai.
“Indeed, my engagement with President Mnangagwa must herald a new page in our politics — a page in which the opposition is considered a partner and not an enemy of the State. The visit can be built upon by truly well-meaning Zimbabweans to herald a new politics of engagement in our country.” President Mnangagwa was accompanied to Mr Tsvangirai’s residence by Vice President General Constantino Chiwenga (Retired). Mr Tsvangirai said they had discussed this year’s forthcoming harmonised elections.
“Firstly, the new administration has to articulate a clear and comprehensive roadmap to legitimacy that includes implementation of the much-needed reforms to ensure free, fair and credible elections in a few months time. It is disheartening to note that we are already behind schedule and last week I raised these concerns to President Mnangagwa when he made an impromptu, but welcome gesture to check on me following my public disclosure that I had been diagnosed with cancer of the colon,” said Mr Tsvangirai.
He also hailed the unity that was shown by legislators and Zimbabweans which led to the resignation of former President Robert Mugabe after 37 years in power. President Mnangagwa visited Mr Tsvangirai last week and told journalists that the opposition leader was recuperating well. He shot down media speculation that the visit was an overture for a Government of National Unity, saying there was no need for a power-sharing arrangement.
He said Mr Tsvangirai was preparing for another round of check-ups in South Africa where he has been undergoing chemotherapy sessions. During the visit, President Mnangagwa also met MDC-T Vice President Advocate Nelson Chamisa, director of elections Mr Murisi Zwizwai and Mr Tsvangirai’s wife, Ms Elizabeth Macheka. Mr Chamisa said President Mnangagwa’s visit represented a “new politics” the opposition wants to continue.
Mr Tsvangirai was diagnosed with cancer of the colon in 2016 and has made several visits to South Africa for chemotherapy since then.