HARARE – Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai is set to hold private talks with newly-elected Ghanaian President-elect Nana Akufo-Addo soon after his inauguration, the Daily News learnt.
By Mugove Tafirenyika
Tsvangirai was invited to Akufo-Addo’s swearing-in ceremony expected to be held in Accra, Ghana, today.
MDC vice president Nelson Chamisa — who accompanied Tsvangirai on the trip — told the Daily News in a telephone interview from Accra yesterday that the former prime minister would also meet opposition leaders and other political parties’ representatives from across the continent.
“Tsvangirai will have private talks with the president of Ghana and we have also scheduled other meetings with other political parties from the continent as well as civic groups,” he said without naming them.
Chamisa said the meetings were important for the MDC and Zimbabwe in that they would give the party an appreciation of the power dynamics on the continent.
He said the experience will inform the MDC’s trajectory in its quest to take over power from President Robert Mugabe — who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence 36 years ago.
“Ghana is a symbol of democracy leading the pack along with Botswana and South Africa so it’s a good template of good governance,” Chamisa said.
“This is the kind of foot print and signature we must replicate Africa wide because it spells beauty and sweet music to the lives of Africans.
“I have seen the street lights here, I have seen the roads and I have listened on national television, the discourse where citizens engage politicians bringing them to account. It is such public scrutiny that is very important for our own democracy.”
“We are also learning how to deal with policies of succession and power transfer…from one party to the other,” he said.
Chamisa added that their invitation to Akufo-Addo’s inauguration ceremony also emboldened their resolve to ensure that next year’s general elections are free, fair and credible — taking a leaf from the West African country.
Since year 2000, Zimbabwe’s elections have been marred by irregularities amid allegations of voter manipulation by the ruling Zanu PF and State agents.
“Zimbabwe should be the opposite of Ghana and the twin of Gambia.
“We must have credible elections respecting our liberation struggle credentials of self-rule and one-man-one-vote.
“In essence, it’s the sovereignty of the will of the people marking the victory of the ballot upon the bullet,” Chamisa said.
He added: “The Yaya Jammeh spirit is a bad spirit. It must be quashed. Political leaders must know there is life beyond political power.
“They can’t be the full-stop to people’s aspirations because any attempt at that will result in them being stopped by the citizens.”
After initially conceding defeat, Gambia’s president Jammeh is now refusing to hand over power to Adama Barrow.