Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
President Mnangagwa yesterday visited MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who is battling colon cancer, at his residence in Highlands, Harare. The President, who was accompanied by Vice President General Constantino Chiwenga (Retired), was met on arrival by Mr Tsvangirai’s wife, Elizabeth, MDC-T deputy president Mr Nelson Chamisa and Mr Murisi Zwizwai, the party’s secretary for elections. Addressing the media after meeting the MDC-T leader, President Mnangagwa said Mr Tsvangirai was recovering well.
“He is fine and recuperating very well and he says he will soon be going back for further medical check-ups in South Africa.”
President Mnangagwa shot down media speculation that the visit was an overture for the formation of a Government of National Unity, saying there was no need for a power-sharing arrangement.
“What’s the cause (to form a GNU)?” he said.
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“You are allowed to lobby; it’s a democratic country, people are allowed to lobby for anything. Currently, there is no need (for a GNU),” he added.
Mr Chamisa said the President’s visit represented a “new politics” the opposition wants to continue.
“It’s a welcome thing, it’s African to care for one another, it’s very Zimbabwean. This is the new politics we want to see the politics of peace, the politics of working together, the politics of feeling for one another,” said Mr Chamisa.
This is the direction and we hope it is the kind of talk that will be walked and talk that will be sustained. Going forward, we want to see a peaceful election in Zimbabwe and we are very appreciative,” he said
Mr Tsvangirai was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016 and has made several visits to South Africa for chemotherapy ever since. He was rushed to South Africa in September last year after he collapsed at a party workshop in Kadoma when his condition deteriorated.
His worsening health condition has fuelled fighting in his party, with growing calls for him to step down by party bigwigs who believe his condition makes it difficult for him to endure the rigours of an election campaign. He has insisted, however, that he will be fit enough to fight it out at the election.
Zimbabwe is scheduled to go to the polls by mid-year. In his inauguration speech on November 24 last year, President Mnangagwa called for unity and tolerance among Zimbabweans irrespective of their political differences.
President Mnangagwa urged Zimbabweans to find strength in their diversity and act in a manner beneficial to the generality of the people, adding that toxic and polarising politics of the past should be discarded. Mr Tsvangirai was among opposition leaders who attended President Mnangagwa’s swearing-in ceremony on November 24 last year to replace former President Robert Mugabe.