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A Leader of the MDC Meets with Botswana's President

The leader of Zimbabwe’s main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Morgan Tsvangirai, recently met President Festus Mogae of Botswana in Gaborone. President Mogae is the current chairman of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Observers believe Tsvangirai is lobbying the group to put pressure on President Robert Mugabe for reforms that would help solve the crisis in Zimbabwe. But party spokesman Nelson Chamisa said Tsvangirai met with Mr. Mogae to present the MDC’s road map for improving the leadership of Zimbabwe’s government. Chamisa spoke with VOA English to Africa reporter Peter Clottey about the meeting.

“The president of the MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai, with a team of three other party senior officials, met with President Festus Mogae of Botswana in Gaborone yesterday in the afternoon. Of course they also met president Mogae in his capacity as the chairperson of the SADC region. So this is part of the MDC’s plan to try and galvanize, mobilize and conscientize support regionally and also continentally, to try and bring pressure to bear on the Mugabe regime to adopt democratic reforms and the road map we have outlined as a party.”

Chamisa explains the objective of the meeting between MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and President Mogae. “We hope to achieve first the solidarity from our fellow colleagues from the continent and also in the region. Second we also want to make sure that our region and of course the continent clear us to our proposed alternative or proposal of the road map to the resolution of the crises in Zimbabwe which entails the issue of all stakeholders concern. It entails a new Constitution being written by Zimbabweans as opposed to the Constitution we are using, which was just given to us. We also want to have free and fair elections under international supervision that will put to rest this question of illegitimacy and quite especially around political power. And of course the last thing is to make sure that we put into proper context the crises in Zimbabwe, its character cause and nature that entails the view of the MDC. Our view is that the problem is a crisis of governance, a crisis of leadership and a crisis of a dictatorship we are facing in Zimbabwe.”

He said both men were very frank and honest in the discussion, which he says, helped achieve the maximum objective.

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