Tsvangirai stopped from attending State House function

The Prime Minister sent his private secretary to confirm that Dr Lovemore Madhuku and his team were his guests, but they were still turned away by the security agents. The NCA leadership drove off but were called back by Constitutional Minister Eric Matinenga, who told them that Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe had been called in to intervene.

At the time NCA Director Ernest Mudzengi said when they finally saw the Prime Minister he acknowledged that on a daily basis his visitors undergo harassment and he was trying to stop this.

This week another incident has occurred, which exposes the fact that the Prime Minister is still not being accorded the respect he deserves. A delegation from North Korea is visiting Zimbabwe and Mugabe held a state banquet in their honour.

Although Tsvangirai had an invitation to attend the banquet he was forced to make a u-turn when he arrived at the State House for the event. His spokesperson James Maridadi said the guards denied him entry, because one of his security cars had not been cleared.

Maridadi said the Prime Minister refused to go in without part of his motorcade and went back home. Maridadi said: “The Prime Minister was driving into (State House) and one of his lead vehicles was said to be unregistered by those who were manning the entrance, and they said this vehicle would not go through on account that it was not registered. So as a matter of principle the Prime Minister said in that case I might as well make a u-turn and go back home.”

No one else had problems getting into State House, including other cabinet ministers from the MDC-T.

One observer said it’s incomprehensible that the MDC ministers did not walk out in solidarity with their leader: “When the MDC crowd heard that Morgan Tsvangirai was shut out they should have left the dinner in midstream, but shockingly sat through the entire charade.”

Since the issue happened at the gate it is possible that the MDC ministers may not have known what had happened. We tried to get clarity on this from James Maridadi, but he said he couldn’t comment on other MDC officials as he is only the spokesperson for Mr Tsvangirai. We then called MDC spokesperson and Information Minister Nelson Chamisa, but he said he couldn’t comment as he is not the spokesperson for the government or for Mr. Tsvangirai.

Zimbabweans have not forgotten the Gukurahundi, that saw the massacre of at least 20 000 people from the Matabeleland and Midlands regions, and the role the North Koreans played in training Mugabe’s 5th Brigade involved in the attacks.

Many observers have criticised the fact that the MDC even considered attending an event for the North Koreans. Political commentator Glen Mpani said: “It’s just mind-boggling why the MDC decided to sanitise the visit of such a controversial delegation, whose record on good governance is very poor. The MDC’s constituency in Matabeleland was victim of the product of the Koreans. What message is it sending to them? Sadly once again under the guise of working together, the party is condoning the 80s brutal acts and impunity, and dining with the devil.”