US ambassador rubishes Zanu PF political analyst Miles Tendi's claims

The US Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Charles Ray, has rubbished claims Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai got political advice and instructions from the US Embassy in Harare.

Ray, who was touring the Bulawayo Public Library’s American Corner, told NewsDay he no longer paid attention to the accusations, mainly coming from the state media.

“I do not pay attention to political rhetoric. I do not try to give Tsvangirai instructions.

“Knowing him (Tsvangirai) I don’t think he will take what I would say,” he said.

A UK-based writer, Blessings-Miles Tendi, last week claimed former South African president Thabo Mbeki told him in an interview Tsvangirai consulted the former US Ambassador, James McGee, during inter-party negotiations about Zimbabwe’s future in 2008.

According to Tendi, Tsvangirai’s conversations with McGee were reportedly recorded by Zimbabwean intelligence and passed on to their South African counterparts.

“(President Robert) Mugabe’s narrative all along has been that the MDC is a stooge of the West. What is that then? And people are surprised when Sadc leaders don’t take the side of MDC.

“It is things like these that cause mediocrity. It’s really pathetic that a leader would call the US Embassy and ask for advice,” Mbeki is alleged to have said in the interview, which was later leaked to WikiLeaks.

The MDC-T shot back saying Mbeki had revealed his soft spot for Zanu PF and claimed he was responsible for the split of the opposition movement in 2005.

Ray said it was not American policy to dictate to any leader how to run their country but it was the duty of the American ambassador to help individuals who wanted to help the country recover. 

“We have to distinguish between rhetoric and reality. The reality is that you have a lot of people in Zimbabwe who want to help the country do better and we have to work with those people.

“It has nothing to do with which party they are in,” he said.  NewsDay