Tanzania pledges support to Zimbabwe coalition govt

Dar es Salaam – Tanzania has assured Zimbabwe of its continued assistance in solving the country’s political problems. The promise was made yesterday by President Jakaya Kikwete when he hosted Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai

During their talks at State House, Mr Tsvangirai told President Kikwete the hardships the southern African country has been experiencing in the running of the government of national unity in Zimbabwe. 

“Tanzania wants to see a peaceful, stable and prosperous Zimbabwe and we are ready to assist in any way which the Zimbabwean government and people see appropriate,” said Mr Kikwete.

Mr Tsvangirai, who was accompanied by an entourage of seven people, was on a tour of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) member countries, to brief them on the shaky relations within the GNU. 

He left shortly after the talks. 

Before coming to Tanzania he had been to Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Namibia, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland and Zambia.

Tsvangirai also paid a day-long visit to Malawi Wednesday where he briefed President Bingu wa Mutharika on the shaky coalition government. ‘I’m engaging all SADC (Southern African Development Community) leaders because I’m concerned with the discord in our shared government,’ Tsvangirai told journalists after the closed-door meeting at Mutharika’s New State House.

The visit comes at a time when his relationship with President Robert Mugabe are strained. There have been public mud-slinging between Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and Mugabe’s ZANU PF.

Tsvangirai said SADC leaders and the international community must work towards ensuring free and fair polls in Zimbabwe .

‘We should not be an exception in SADC,’ he said.

The dampened spirits of Zimbabwe were lifted when Tsvangirai declared his party would enter a unity government under terms negotiated at a special regional summit.

Following an extraordinary meeting of SADC leaders in Pretoria, South Africa , in January 2009, they announced Zimbabwe’s political rivals would form a power-sharing government as initially agreed in September 2008.