“Do you know that Mugabe and I eat together every Monday? We have a very good relationship now, why do you fight here? MPs must not be seen fueling violence here, we want to promote peace in the country,” said Tsvangirai.
“We have seen that everyone needs food. Everyone here needs support but it becomes painful when some people are denied food on party affiliations basis. This is wrong, everyone must be fed first then politics later,” he said.
Although Tsvangirai and Mugabe have expressed optimism for the shaky coalition government brokered with the help of South Africa in 2009, there have been several reports about violence by Zanu PF particularly in the rural areas. Tsvangirai has already indicated that he wants to appeal to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to intervene in the talks deadlock with Zanu PF on the outstanding issues stalling the full implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA).
People in Chivi had expressed fear to attend Tsvangirai’s meeting due to threats they received from the army and Zanu PF youth militia on Friday night. They were warned they risked un-specified action if they attended.
On Saturday Chief Madamombe in Chivi blasted Zanu PF and said he had summoned Chivi North Member of Parliament (MP) and war veteran Tranos Huruva (Zanu PF) to a meeting with him to discuss the allegations of violence.
Chief Madamombe who attended Tsvangirai’s meeting, told RadioVOP that he did not not condone violence.
“It was just this morning (Saturday) when I received reports that some people were warned against attending Prime Minister’s rallies here,” said the chief. “I was informed Zanu PF youths and the army were following orders from MP Huruva so I have invited him to get the clear picture. Huruva has since refused and he is now part of Prime Minister’s delegation as you see him seated next to him Tsvangirai),” said Chief Madamombe.
Huruva, who has been accused of fuelling violence in Chivi, refused to talk to RadioVOP on Saturday about the violence.
“I am busy now, I am going to be with Prime Minister from here (Mhandamahwe) up to Chiredzi,” said Huruva.
From Chivi, Tsvangirai addressed mine workers at Mashava where he assured them that the government will come up with a plan to-re-open the mine so that the workers can get back to work.
Mashava is on the verge of collapse with over 1 500 workers on indefinite forced leave.
Tsvangirai had to divert his tour to stop in Masvingo urban as thousands of people had already gathered at civic center when they heard of his visit to Chivi. The supporters had pleaded with party provincial leadership that they wanted to meet the Prime Minister.
“I just heard that you are already gathered here, I wanted to go to Bikita straight from Mashava, anyway I can’t ignore your call. I am
just here to say how you are and proceed with my journey,” said Tsvangirai before leaving the cheering crowd.