o.ukimages/stories/old/morganuk.jpg” width=211 align=left border=0>”If we have to grant Mugabe, his family and his cronies immunity from prosecution for crimes against humanity, then a proper programme of apology to the families of the victims of Gukurahundi must be put in place. There must also be a national process of healing and reconciliation with the victims of Zanu (PF)’s repressive rule over the past two decades,” said the MDC President in an exclusive interview with The Zimbabwean at the weekend.
Such a commission would be tasked with officially establishing the truth of what happened and ensuring that justice is done. Tsvangirai emphasised that Mugabe should go now and should not attempt to extend his rule from 2008 to 2010. “The country is struggling to survive now. How can he contemplate extending his grip on power to 2010 when he has no solutions to the problems?” he said. Asked about president Thabo Mbeki’s announcement that UN secretary general Kofi Annan would take a leading role in solving the Zimbabwean crisis, Tsvangirai said he would welcome any initiative from any quarter that could put an end to the end of millions of Zimbabweans.
He was not aware of any details of Annan’s initiative, which has now been shot down in flames by a Zimbabwean government official, who reacted angrily to the news and said the invitation extended to Annan in the wake of Operation Murambatsvina had been overtaken by events.
Tsvangirai also welcomed what he described as the positive role being played by the churches in seeking a solution to Zimbabwe’s political logjam. Last week a group of churchmen from various denominations held a meeting with Mugabe at which they discussed possible solutions.
“Some clerics support the status quo. But thankfully the majority are dedicated to alleviating the sufferings of large portions of the population, sufferings that have been caused by the Mugabe regime and its policies,” he said.
One of Tsvangirai’s main concerns is the mounting frustration among people, which he fears could lead to widespread violence and render the political process irrelevant.
“Violence begets violence, and we want to avoid that at all costs, particularly among the young people who have nothing gainful to do all day because of the economic collapse,” he said. “Violence results where there is no hope, so I feel a huge burden to hold out meaningful hope to the people of Zimbabwe.”
Speaking at a Press conference at the House of Commons last Friday, Tsvangirai said he was disturbed by the fact that some three million Zimbabweans had fled their country and many were living in squalid conditions abroad.
Tsvangirai’s visit to the UK is part of an international tour which will take him to various countries in Europe, followed by neighbouring African states and finally the United States. His aim is to brief national leaders in at attempt to counteract the Mugabe regime’s misleading propaganda as to the real situation on the ground in the country.
BY WILF MBANGA
LONDON - The leader of the MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai has called for a Truth and Justice Commission to probe political and human rights abuses and economic corruption in Zimbabwe.