Chikane “caught lying” over Tsvangirai letter to Mbeki

The Director-General in the Presidency, the Rev Frank Chikane, has been caught lying again. Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change yesterday put paid to Chikane's denial of the existence of a letter its leader Morgan Tsvangirai wrote to President Thabo Mbeki last month, reports The Sunday Times, Johannesburg.

The MDC insisted the letter – published by the Sunday Times last week – was genuine. “We can confirm that we sent the letter to President Thabo Mbeki’s office on May 13 2008. However, we can’t disclose any details because this is a diplomatic issue,” said MDC spokesman George Sibotshiwe.

Chikane told a press conference on Wednesday that the letter in the possession of the Sunday Times was a fake. He refused to respond to its contents. “I don’t see why we must account for a letter we do not have,” he said. In the letter, Tsvangirai accused Mbeki of conniving with Robert Mugabe and asked him to step down as mediator between the MDC and Zanu PF. Sibotshiwe said Mbeki’s office knew the MDC had sent the letter although the party would not say “who received it”. He said it had been sent through diplomatic channels. Another copy would be given to the South African high commissioner in Harare.

At the press conference Chikane faced embarrassing questions from journalists, who reminded him of his recent false explanations of National Prosecuting Authority boss Vusi Pikoli’s suspension. Chikane retorted: “The letter does not exist as far as I am concerned … I must take the risk to say the world is not innocent. When we were in the liberation movement, I used to understand that the world is not innocent and that there are intelligence projects which get run to produce a particular outcome …The worry I have is that the media allows itself to run on a project. So an intelligence unit would plan an intelligence project.”

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