By Violet Gonda
26 February 2013
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has appealed to the international community to continue to watch developments in Zimbabwe closely, to ensure that there is peace and stability as the country prepares for elections this year.
Tsvangirai was speaking at an international conference on peace, security and human development in South Korea this weekend.
He was also in the South-East Asian country to receive an honorary doctorate degree in Public Administration from the Sun Moon University, in recognition of his efforts towards democracy and peace in Zimbabwe. He also attended the inauguration ceremony of President Park Geun-Hye on Monday.
The PM told delegates at the world peace summit that Zimbabwe is standing at the crossroads and that solidarity from the international community will help the county achieve “real sustainable peace and pull down years of inequity and injustice.”
“The world must continue to nudge us to be open about this transformative process; to be accountable to humanity; to embrace tolerance; and to allow the will of the people to prevail.”
He said: “What confronts us requires global attention if Zimbabwe is to move away from dinner-table discussions, where it has been dominant, clearly for wrong reasons, for the past few years.”
The Prime Minister’s calls come in amid increasing political disturbances and blatant threats by the police against human rights defenders, as the country prepares for crucial elections.
Innocent Matibiri, the deputy police commissioner-general responsible for operations told a parliamentary portfolio committee on Home Affairs the police will also target non-governmental organizations that have been distributing shortwave radios in the country and will confiscate radio receivers from listeners.
The MDC-T has also accused ZANU PF activists for the fire that killed the 12-year-old son of a party activist, an issue that is said to have raised temperatures during Tuesday’s cabinet meeting.
Sources said MDC-T ministers seriously clashed with their ZANU PF counterparts in government, who they accused of ‘pretending to talk peace but embarking on violence’.
Meanwhile, the PM’s visit was criticised by ZANU PF, who have close ties with the South East Asian county’s bitter rivals and neighbour North Korea.
The President’s spokesman George Charamba, who is widely believed to be the author of the Herald’s Nathaniel Manheru column said, prior to the PM’s visit: “Not to be beaten, Tsvangirai has also been trying to diversify his benefactors, which is why he is headed for South-east Asia where he hopes not just to get campaign money, but also to slough off this tag of massive Western hand-holding which cannot be shaken away.
“Again the South-east Asian country he is set to visit is the Nordic equivalent of American imperial power.”