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Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai Meets, Briefs, US Evangelist Meyer

  • Thomas Chiripasi

Tsvangirai told US evangelical preacher Joyce Meyer that the unity government was the only reasonable solution to the national political, economic and social crisis that has gripped Zimbabwe for a decade or more

Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who out of frustration with a divisive unity government has been mooting new national elections next year, says that despite disagreements between his Movement For Democratic Change and ZANU-PF, his relationship with President Robert Mugabe has remained cordial.

Tsvangirai has blamed ZANU-PF hardliners and the national security establishment rather than Mr. Mugabe for hindering the implementation of reforms by the inclusive government through various strategems.

The prime minister made the comment about his relationship with Mr. Mugabe on Wednesday after meeting American preacher and author Joyce Meyer, who paid a courtesy call at his Munhumutapa offices in Harare.

Tsvangirai gave a brief account of the inclusive government and his relationship with President Mugabe which he describes as "a working relationship in which, when we disagree, we disagree respectfully."

Tsvangirai told Meyer that the unity government was the only reasonable solution to the national political, economic and social crisis that has gripped Zimbabwe for a decade. He also asked for divine intervention.

"Please pray for peace and tolerance and let people understand that they can disagree without necessarily subjecting one another to injury," Mr. Tsvangirai told the evangelist.

Meyer said she was in Zimbabwe not only to preach but to pursue humanitarian work. Her organization has been feeding 30,000 orphans and other vulnerable children, and has provided personal hygiene packs to prisoners.

Tsvangirai spokesman James Maridadi told VOA Studio 7 reporter Blessing Zulu that Meyer wanted an update on the unity government installed in February 2009 following elections in 2008 marred by deadly violence.

Elsewhere, Mabvuku legislator Shepherd Madamombe of Mr. Tsvangirai's MDC formation died on Wednesday at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare at the age of 46, as correspondent Thomas Chiripasi reported.

The lawmaker's death increased pressure for a round of by-elections to fill House vacancies.

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