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Tsvangirai: Zanu PF Courting MDC-T for Settling Election Dispute

Pall bearers carry the body of the late MDC-T youth, Rebecca Mafikeni, who died while in detention after more than two years in jail.
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) founding president Morgan Tsvangirai says Zanu PF is trying to engage him in negotiations following last month’s disputed elections.

But the outgoing prime minister vowed not go into another coalition arrangement with President Robert Mugabe saying only fresh polls can resolve the impasse between his party and Zanu PF.

Mr. Tsvangirai claimed that President Mugabe is trying to engage him following the disputed July 31 polls.

Mr. Tsvangirai joined President Mugabe in a unity government in 2009 following another disputed election in 2008.

He was speaking at the burial of MDC-T activist Rebecca Mafikeni who died in detention at Parirenyatwa Hospital this week.

Mafikeni had been in remand prison for the past two years facing charges of murdering Police Inspector Petros Mutedza in 2011.

Mr. Tsvangirai said the national elections were rigged but President Mugabe maintains he secured his landslide victory freely and fairly.

This time around, the MDC leader said, he will not entertain Zanu PF, adding fresh elections are the only possible way forward.

While some youths in his MDC party have been calling for protests following the disputed polls, Mr. Tsvangirai is urging them to calm down.

The prime minister criticised the country’s justice delivery system and prison conditions following Mafikeni’s death.

Mr. Tsvangirai said the death of Mafikeni comes at a time when all Zimbabweans are mourning the death of democracy following the polls that his MDC formation claims were fundamentally flawed.

The deceased’s mother, Julia Mogobo, said she was saddened by her daughter’s death, adding that life will be difficult for her without Mafikeni.

Mafikeni succumbed to meningitis and at the time of her death this week, she was now blind.

Several court applications filed by her attorneys to move her from Parirenyatwa Hospital to a private clinic in Harare were turned down by the court.

The state argued outside Parirenyatwa, it had fully equipped medical facilities at Chikurubi Prison where she was being held.

Mafikeni’s death leaves 28 MDC-T colleagues, including the party’s youth leader Solomon Madzore, facing charges of murdering Mutedza.

The group, dubbed the Glen View 29 was arrested following inspector Mutedza’s death in the suburb.

The activists are waiting for judgment in the case in which they say charges were brought against them for political reasons.