Tsvangirai cancels high profile AU meetings

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HARARE – Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has cancelled meetings with three regional heads of States after his wife, Elizabeth suddenly fell ill, his spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka has said.

He said Tsvangirai had been scheduled to meet the presidents of Namibia, Malawi and Zambia (Hifikepunye Pohamba, Joyce Banda and Michael Sata respectively) on the sidelines of the ongoing African Union (AU) golden jubilee celebrations in Ethiopia.

“There was a sudden illness in the family of the Prime Minister and he did what any family man would have done. He cancelled the trip,” said Tamborinyoka.

Tamborinyoka told the Daily News on Sunday that contrary to State-controlled media reports that the PM had been snubbed by the AU, all the Principals had been invited to the celebrations since Zimbabwe has a unique situation of a coalition government.

He said in their routine Monday meeting, Principals to the power sharing Global Political Agreement (GPA) agreed that they should all accept the invitation and attend, with Mugabe at the forefront of the campaign to have the Zimbabwean leaders present a united front at the AU event.

“The AU, as the guarantors and curators of the GPA along with Sadc, was aware of the PM’s attendance which explains the presence of the other two principals (Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara and Mugabe),” said Tamborinyoka.

Mugabe and Mutambara are both attending the celebrations, which are running under the theme Pan Africanism and African Renaissance. – Mugove Tafirenyika

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