Tsvangirai visits TB Joshua

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HARARE – Zimbabwean opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai has paid a visit to popular Nigerian prophet Termitope Balogun Joshua (TB Joshua), raising speculations that he is seeking divine intervention after suffering a heavy defeat to rival President Robert Mugabe in the July 31 disputed poll.

Tsvangirai was seen yesterday on the free-to-air Emmanuel Television sitting at the front row during the morning and afternoon sermons at TB Joshua’s Synagogue Church of All Nations (Scoan) in Nigeria.

The former premier was sporting a bright red African attire shirt and he sat on a wooden chair, which is usually reserved for VIPs.

TB Joshua prayed for the beleaguered MDC leader at around 3pm. The prophet placed his hand on Tsvangirai and prayed for him.

In the midst of the prayer, Tsvangirai sat down and rose again as if overwhelmed by the man of God’s words.

The former trade unionist sneaked out of the country on Saturday heading to Nigeria.

This is the second time that Tsvangirai has visited the Nigerian prophet after he went to Scoan in September 2010.

Luke Tamborinyoka, Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, could neither confirm nor deny that his boss had paid a visit to TB Joshua.

“Tsvangirai is on a diplomatic mission in Nigeria. I am not aware that he went to see TB Joshua. Maybe he found the time and went to his church. But is there anything wrong with him going to church? If he truly went there, it shows that we have a God-fearing leader,” Tamborinyoka said.

Tamborinyoka refused to reveal the person his boss had paid a visit to in Nigeria insisting that the former premier was on a diplomatic mission.

“I cannot tell you anything about the diplomatic mission. But as a party, we made it clear that we are going on a diplomatic drive to try and convince the region that the elections were stolen. In the next coming two weeks, you will see Tsvangirai going to different countries on diplomatic missions,” Tamborinyoka added.

Tsvangirai’s visit to TB Joshua has raised speculation that he is seeking divine intervention to understand how he could have lost so dismally when it seemed he was extremely popular with the masses.

Mugabe romped to a landslide victory in the July polls beating his closest rival Tsvangirai with a 27 percent margin in the presidential race, while getting a two-thirds majority in Parliament.

Tsvangirai and his party claimed that the elections were rigged, but Mugabe has denied this insisting that he won freely and fairly.

Regional bodies who observed the elections— the African Union and Sadc—said the elections were free and peaceful. However, they refused to give the fairness stamp on the elections saying a number of issues could have undermined the whole process.

In the wake of the defeat, Tsvangirai has been brushing off increasing calls within his party to pass the baton, but his spin-doctors say he has the full backing of all the organs of the party, and his mandate runs until 2016.

A number of senior African politicians and businesspeople have visited the popular Nigerian prophet including Home Affairs minister Kembo Mohadi, minister of State for Manicaland province Christopher Mushowe, former Zanu PF legislator now MDC member Tracey Mutinhiri, Zifa president Cuthbert Dube, former South African president Nelson Mandela’s ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Malawian president Joyce Banda.

Tsvangirai is expected back into the country today where he will continue with his national tour of “poll crime scenes”.

The former premier last week descended upon Masvingo—where he suffered the heaviest electoral loss. He held two separate meetings with representatives of eight districts.

Tamborinyoka told the Daily News that his boss will return to Masvingo this week to meet people in districts that he did not visit. From there he is expected to tour other provinces in the country.

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