Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Friday snubbed the Day of the African Child commemorations which the first lady Grace Mugabe was the guest of honour.
According to the event’s programme Tsvangirai was going to interact with children at UNICEF Harare offices while Grace Mugabe was the guest of honour. Text messages sent by officials from the Prime Minister’s office to journalists Friday said Tsvangirai was going to interact with children at 1200 noon.
The same officials later sent apologies saying the Premier was delayed and was going to join children at 1400hrs.
“Please note that PM interaction with children has been moved to 1400hrs still at UNICEF. Please accept our apologies for any inconveniences caused,” reads the text message sent after 1200 noon. No further explanations for the failure of Tsvangirai were given to the media.
Trying to establish the reason why Tsvangirai turned down UNICEF invitation on the last hour Radio VOP contacted his spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka through the phone but only to be answered by someone else saying Tamborinyoka was not feeling well.
The event was attended by a number of senior government officials from the ZANU(PF) side except Sekai Holland (MDC-T)a core-minister of the National healing Organ. Day of the African Child is commemorated annually on 16 June.
It was set aside by the then Organisation of African Unity (now the African Union) in 1991 to recognise thousands of South African black schoolchildren who on 16 June 1976 in Soweto, were killed after they had protested about the inferior quality of their education and to demanded their right to be taught in their own language.
The Day also draws attention to the lives of African children today. Radio Vop
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