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Tsvangirai not gracing Mugabe’s inauguration

By Fungi Kwaramba

HARARE – Outgoing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says he is not going to be part of the “charade” when president-elect Robert Mugabe takes oath of office at State House tomorrow. 

Aging dictator Mugabe in uneasy coalition with Tsvangirai
Tsvangirai not gracing Mugabe’s inauguration

Mugabe’s swearing-in ceremony had been stalled by Tsvangirai’s election challenge in the Constitutional Court, which has since been withdrawn.

Although Tsvangirai withdrew his poll petition on Friday last week, the matter was heard yesterday with Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku declaring that Mugabe’s re-election was free and fair.

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Tsvangirai says he will not grace the occasion. The 61-year-old MDC leader, who will return to opposition politics after serving four years as prime minister in a unity government, maintains that elections were rigged.

Luke Tamborinyoka, Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, said attending Mugabe’s swearing-in was tantamount to endorsing a stolen election.

“We are not going to be part to that robbery, how can we attend a farce?” Tamborinyoka said.

Party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora told the Daily News yesterday that the party has received no invitation from the presidency.

“We cannot attend a ceremony where we are not invited, that is beside the point though, the fact remains that we don’t recognise the elections and legitimacy of Mugabe, so we cannot be part and parcel to that charade,” said Mwonzora.

Zanu PF said the presence or absence of Tsvangirai at the swearing-in ceremony will not stop the show. Didymus Mutasa, outgoing minister of State in Mugabe’s office, said Tsvangirai was “behaving like a child” and urged him to accept defeat.

“People are not forced to come to ceremonies, they can do what they want,” Mutasa said. “The elections we had were as free and fair as anybody can see.

“Tsvangirai now says they were rigged, is he saying they were rigged even in the many areas where he won. This is now boring. Can we really stay with such a person? He is now behaving like a child.” Daily News