By Gift Phiri
Ghana’s newly-inaugurated leader Nana Akufo-Addo has apparently pledged to help opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai to ensure that Zimbabwe stages both free and fair polls in 2018.
This emerged after Akufo-Addo and the Movement for Democratic for Change (MDC) leader had engaged in what was described as “private but comprehensive discussions” in Accra on Saturday regarding Zimbabwe’s rot.
Party vice president Nelson Chamisa told the Daily News by telephone from Accra that Tsvangirai’s discussion with the Ghanaian president had happened in the context of Saturday’s swearing-in of the former opposition leader’s defeat of, John Dramani Mahama, in widely-hailed elections a month ago, with the country subsequently witnessing a rare peaceful transfer of power on a continent blighted by political crises.
Interestingly, President Robert Mugabe, who is holidaying in the Far East at taxpayers’ expense, was for once conspicuous by his absence at the inauguration which was attended by Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari, Edgar Lungu of Zambia, Equatorial Guinea leader Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Egypt’s Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leaone, Ethiopia’s Mulatu Teshome, Idriss Déby and Ivorian president Alassane Ouattara, among other leaders.
Chamisa said the new Ghanaian president had said all African countries must adhere to the African Union pact on free, fair and dispute-free elections.
Describing Tsvangirai’s talks with Akufo-Addo as a “big and vital victory”, Chamisa told the Daily News: “They discussed the 2018 election, our politics and the economy, democracy in Africa, the lessons that can be learnt from the Ghana elections, as well as the election stand-off in Gambia”.
Local opposition parties, emboldened by rising public anger over Mugabe’s and Zanu PF’s worsening misrule, hope that the forthcoming 2018 elections will finally usher democracy in the troubled southern African country.
On his part, MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu told the Daily News yesterday that from the briefings he had got from Accra, Tsvangirai and Akufo-Addo had discussed a number of key topics, including the democratisation of the African continent and the importance of holding free and fair elections.
“As the MDC, we feel greatly honoured that our leader was accorded the opportunity to mix and mingle, as well as to compare notes with some of Africa’s respected leaders who believe in democracy, transparency, good governance and accountability,” he said. Daily News