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RAILA MEETS MUGABE OPPOSITION

Raila calls for AU action on Zimbabwe

Story by JOHN NGIRACHU
Publication Date: 5/6/2008

Prime Minister Raila Odinga has said that contrary to press reports he met with Zimbabwe’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Monday and not a day earlier.

He spoke at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on arrival from South Africa, where he has been recuperating after undergoing laser eye surgery at Ulm University Hospital in Germany.

He said he had also met former South African president Nelson Mandela and his wife Graca Machel and Zimbabwe’s MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai. Mrs Machel was part of the mediation team which helped to resolve the post-election crisis in the country.

“It was wrongly reported that I met Mr Tsvangirai yesterday (Sunday). I just met him today, actually around five hours ago in South Africa,” he said.  

He said he advised Mr Tsvangirai to participate in the run-off,  but MDC was still considering it. 

MDC contend that their candidate, Tvsangirai won the elections with 50.3 per cent of the vote and President Mugabe should hand over power. 

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) released official results last week, which showed Tvsangirai polling 47.9 per cent and President Mugabe taking 43.2 per cent.  

The electoral body said a run-off between the two candidates was needed but it is to announce a date.

Mr Odinga said the political crisis in Zimbabwe is an embarrassment to Africa.

“We are going to ask the African Union to be more proactive when dealing with this issue. The fact that elections can be held in an independent country and it takes more than a month for the results to be announced is sad. That is not really how you want to run a democracy. The rest of Africa is silent and this is not good for democracy. We must speak when an injustice is being done.” 

Mr Odinga arrived on board a private jet shortly after 10 pm accompanied by members of his family. He said his visit to South Africa was private. 

On hand to welcome the prime minister on his return were Lands minister James Orengo, Medical Services minister Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o and Public Services minister Dalmas Otieno. 

The Prime Minister will have to wear sunglasses to protect his eyes from sunlight and wind for about a week as he recovers from the operation, which he said was successful. 

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About SG

Secretary general of Chama Cha Mwananchi. This blog www.chamachamwananchi.wordpress.com, is based in Sweden.

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