Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is visiting Kenya to familiarize himself on the modalities of a coalition government and power sharing.
Tsvangirai has so far met with Kenya’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga whom they had closed door discussions with. Tsvangirai called on Kenya’s Premier to intervene in the Zimbabwean political impasse.
Raila’s ODM party agreed to share power in a coalition government with Mwai Kibaki’s PNU after the country was thrown into post election violence following Kenya’s hotly disputed presidential poll results early this year. The country’s constitution had to be hurriedly amended to create the position of executive prime minister to accommodate Odinga who is widely believed to have won the presidential elections but was rigged out.
Zimbabwe is currently facing a political crisis after president Robert Mugabe was recently declared winner in controversial run off elections boycotted by Tsvangirai and his MDC party supporters. Tsvangirai won the first round of the elections but could not get the required percentage of majority votes to be declared outright president. In an envisaged coalition government, Tsvangirai is expected to assume the position of Prime Minister, a position which is yet to be created in the Zimbabwean constitution.
Following the political crisis in the South African state (very explicit photos of violences in Zimbabwe), the international community is calling for a compromise between Mugabe and Tsvangirai citing the Kibaki and Raila case in Kenya. Mediation to work on a power sharing deal between Mugabe and Tsvangirai has been going on under the chairmanship of South Africa President Thabo Mbeki. However the negotiations have stalled due to disagreement on how the two were to share power.
Raila has been persistently critical of Mugabe’s and his ZANU-PF party leadership terming it an embarrassment to Africa. It is not known whether Tsvangirai will also meet Kibaki during his visit.
By Ken Chelimo
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