MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai was last week given a torrid time at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, also known as Chatham House in Britain, where he was presenting a paper titled: “Zimbabwe After the Disputed Election: The Way Forward.”Participants at the lecture bore holes into Tsvangirai’s presentation, questioning his claims over his dismal electoral loss and his unsound relations with the region.
Tsvangirai was using his visit to the UK to garner support in the Diaspora for his party. In his speech, Tsvangirai claimed he lost elections because the process was “heavily militarised” and blamed “Nikuv, an Israeli company fronted by former Mossad agents” for his loss.
He did not provide evidence for the claims.
He claimed that the election “was not only disputed in Zimbabwe, but in the Sadc region, here in Europe and in the United States of America.”
Tsvangirai cited Botswana as the only African country that was unhappy with the elections, along with America, UK, Canada, Australia and the European Union.
Pamela Magidi, a student in the US, questioned why Tsvangirai could not take responsibility for his failure which had also been forecast by Western think-tanks.
Dr Farai Madzimbamuto questioned Tsvangirai why he had not done anything about Nikuv since 2008.
Another member of the audience asked why Tsvangirai was not in power if he claimed to be popular in Zimbabwe.
Tsvangirai responded: “Unfortunately, popularity is not power and Zanu-PF has institutions which entrench its power.”
He claimed that the military and security institutions would not allow the transfer of power.
On the issue of Zimbabwe’s re-engagement with the West, Tsvangirai urged Britain to try to mend relations with its former colony, principally through the European Union. He said Zimbabwe held “genuine grievances” against Britain.