Saturday, June 27, 2009

Joyce Mujuru

Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Joyce Mujuru, speaks to the Associated Press, Friday, June 26, 2009 at United Nations headquarters.

African Voices CNN: Morgan Tsvangirai.

He rose to power on a wave of popular support, despite violent oppression. He has survived three assassination attempts, imprisonment, beatings and the tragic death of his wife. This week Morgan Tsvangirai, the Zimbabwean Prime Minister, speaks to CNN's African Voices.

 From working as a miner, Tsvangirai became a union leader before helping to form Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change party (MDC) and becoming its leader in 1999.

Opposing President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party he and his supporters have faced violence, intimidation and he was personally been charged with treason in 2003.

With the backdrop of the flawed elections of 2008, and after months of negotiations, he became prime minister in February 2009 agreeing to play a role in his arch-enemy Robert Mugabe's power-sharing government.

"It was not a personal decision; the circumstances that we were in was that our people were in a struggle. They had suffered so much, they were down on their knees," he told CNN.

"And so apart from that, strategically, we analysed that even ZANU-PF was not going to sustain itself without some form of negotiation. So I think that strategically, it was the correct decision. Although of course at that time we were reluctant for reasons of the past, who would trust President Mugabe?"

Earlier this year he also suffered personal tragedy when his wife was killed in a car accident. The death came as such as shock that many were suspicious of the circumstances of the crash.

"What I think is that there is nothing to think; it was an accident. As I stated at the time, I believe there was no ulterior motive, that I witnessed, I was there, I was part of that accident, I could easily have died in that accident," he said.

"But I think it came with a backdrop that has characterized out political relations over the last thirty years. That people have died, in unexplained circumstances, and therefore I think that the first suspicion was that could equally be the same."

Watch the show this week on CNN and here on

Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, left, is welcomed by French Foreign Affairs Minister Bernard Kouchner prior to their meeting at Quai d'Orsay in Paris, Thursday June 25, 2009.

Zimbabwe President to proclaim peace days.

HARARE, June 27 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe is expected to declare through a proclamation a weekend or three days of national dedication for the country to celebrate new-found peace and unity, The Herald said on Saturday. 

Minister of State responsible for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration John Nkomo made the remarks when he addressed the Zimbabwe Council of Churches conference on the role of the Church as a reconciler, healer and peace builder in Harare. 

He said the proclamation was part of the program of the Organ on National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration's activities in the next six months. 

"It is further proposed that traditional leaders and faith leaders in Zimbabwe will take the people through a process of dedicating the country according to the various cultures and religious practices of our Zimbabwean people," he said. 

Although Nkomo did not give dates of the proclamation, he said the national dedication would be followed by the official launch of the Organ on National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration by the principals to the Global Political Agreement. 

 Thereafter, the organ would embark on provincial and district consultations targeting opinion makers, traditional leaders, faith-based groups, civil society and others concerned with national healing.

Workshops with local, regional and international experts to consider best practices and formulate recommendations for appropriate mechanisms and systems to guide the implementation process would be held. 

Nkomo said a stakeholders' conference to define the work of the organ would also be held with members of civil society, political parties, churches and other interest groups. 

He said the Church had a critical role to play in the healing and reconciliation process, pointing out the majority of Zimbabweans were Christians. 

"I am confident that among these are victims and perpetrators of violence. They listen to sermons and Bible readings. Some are asked to pray. All these are people who need your moral spiritualization and reconciliation," he said. 

 Nkomo said President Mugabe, PM Tsvangirai and DPM Mutambara were dedicated to steering Zimbabwe to a united and peaceful future.

"They are doing this standing on the principle of the irreversibility of our hard won freedom and peace as well as the irreversibility of the land reform question, the main grievance that under wrote historical and contemporary conflicts in our country," he said.

He challenged the Church to spearhead promotion of the virtues of tolerance, peace, reconciliation, harmony, integration and healing. 

Zimbabwe Council of Churches president Bishop Naison Shava said the Church had organized the conference in the belief that it had a role to play. 

"We are strategizing our position as the conscience of society. Because of that position, we ought to be actively involved in all issues that affect society and the environment in which we live," he said. 


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