Britain shopping for new Zimbabwe opposition leader

By Henry D Gombya

Former Zimbabwean Finance Minister Simba Makoni accused of being a Western pawn.

Britain today stands accused of trying to help replace Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai with a ‘more acceptable face’. Writing in today’s The London Evening Post, Dr David Nyekorach-Matsanga, a peace negotiator and regular campaigner for Zimbabwe said a meeting being held this evening in at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), is set to introduce former Zimbabwe Finance Minister Dr Simbarashe Makoni as ‘the acceptable face’ to take on Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe in the country’s next general elections.

In his article, Dr Matsanga writes: “Today as I write this article, the British Government is busy shopping for a new leader for Zimbabwe.” He went on to say that Britain had chosen this route instead of engaging in ways that would lead to direct talks with President Mugabe whom he said was now highly the popular choice in the country.

Matsanga quoted a recent poll conducted by the MDC-T, one of Zimbabwe’s opposition parties that shows that President Mugabe’s popularity had ‘tremendously risen’ compared to that of Mr Tsvangirai. He charged that those behind the plan to present Dr Makoni as the acceptable face in Zimbabwe ‘want to deny the people of Zimbabwe the freedom to choose the party and the leader they like’.

He wrote that Dr Makoni, who first became a government minister at the time of the country’s independence from Britain in 1980 when he was just 30 years of age, was ‘a well-known Zimbabwe third traitor force that seeks to overthrow President Mugabe violently’. He revealed that France was now working with ‘another sister state in southern Africa’ in an attempt to ‘install a puppet leader for Zimbabwe’. He did not name the ‘sister statte’.

During today’s meeting at SOAS, Dr Makoni will address the audience and respond to questions from Richard Dowden, the Director of the Royal African Society on ‘issues in contemporary Zimbabwean politics’. “The decoration of Morgan Tsvangirai and the endorsement of Dr Simba Makoni as one who could protect British interests in Zimbabwe are an interesting turn of events for Zimbabwe politics, Dr Matsanga writes.

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