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Tsvangirai On Secret Visit To Gaborone

Staff Writer
Monitor bumped into the leader of the Zimbabwe Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Morgan Tsvangirai, having lunch at the Gaborone Sun on Friday afternoon. He was reportedly on an unannounced visit.

Tsvangirai, who was seen having a chit-chat with Botswana's ambassador to Zimbabwe, Pelokgale Seloma, declined to grant Monitor an interview so did Seloma despite prodding.
"Be patient. We will arrange an interview at some stage," Tsvangirai told Monitor between giggles, before he was whisked away from Gaborone Sun Hotel.

Clad in a charcoal suit, he looked relaxed as he sat in a couch next to a woman whom he jokingly referred to as Mrs Tsvangirai. The government of Botswana on Friday was tight-lipped about Tsvangirai's visit to Botswana.

The deputy director in the communications unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Benetia Chingapane, said: "We don't have a programme for Mr Tsvangirai".

Asked whether her ministry was aware of his visit, Chingapane said, "Go and speak to Mr Tsvangirai himself".Tsvangirai's visit to Botswana comes as President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF meets at congress this week. Mugabe has rebuffed calls by the international community to step down after failing to honour an agreement signed on September 15 to share power with Tsvangirai's MDC and the smaller formation

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of it led by Arthur Mutambara.

The government of Botswana last week called on ZANU-PF "to solemnly reflect on the country's economic and political situation and consider the serious problems facing the Zimbabwean nation".

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday that the death toll from the cholera epidemic was nearing 800. WHO spokesperson, Fadela Chaib, was reported as saying that she doesn't think the cholera outbreak is under control.
Mugabe shocked the world last week when he claimed that "there is no cholera" in Zimbabwe.

Over 16,000 cholera cases have been reported at Botswana's neighbour to the north. Botswana said last week that she is in the process of considering additional assistance to Zimbabwe through water purification chemicals and medical supplies.

Botswana has also helped Zimbabwe with P3 million, which she channelled through WHO, the United Nations Children's Fund and the World Food Programme (WFP).
WFP spokesman, Richard Lee, told our sister publication Mmegi last Tuesday that Zimbabwe needs US$100 million or P790 million in food aid to continue its relief efforts in that country.



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