BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Somali Swahili French Great Lakes Hausa Portugeuse
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
    You are in: Africa  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
 Monday, 13 January, 2003, 11:31 GMT
In quotes: Morgan Tsvangirai
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai
Mr Tsvangirai is willing to talk to the government
Morgan Tsvangirai, head of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change, spoke to the BBC's World Today programme about an offer he says he received from the government.

Morgan Tsvangirai: I was approached just before Christmas ... and I reported to my MPs that there were peace overtures coming about a possible negotiation, clandestine negotiating table. We said fine, we would be prepared to reopen the dialogue provided Mugabe stops the violence, stops politicising food distribution and returns the country to political normality.

BBC: Who are you having any discussions with exactly?

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe
Mr Mugabe is a liability, the opposition says
Mr Tsvangirai: Well, the communication was supposedly coming from the speaker of parliament, Emmerson Mnangagwa and the commander of the armed forces, General Vitalis Zvinavashe.

BBC: When you say supposedly, does that mean you're not quite sure, you've had no direct contact?

Mr Tsvangirai: I'm saying that there was an initiative from these two.

BBC: But is this, what, just the initiative of two individuals or do you get the feeling that they are representing Zanu-PF?

Mr Tsvangirai: Well they are bona fide representatives of Zanu-PF, and let me put it to you that it's my own impression that the issue of succession has not been resolved in Zanu-PF and that there were people who were positioning themselves to take an initiative that will see them taking over power in Zanu-PF. But that is nothing to do with the MDC.

BBC: If there is a process, what will it involve exactly?

Mr Tsvangirai: The process really is a three pronged one. One is that we, I think, from MDC and Zanu-PF, we all agree that Mugabe has become such a liability that the nation cannot move forward, so he has to retire.

We must have free and fair elections which will then give the people of Zimbabwe the opportunity to elect their own government

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai
Secondly, it means that in terms of the constitution we must within three months go to elections and yet we all know that the conditions are not ideal for conducting a free and fair election.

So we need some time so that the conditions are created, the constitution is amended, and that the normal political activity - stop lawlessness and return the country to some national confidence.

Then the last part is that at the end of all of this we must have free and fair elections which will then give the people of Zimbabwe the opportunity to elect their own government.

BBC: Mr Tsvangirai, the Movement for Democratic Change which you lead has repeatedly called for Mr Mugabe to be put on trial for alleged human rights abuses. Are you now saying he will be allowed to step down, he will be given immunity?

Mr Tsvangirai: No, we have not said that. That issue does not arise now. It arises on specific negotiations.

BBC: But it is something you're willing to consider - immunity for Mr Mugabe?

Mr Tsvangirai: Yes of course, but let it be a subject of negotiations. Look, I've stated that if the problem of Mugabe hanging on is the problem of his immunity then the people must decide whether they have to sacrifice their future for a position of "We have to try him".

So these are matters of principle that have to be negotiated, and the method, and how do we deal with the victims of the abuse.


Key stories

IN DEPTH

CLICKABLE GUIDE

TALKING POINT

AUDIO VIDEO

FORUM
See also:

12 Jan 03 | Africa
06 Jan 03 | Africa
23 Dec 02 | Africa
28 Nov 02 | Africa
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Africa stories are at the foot of the page.


 E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Africa stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes