Tsvangirai seeks Nigerian help in Zimbabwean political crisis

Other News Materials 21 April 2008 22:32 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - Nigeria's urgent intervention is required in the current political crisis in Zimbabwe, opposition Movement for Democratic Change(MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai said Monday in south- west Nigeria.

Tsvangirai said Nigeria's former president Olusegun Obasanjo was his mentor as he visited Obasanjo at his farm.

The MDC says it won 111 seats in the 210-seat parliament in March 29 elections, while Tsvangirai polled 50.3 per cent of the presidential ballots, but the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has refused to release final results.

The electoral commission is currently recounting votes in some constituencies as demanded by the ruling ZANU-PF of President Robert Mugabe. The party says there was no outright winner in the presidential poll and a run-off vote is needed.

" Nigeria played a significant role during our struggle for independence, and the crisis in Zimbabwe requires the attention of a country like Nigeria," Tsvangirai said.

He said that the MDC would also reach out to the African Union. Meanwhile, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) met a week ago to mediate in the crisis.

"With the situation we are facing in the country, especially with regard to the violence and the manipulation of the electoral commission, we require a broader dimension," he said.

Tsvangirai said that as the father of the nation, Mugabe would be assigned a significant role if the MDC came to power.

"He played a significant role in the struggle for liberation of the country, and whatever transpires cannot take away that contribution," he said.

Former UN secretary general Kofi Annan has criticized the inaction of African leaders on the Zimbabwean crisis.

Current UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he would discuss the issue at the ongoing UN trade and development conference in Ghana.

Tsvangirai is scheduled to meet with Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua before leaving for Ghana where he planned to meet Ghanaian President John Kufuor.