23 July 2012
Zimbabwe PM Morgan Tsvangirai to visit New Zealand
Prime Minister John Key will host Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, when he visits New Zealand this week.
Mr Tsvangirai has led pressure for democratic change and been a key opposition figure in Zimbabwean politics. In 2008, his party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) entered into a power-sharing deal with the ZANU – PF, the party of President Robert Mugabe.
“Mr Tsvangirai has been at the forefront of efforts to open up democracy in Zimbabwe,” says Mr Key.
“We will discuss the situation in Zimbabwe, including work on a new constitution and the outlook for the next elections. The visit will also allow us to consider how we might rebuild the bilateral relationship, in the right political environment.”
In 2002 New Zealand imposed targeted bilateral sanctions on Zimbabwe in protest at the Mugabe regime’s human rights abuses.
Mr Tsvangirai is the first member of the Zimbabwean Government to make a formal visit to New Zealand for more than a decade, although another MDC minister, Minister of Sport and Education David Coltart, made a private trip to New Zealand in June 2010.
Mr Tsvangirai is in New Zealand to meet with Mr Key and other senior ministers this Wednesday, July 25.Tweet