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Published: December 28, 2008
By Moses Muchemwa
Bulawayo (ZimEye)-Zimbabwean authorities issued a new passport to MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, on Christmas day, after a long delay which threatened power-sharing negotiations with Zanu-PF, a senior MDC official has disclosed.
“I can confirm Tsvangirai was given his passport on Christmas Day,” a senior official revealed over the weekend.
Tsvangirai, who is the prime minister-designate, had not been granted a new passport since his previous one expired last year and was issued with emergency travel documents every time he left the country.
He refused to use the temporary ETD to travel to Swaziland for a SADC summit to try to resolve an impasse in power-sharing talks between the MDC and Zanu-PF.
Tsvangirai had vowed not to return home from Botswana before he was given a passport.
The Zimbabwean authorities were arguing that that the delay in issuing the opposition leader with a new passport was “because Zimbabwe is running out of paper for passports… because of sanctions” imposed on the regime by the West.
(Moses Muchemwa is a journalist and partner with the ZimEye. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)