BULAWAYO – ZIMBABWE opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, is considering legal action against the country’s deputy president, Phelekezela Mphoko, after allegations the former prime minister was involved in the atrocities of the 1980s.
Tsvangirai is also accused of an attempt to assassinate liberation icon, Joshua Nkomo, during the disturbances.
Mphoko made the allegations on state television this past weekend ahead of President Robert Mugabe’s 83rd birthday set for Matobo, one of the areas worst affected by the atrocities infamously referred to as Gukurahundi.
Some 30 000 civilians were killed after Mugabe unleashed a North Korean-trained army purportedly to crash dissidents from Nkomo’s opposition party.
Mphoko claimed Tsvangirai was behind some atrocities in the Tsholotsho area south of the country and hatched a plan to assassinate Nkomo.
Luke Tamborinyoka, Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, dismissed the claims as reckless and malicious.
“He (Mphoko) surely owes the nation an elaborate substantiation of his fanciful allegations that do not befit the high office he holds. He will surely have his day in court,” Tamborinyoka said.
Tamborinyoka added, “Mphoko will soon be hearing from (Movement for Democratic Change) President Tsvangirai’s lawyers about his false and defamatory allegations.”
Tsvangirai has previously been accused of plotting to assassinate Mugabe but courts cleared him.
The latest allegations have been dismissed as a ploy to malign him ahead of watershed elections scheduled for 2018.
His longtime rival, Mugabe, has been confirmed as the candidate for Zanu (PF) despite his advanced age.
The southern Matabeleland region where the atrocities were committed has since independence snubbed Mugabe and is a stronghold for MDC.
– CAJ News