“Fambai zvakanaka, Murambwi (Have a safe journey, Murambwi),” MDC-T vice-president Advocate Nelson Chamisa said as he escorted President Emmerson Mnangagwa to his official vehicle.
President Mnangagwa, who is of the Shumba Murambwi totem, had just come out of ailing MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai’s home in Highlands, Harare, last Friday.
The two had shared warm and lighter moments for almost 30 minutes as the President inquired after the latter’s health, which has been waning from the time he was diagnosed with colon cancer.
Mr Tsvangirai appeared jovial, breaking into hearty laughter on occasion. Though his frame was clearly frail, he sat calmly alongside his wife, Elizabeth.
The visit, an unusually pleasant one, was no doubt medicine to the politician.
President Mnangagwa turned up at the Tsvangirai residence with Vice-President General (Rtd) Constantino Chiwenga around midday.
A contingent of MDC-T officials, among them Adv Chamisa and Mr Murisi Zwizwai, was on hand to usher them into the house where Mr Tsvangirai awaited.
His missus welcomed them at the entrance. The house is quite grand and the yard expansive.
This obvious beauty contrasted with the matter at hand — ailment.
The President and VP walked into the lounge while the throng of journalists that had gathered waited at the entrance.
None of the journalists can tell how Mr Tsvangirai reacted on seeing Zimbabwe’s first citizen walk into his abode.
Could there have been a hearty handshake; per chance an embrace?
It was, however, clear that cordiality was in the air when this writer eventually entered the room alongside photojournalists.
On seeing the camerapersons, Mr Tsvangirai laughed heartily, exclaiming: “Ah, vema picture vaakutotora (The photographers are already taking pictures)!”
President Mnangagwa and the MDC-T leader then shook hands amid laughter.
As the President emerged from the lounge, journalists swarmed him, seeking to know how the meeting had unfolded. “There was no meeting,” President Mnangagwa said when asked about the purpose of his visit.
“He (Mr Tsvangirai) is fine. He is recuperating very well and says he will soon go back (to South Africa) for further medical check-ups.”
On the possibility of a Government of National Unity, the President said: “What’s the cause (for a GNU)? You are allowed to lobby. It’s a democratic country and people are allowed to lobby for anything. Currently, there is no need (to form a GNU).”
And the President left many in stitches when he responded to one reporter’s question.
“Mr President, had you come to visit Mr Tsvangirai?” the journalist asked.
“Where am I now?” the President queried before heading to his vehicle.
Moments afterwards, his motorcade meandered towards the main gate.
The essence of his magnanimity, however, remained, looming large.
Adv Chamisa said of President Mnangagwa’s visit: “Well, it’s a welcome thing. It’s African to care for one another. It’s very Zimbabwean. This is the new politics we want to see.
“The politics of peace, the politics of working together, the politics of feeling for each other. This is the direction and we hope that this is the kind of talk that will be walked and the kind of walk that will be sustained. We are very appreciative of what has happened.”
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