The MDC Alliance was on Wednesday reportedly forced to apologise to the United States government over claims by its acting leader Nelson Chamisa that President Donald Trump pledged a $15 billion bailout to Zimbabwe if the opposition won the forthcoming elections.
By Everson Mushava
The apology came after the United States embassy in Harare raised concern over the claims made at an alliance rally in Mutare last Sunday.
Well-placed sources within the grouping of opposition parties told The Standard a delegation from the alliance met US ambassador to Zimbabwe, Harry Thomas Jnr and apologised for Chamisa’s utterances.
The Standard could not immediately establish the names of the members who went to the embassy, but is reliably informed that three members met the ambassador.
They reportedly apologised over the remarks after the American State Department raised concern over the claims which they reportedly said were false and had the potential of stoking diplomatic tensions with President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.
“Concern was raised by the American Department of State to the MDC-T alliance. Some principals tried to get Chamisa to go along to the embassy to apologise but he was elusive. They went alone without Chamisa and apologised,” a source said.
Chamisa will likely go alone at a later stage, the source said.
Thomas Jnr denied Trump ever made that pledge.
Chamisa referred questions to Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka who was not immediately available for comment.
Currently, the US’s biggest foreign aid is channelled towards Israel, and is believed to be around $3 billion a year.
The US on Tuesday denied making the $15 billion pledge, saying it was ready to work with the government of the day elected by Zimbabweans in free and fair conditions.
Chamisa and some alliance partners, Tendai Biti of the People’s Democratic Party visited the US in the aftermath of a military operation that ousted former president Robert Mugabe and ushered in Mnangagwa after years of internal strife in the ruling party.
The team, however, reportedly did not meet Trump in person.