Malawian President Joyce Banda was almost duped into a non-existent state visit to Zimbabwe after Harare’s intelligence organs allegedly crafted a fake invitation letter, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s office claimed on Friday.

The sensational allegations were made at a meeting between Mr Tsvangirai and Ms Banda in South Africa on the sidelines of a book launch on Wednesday.

“The minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Jameson Timba, briefed both PM Tsvangirai and President Banda about a forged invitation letter to the Malawi president purportedly coming from the Prime Minister’s office in Harare,” a statement from Tsvangirai’s office reads.

President Banda, in response, described the foiled attempt as “primitive politics”.
Mr Tsvangirai said he had felt compelled to enter into opposition politics 13 years ago to put an end to such primitive politics.

Addressing delegates at the launch of Africa’s Third Liberation, a book written by Geoff Hurst and Greg Mills, the Zimbabwean PM said most of Africa’s liberators had betrayed the ideals of the fight against colonialism.

“They (Africa’s liberators) went into office without a plan and today, the new crop of African leaders has to deal with the economy to provide jobs to the millions of our young people,” he said.

Ms Banda told the gathering that Africa should concentrate on economic development rather than the failed policies of the past.

Mr Tsvangirai often accuses his country’s Central Intelligence Organisation, which has close links with President Robert Mugabe, of trying to sabotage his political career.

The intelligence outfit would conceivably want to embarrass President Banda for her perceived closeness to Mr Tsvangirai.

The Malawian leader who took over after President Mugabe’s late ally Bingu wa Mutharika died has been attacked by Zimbabwe’s state media for being too pro-West.

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