- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 5, 2009

HARARE, ZIMBABWE (AP) - Morgan Tsvangirai’s 4-year-old grandson has drowned less than a month after the Zimbabwe prime minister’s wife was killed in a road crash, his spokesman said Sunday.

Tsvangirai rushed home from Victoria Falls, on the northern border with Zambia, where he had been taking part in a planning conference for ministers in the unity government, spokesman James Maridadi said.

The child, Shaun, drowned in the swimming pool at the prime minister’s home on Saturday, Maridadi said. The little boy was the son of Tsvangirai’s second son, Garikai, who lives in Canada but was in Harare after the death of Tsvangirai’s wife, Susan, in March.

Tsvangirai, 57, only recently returned to work after mourning for his wife of more than 30 years.

The political retreat, also attended by President Robert Mugabe, is intended to draw up an action plan for the next 100 days to try to pull Zimbabwe out of economic collapse and reduce the lingering suspicion between Mugabe’s party and the former opposition headed by Tsvangirai.

“It is our collective hope that after the 100 days, the country will begin experiencing a firm and determined walk on the road to economic stabilization and recovery,” Mugabe told the meeting Friday and urged Cabinet ministers to rally behind Tsvangirai _ his longtime rival.

In his opening speech to the conference, Tsvangirai had stressed the need to work together to overcome the huge challenges but said it was vital to do more to increase respect for human rights in a country that became synonymous with political oppression and arbitrary arrests.

In Tsvangirai’s absence, another former opposition leader, Arthur Mutambara, was due to make the closing statement to the Victoria Falls retreat, which was backed by the World Bank.

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