I'll not quit: Tsvangirai

HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says he will not quit as MDC president even if he were to lose to President Robert Mugabe in next year’s make or break elections.

In an exclusive interview with the Daily News on Tuesday, Tsvangirai was quick to declare his party will win the polls.

On earlier statements attributed to him that he would step down if he lost next year’s polls, Tsvangirai said the statements were not serious.

He blamed journalists for sensationalising “jokes”.

“I am a messenger of hope and cannot be a carrier of bad news. I cannot be discouraging my own supporters or threatening them. We will win the next elections. I do not know how journalists sneak into our closed-door meetings and misconstrue the jokes we make with our people,” said Tsvangirai.

“I am not under any pressure to make that decision now and if there are any people who have been misled by those reports, they need to calm down. I intend to see through my five-year term from the mandate I received at last year’s congress and I will be here until the next congress,” Tsvangirai said.

Tsvangirai was reacting to media reports claiming he had told supporters in Gweru that he would quit as party supremo if he loses next year’s presidential I’ll not quit: Tsvangirai elections to Mugabe.

The MDC president has already lost twice to the former guerrilla leader and Zanu PF strongman, who turns 89 in February.

In the same interview, Tsvangirai revealed that Zimbabwe will borrow a major chunk of the funds needed for next year’s elections and referendum. This will add a burden to taxpayers already reeling from government’s $10 billion debt.

The Daily News reliably understands that the Principals have agreed to seek assistance from regional bloc Sadc, the African Union and the United Nations.

Tsvangirai confirmed that the country will be approaching institutions such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for assistance.

“We do not have the money,” he said.

“Whatever we have is not enough to cover the $220 million required by Zec for the two processes. I will be meeting with Finance minister Tendai Biti and Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa to map out the modalities of the borrowing,” Tsvangirai said.

Curiously, the UNDP which has been funding the constitution-making exercise has been under fire from Zanu PF hawks for pushing a regime-change agenda through the draft document produced by a parliamentary select committee commonly referred to as Copac.

In his 2013 budget presentation last month, Biti provided $50 million for the referendum and elections. Biti indicated that the contentious revenue from diamonds would be required to cover up for the cash shortfalls for elections.

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