Be a man - Tsvangirai challenges Mugabe to TV debate

HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has challenged his arch rival and partner in the coalition government, President Robert Mugabe to a live television debate to discuss their party policies ahead of elections scheduled for next week.

Tsvangirai was speaking to thousands of people who attended the MDC rally at Mkoba Stadium in Gweru yesterday.

In more progressive countries, politicians take part in televised debates where they get the opportunity to articulate their policies to the electorate.

In other mature democracies like the United States of America, such debates have a huge bearing on the outcome of the election.

If Mugabe accepts Tsvangirai’s challenge, it will be the first of its kind in Zimbabwe.

But in the past, Mugabe has turned down such challenges and in the current campaign, the 89-year-old Zanu PF presidential candidate has been criticised for spending campaign hours dwelling on history instead of pushing through his party’s policies for the people if he is re-elected.

“As we move closer to the election, I am also challenging Mugabe to a live debate on television, where each one of us will articulate our policies on how to make Zimbabwe a better place.

“I am challenging all the presidential candidates to a public debate so that Zimbabweans can see who has the best plan to uplift the lives of Zimbabweans,” Tsvangirai said.

The MDC leader said he was not afraid of such a debate as his party had clear people-oriented policies.
“This is a defining election because it is the last mile,” he said.

Mugabe has been resorting to history lectures and has failed to articulate well, the party’s largely unsuccessful indigenisation policy which has benefitted only a few elites in Zanu PF.

In Chinhoyi last week, thousands of supporters walked out as he was delivering one his long history lectures.

The veteran Zimbabwe leader together with his wife Grace, have also resorted to personal insults targeted at Tsvangirai.

Yesterday, Tsvangirai added that Mugabe’s recent attacks on Sadc, a regional bloc which saved his political career after he lost the March 2008 election, was shocking.

“I beat Mugabe in 2008. He admitted as much to me but claimed that “Tsvangirai, you thrashed me but you did not manage to get enough votes to avoid a run-off. Of course, I told him he was saved by Sadc.

“So, I am shocked that Mugabe now wants to pull Zimbabwe out of Sadc. He forgets they protected him. Sadc and I gave him a soft landing. He is an old man so we had to give him that soft landing. Now he says to hell with Sadc. That’s what happens when someone is in a false comfort zone,” Tsvangirai said.

Tsvangirai also promised to transform the governance culture which has been there for the past three decades where Zanu PF failed to separate government business from party issues.

“This has been one of Zimbabwe’s foremost challenges since 1980. Zanu PF had become the party and the government. Even in the distribution of food and services, one was forced to produce a party card.

“When you are a government leader, you don’t discriminate on the basis of political affiliation. You serve the people equally,” he said.

The MDC leader also said government should not rule by fear but should show love.

“You don’t use violence against your own people,” Tsvangirai said.

He said an MDC government would fire all non-performing ministers.

“An MDC government will have zero tolerance towards corruption because corruption has eroded the ability to distribute the country’s wealth equitably. We are a rich country with poor people. Only a few are enriching themselves while the rest are suffering,” Tsvangirai said.

According to Zimstats, 63 percent of people in Zimbabwe are poor while 16 percent are extremely poor and as a result, one in three children under the age of five are chronically malnourished.

“In agriculture, farms were grabbed by a few elites who are failing to utilise the land. We cannot even feed ourselves anymore. Zimbabwe, once a breadbasket of Africa, is now a basket case. We have been reduced to being a nation of beggars,” Tsvangirai said.

Zimbabwe is set to import 150 000 tonnes of maize meal from Zambia to alleviate hunger.

First Lady, Grace Mugabe, while donating maize meal and salt to hungry villagers in Gwanda during a campaign rally, promised she would send more maize to area when stocks bought in Zambia arrive.

Grace’s statement was clear confirmation that the Zanu PF government had destroyed agriculture hence resorting to importing from Zambia, a country which before the land grab exercise used to depend on Zimbabwe for maize.

Tsvangirai said social services like education, health and water would also be transformed into functional entities once his party got into power.

He said women would have free cancer testing and treatment. People living with HIV/Aids will also be entitled to free treatment.

Comments (29)

Tungamirai Save. Zanu haina plan hapana zvavanotiudza vakatadza kudhara. How can a sane person say my solders are still in a war mood. Which one because we had many is it Gukura Hundi or Murambatsvina mood. We cant be talking about liberation war whilst countries that got independence recently are doing well. What rolle model are we. Role modells of babarism. vana veZimbabwe vazere nyika dzose izvezvi where is that pride stupi fellers.Even vana venyu they are all over. Why are they not in Chinhoyi University of Technology. Dont tell us nonsence takapanduka isu kudhara. mina kudala ngapanduka angijiki futhi. Infact i never supported this man. It was in 1985 at JZ Moyo High school when i realised that this man is just a monster. Sham on Yu Bob.

Hwese - 22 July 2013

Hezvo shefu votukwa kani. Zvakwana nhai imi. Chiregai voenda vanhu wee!!!

kiyoro kiyoro - 22 July 2013

It is obvious to most readers of the Daily News that Thelma Chikwanha and Fungai Kwambara are the sirens and cheer-leaders of the MDC-T and worse than Reuben Barwe She is obsessed with believing that Mugabe will lose to Tsvangirai to the point that they have stopped to reason. Their careers are limited to supporting Tsvangirai. Its interesting that the Daily News would like to sees "Mugabe begging SADC'.... and for him vapositori votes , It is expected of him to "beg" SADC and/or for him beg vapositori votes, Mugabe is apollitician who needs sipport from any group Tsvangirai is doing the same, how many times has Tsvangirai to SADC leaders? Only its the Daily News come up with such puerile headlines. Gutter journalism and sewer journalists.

Rabison Nyundo (The Hammer) - 22 July 2013

save mapinda panyanga, kamudhara koenda other rural areas zanupf has stated to have base camps for torturing those who oppose them.for example shamva,dotito,zaka, muzarabani,zvimbo

chawada leo - 22 July 2013

It is a pity that ZPF continue to use this old madala to the point that it does not realise that he is a sickling! Sekuru Bob should now be resting with vazukuru and giving advice to the young politicians including being asked to broke peace withing Africa. What a big shame that the useless ZPF cadres continue to make this old madala run when it is fact that he cannot walk. Let us be humane and spare this old man please. Does it follow that without this old man that is the end of everything? Poor Bob you are surrounded by brainless skulls around you. No succession planning in place. Kanausipo wada woita!!

MADALA ANETA - 22 July 2013

@Rabison Nyundo: you are a fool castigating daily news reporters. how many times have Heralld reporters glorified Mugabe and villified Tsvangirai. zvarwadzaka kuti Mugabe awanzirwa. when was also the last time you viewed zbc news. nothing positive abt Tsvangirai. well done Daily News for bringing the other side of the coin

ruben barwe - 22 July 2013

save mapinda machena! Kamudhara kapinda mutoilet yevakadzi this time. Rambe kotaura zvekuhondo neUnity accord ya1987. Ndizvo tinodya here izvozvo? Tinoda zvinoita kuti vana vedu vararame kwete zvekutotiratidza kuti wakwegura! Kana usina zvaunazvo hamba vanaSave vapinde. Vhura nzira mhani iwe kaharahwa! Waiti vakati chisangapere chonoshura vaireveiko? Taneta kugara tichingonzi ndinenyanga ndinenyanga nyambisirwa ari makushe. Hamba chienda zvakanakawo!!

SAVE MACHENA - 22 July 2013

Fambai baba vedu tiende, musambocheuka muridzo

ChimedzahMapfumo - 22 July 2013

Get ready to hear the truth that ca save you as a party zpf. Open ur eyes,see.

alhamma - 22 July 2013

Thanks Hwese, ''war mood" against who? Zimbabweans? Just because they do not support u anymore? Do u remember 1980 when the very same people gave u a clean 57%? Can u not read why the very same people again want to give u 0%-5% of the whole total vote this time around? Need for self cross examination. Matibiri do not behave like little or small minds that think that the world only revolves around them.Why do u think u can use the army for ur own ends.The army comprises of individuals who come from families that u are keeping hungry, oppressing,denying basic needs,harassing now and again.The majority of those men and women u want to use are poor and hungry.Its only the very few you have selected to reward with ur patronage that sing the 'Bob forever' song.The rest of the lower ranks want u gone yesterday.The people won you the election of 1980 fairly.Why do you want the army to win u this election?Soldiers and police,do not be used to further the interests of your oppressors.

alhamma - 22 July 2013

GOOD IDEA. Vazhinji varikugarisa nyika ino muhutapwa hweZanu Havana kana ne underpen..vakadaro Save. Asi kungoti makore makore empowerment ..hee Zanu, sanctions. Minds are just too poor and intoxicated with foolish grade zero politics

Mbesa - 22 July 2013

someone needs to man up, grow a pair and have this debate.

John - 22 July 2013

Bring it on Tsvangison. Ngiyakusekela on the debate issue... but so far the only thing which you talk about is free that...I don't think you're articulate enough to beat Mugabe in a debate. Remember you couldn't even recognize Zim flag in Germany. You might win elections only because people want change not because you have anything better to offer Zim people.

Qinsio - 22 July 2013

Why is Mugabe afraid.I thought he is the most educated person in Zimbabwe with 7 degrees.So there goes the challenge from someone you claim to be a Grade 7.Show us comrade the education on this live debate.

Squarebasher - 22 July 2013

If you lost to Mugabe in court and SADC what do you have to prove on TV. Mugabe is too intelligent to stoop so low and argue with a clueless politician on T.V. TRY CHINOZI, tha's you grade if not better.

reason - 23 July 2013

Debate my foot, Tsvangison with your seventh grade education you think you can stand RG Mugabe. You are suicidal!!!!!!!!!1

debate???? - 23 July 2013

To be honest with you Mr Tsvangirai, never challenge Mugabe and Ncube on live TV, you will be so much embarrassed. We all know you have good policies but Mugabe is well known to be very eloquent when it comes to those challenges. Go to his videos on the summits, no one , even from other heads of states can challenge him. He is only scared of Welshman. Don't be like Raila Odinga who failed on the live debates but was the best candidate.

Jaluo - 23 July 2013

please guys comment in english coz some of us are eager to read your comments but dont understand shona or ndebele

turezimbo - 23 July 2013


Goreraza - 23 July 2013

"Be a man and not like those women I have abused", Tsvangirai lacks two critical political tools, a functional brain and good advisers.

Mweni Tafara - 23 July 2013

All nonsense will stop on Wednesday 31 july. Gushungo panyanga. Whether you like it or not. Tichanzwa mawe kuti arigwa asi murimi makange mariga muna 2008. Tinozviziwa zvakaitika. This time forget. Asi zviri nane kumbozvifadzawo hana ichirova.

Takeiteasy Marcaves - 23 July 2013

I thoroughly dislike zpf and their dirty tactics but there is one circumstance I wouldn't mind a bit of zpf help-send one of your feared hitmen to kill Vada! His or her never-ending postings about a woman and cars and accidents are painfully nauseating and painful!

Johno - 23 July 2013

only fools and i mean goons bufoons would expect anything from mugabe chave chemutengure vhiri rengoro age haina chitsotsi

nichola - 23 July 2013

And we also challenge Morgan Tsvangirai and President Mugabe to for a public health check including HIV test. Tsvangirai claims that Mugabe is unhealthy and unfit to be president now we challenge him Tsvangirai to take up a public HIV test as we need a healthy leader. Dofo!

Thomas Nhara - 23 July 2013

can u surely even write about tsvangirai debating with bob u can find better issues to write than that one trully speaking

mr true matters - 23 July 2013

Your daily conduct is your best way of debating. There are many people who win debates but when it comes to practical substance have nothing in them like President Obama who is very eloquent but practical does nothing whenever he is expected to. A public debate between Tsvangirai and President Mugabe would only give him the opportunity to humiliate the President and be a hero for confronting President Mugabe. That he can, but not that he can engage in any meaningful debate. What does Tsvangirai know about Zimbabwe better than President Mugabe? We do not want a public debate where Tsvangirai will be a hero for touting the President. If that be it let it never be. Secondly a debate is good for people who are looking for better ways to run a country from an indogenous rather that exogenous perspective. Tsvangirai has got western inspired views of where Zimbabwe should go while President Mugabe's views are putrid with local content. So there is deep seated antithesis between the parties for a sensible debate to take place. So nyama inonaka ichataura yega.

Kurauone Mushesheni - 24 July 2013

Well fellow Zimbabweans, Mugabe is always dwelling on past history! So what is ZXIMBABWE? It is our history which actually shaped today, and today will have a bearing on tomorrow. Our culture in all walks of life is derived from these. We differ greatly from the Americans, British, Europeans etc and trying rub off ours and import fun philosophies is like fitting cycle wheel on a motor car. As for a debate between Bob and PM, obvious PM will say it has been rigged. Among the leaving world leaders no one can stand Bob in debate. Bushs, Blair, Smith etc ran away from such an idea. UN assemblies have been going in ecstasy.

dungas - 24 July 2013


tapuwa rusununguko - 24 July 2013

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.