HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has accused President Robert Mugabe of being used by hardliners in the security structures of the country to prolong his stay in power.
In an address to a huge rally in Chitungwiza yesterday, Tsvangirai said Mugabe was hostage to some individuals in the security structures who are forcing him to stay.
“Do you want democracy or military rule?” Tsvangirai asked.
“In 2008 we beat Mugabe, he agreed on his own and he got to a point where he said, ‘guys, let me accept defeat’, but was told, ‘no, mudhara (old man) you ain’t going anywhere, you’ll will stay there, let’s see what we can organise.’
“They took five weeks to announce results whose outcome was that Tsvangirai has won but not enough to scoop the presidency. What does that mean? It means Mugabe is not his own man, there are people who are handlers behind him, he is a puppet........... And he knows it.”
Tsvangirai continued: “Now we have that critical challenge, that those same people who forced Mugabe to stay in office are saying ‘we don’t want Tsvangirai because he is MDC and we don’t want vice president (Joice) Mujuru because she is a woman’, that’s the challenge we have on 31 July; the people versus those who want to subvert the will of the people.
“But I want to tell you now, there is no one who will stand in the way of people’s wishes,” Tsvangirai said.
Unlike Mugabe who has ruled the country for the past 33 years and wants to rule for five more years, Tsvangirai said he will relinquish power to others.
“Mugabe calls me a cry baby, I am not a cry baby, Mai Makone, I don’t have a handiende (I will not go) attitude,” the MDC leader said. “If my days are done I will go and leave for these young men.
“After all this struggle, having lost so much in my life, having been brutalised, arrested and detained, why should I allow such a condition to prevail to another Zimbabwean? That’s not my philosophy, I don’t believe in that, but I want to assure you that come August 1, Zimbabwe will become a democratic country.”
Tsvangirai also challenged the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to prove its independence.
“Now I hear that Zec has changed the law, saying they will no longer count our votes at polling stations. I want to tell Zec that we will not allow any ballot to be moved from any polling station before being counted,” said Tsvangirai.
The premier said he was going to brief the observers on the irregularities, giving Zec up to today to “rectify the anomalies”.