It's not over - Tsvangirai

HARARE - MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has said his withdrawal of the presidential election challenge was meant to refuse giving president-elect Robert Mugabe a veneer of legitimacy on a silver platter, highlighting that he will endeavour to use other democratic means to resolve the poll dispute.

In his withdrawal affidavit, Tsvangirai said the issue was far from over.

Tsvangirai was contesting the July 31 election result, which saw Mugabe winning by 61,09 percent, while he got 33,94 percent.

The MDC leader said the election was rigged and had filed a Constitutional Court application, seeking to nullify the result, which he withdrew on Friday, a move analysts immediately hailed as “wise.”

Without election materials from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), Tsvangirai said he could not successfully challenge the results amid threats by Mugabe that “never will we go back on our victory”.

“For these reasons, I consider that I have no other option but to take this grave decision,” Tsvangirai said in his withdrawal affidavit.

“This, sadly, as far as I am concerned, entails that the Zimbabwe situation is far from resolved and on my part as the leader of my political party, I shall endeavour to use all democratic means to bring about the successful resolution of this issue.”

MDC organising secretary Nelson Chamisa said the move was aimed at denying Zanu PF “false legitimacy of the rigged and stolen election through the courts”.

“Understandably, Zanu PF is shocked and angry at our refusal to be kowtowed and shepherded into the political slaughterhouse by allowing them to narrow and define the four corners of our political song and dance,” Chamisa said yesterday.

“Quite evidently, our case was going to be attenuated and subsequently dismissed.”

He said the country’s crisis was a political one as opposed to a legal battle.

Dewa Mavhinga, a political analyst and human rights activist,  said Tsvangirai’s move was astute.

“The MDC election petition outcome was predictable. The Judiciary is not the proper arena to challenge Zanu PF, therefore Tsvangirai’s withdrawal was both pre-emptive and sensible,” Mavhinga said.

Trevor Maisiri, senior analyst  with the International Crisis Group, said Tsvangirai’s withdrawal was wise, though it leaves questions as to whether the application was emotionally made or it was based on adequate strategic considerations.

Maisiri said the move will enable Tsvangirai to engage with Mugabe if he so wishes, and allows his party to face the reality of the election outcome, while focusing on the 2018 elections.

Asked if Tsvangirai had any other options of resolving the situation, Maisiri said: “There are very limited democratic means of resolving the 2013 elections. The best foot forward for the MDC is to address any areas of internal weaknesses and challenges and begin to bolster the party in readiness for the 2018 election.”

Lovemore Madhuku, a constitutional law expert, said it was “nonsensical” for Tsvangirai to think that there were other avenues to take in addressing the election impasse.

He said Tsvangirai should not have gone to court in the first place.

National Constitutional Assembly chairman said Tsvangirai called this upon himself after campaigning for a “Yes” vote in the new Constitution adopted on May 22, which gave time limits within which to challenge an election outcome.

“He should have conceded defeat,” Madhuku said, urging Tsvangirai to go back to the drawing board and prepare for the 2018 elections.

However, Maisiri said Tsvangirai was faced with a great challenge, arguing that it was an African precedence that any party that comes out of government will find it difficult to bounce back by winning an election.

“Tsvangirai must also not be tempted to over communicate the notion of ‘Zanu PF cannot rig the economy’.

“That statement shows that he is merely waiting to capitalise on people’s suffering under a poorly performing economy, which is unfortunate and undemocratic,” Maisiri said.

“He must not surrender his own leverages to the failures of Zanu PF.

“In fact, even if Zanu PF fails to run the economy, that does not mean that people’s preference will naturally transfer to Tsvangirai.”

He said Tsvangirai must reflect a deeper appetite to research and formulate  policy propositions that he can bring into the public domain to show his party’s thinking patterns.

“He (Tsvangirai) must not be tempted to pursue undemocratic and illegal means of opposing Zanu PF as that can completely rub out his credible history as a leader who has always pursued democratic means in governance of the country. He must provide leadership.”

Tsvangirai was demanding a fresh election, saying the vote did not meet the Southern African Development Community (Sadc)’s minimum standards for a fair vote, arguing the election was held in the absence of media and security reforms required for a free and fair vote and was rigged.

But matters came to a head when his application to the Electoral Court seeking permission to get access to some materials and information from Zec suffered a setback after High Court Judge Chinembiri Bhunu reserved ruling in the matter, forcing him to withdraw his election petition.

Comments (11)

what did he expect to do, This Guy is a totall failure and a disgrace to the MDC and peopl who put their faith in him, he is Useles and now hopefully people will see that he is Indeed a Village Boy, who knows nothing

Mfana Ka Sobhuku... - 19 August 2013

It's a clever move he did since the JUDICIARY is proZANU and as expected CHIDYAUSIKU was going to rule in favour of who put him in that post. What TSVANGIRAI did really shows that he is a determined DEMOCRATIC FIGHTER who fears nothing except impartiality of this PRO ZANU COURTS. Chidyausiku was not going to say anything against the RIGGED ELECTION despite compelling irregualrities and evidence. The petition was the same as ASKING A THIEF TO BRING THE STOLEN ITEMS TO THE COURT AS EXHIBIT and would you expect the theif to agree to that? viva SAVE and we salute you.

EARTHQUAKE31JULY - 19 August 2013

kEEP ON DREAMING BIG TIME.

reason - 19 August 2013

Aya ndiwo anonzi manatsa mukanwa echembere kurota ichiyamwisa. MDC T is dead and buried.The big local sponsor Roy Bennet hanzi ndichamboona zvemhuri yangu, very soon we shall here more and more of these saying goodbye, its over people but we all acknowledge its difficult to accept reality.Takazvipihwa pamweya kare,vamwe tikavataurira asi rudairo rushoma. Lets wait muone zvenyu ,mati maoneyi nekunzweyi. Zimbabwe is going to prosper in every sector of the economy after this and many other nations are going to take notes from us.

mupositori - 19 August 2013

The once-upon-time Tsvangirai's senseless noises about the issue not being over reminds of the English saying that this is the last kicks of dying horse and its Shona expression that "mukono unofa wasura'' translated " the fart of a dying horse.''

Rabison Nyundo (THE HAMMER) - 19 August 2013

The once-upon-time Tsvangirai's senseless noises about the issue not being over reminds of the English saying that this is the last kicks of dying horse and its Shona expression that "mukono unofa wasura'' translated " the fart of a dying man.''

Rabison Nyundo (THE HAMMER) - 19 August 2013

If you try to propagate a lie you need to be superhuman not to end up believing that lie.Ndiyo nhamo yo MDC-T.They continued to believe that people still saw them as in 2008.Nothing could be further from the truth.I still remember Muzorewa and the UANC in 1979 and then came 1980? There are lessons to be learnt from those two elections and also the 1990 elections with ZUM and Edgar Tekere.

Chirandu - 19 August 2013

I salute you Mr Prime Minister because you proved to be a man among real men not mugabe and the judiciary. You are God send

ATZ - 19 August 2013

Its all over Tsvangson. Get that into your head and stop day dreaming. Politically you are finished. You had your chance and you failed dismally. Give others a chance and step away from the post you hold at MDC

pretty - 19 August 2013

isu takagara tichiziva kuti tsvangirai haafe akatonga zimabwe nekuti zvido zvake hazvina chekuita nevanhu vakafira Zimbabwe. mweya wechipostori wakataura mdc ichatanga,TB Joshua akapamhazve gore rapfuura rino. munhu akangwara anosebera padyo anoziva kuti uone kuti zvinoitwa sei.kana save wenyu uyu akangwara ngaaseberane nagushungo adzidziswe kuti chess iyi inotambwa sei.pasi nevatengesi

sugar ne tea hazvitenge nyika - 19 August 2013

Well, what did SADC say, sure ZUNUPF seeking talks with Tsvangison, that's really day madness and dreaming, who really advises Morgan, that;s why Bennet has quit, he has finally conceded defeat , wise move, follow up Morgan. This paper at list is seeing sense than blindly follow your regime change agenda and see nothing good with ZANUPF.

NDABEZINHLE NKOMO - 20 August 2013

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