Not now, says Tsvangirai

HARARE - Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday brushed-off calls for him to step down, saying he has the mandate to remain at the helm of the MDC until 2016.

The former prime minister also poured cold water on calls for an extraordinary congress to decide leadership changes amid a feigned confidence crisis being created by officials calling for the MDC leader’s ouster.

Tsvangirai, who has been the leader of the MDC since its formation in 1999, said there was a sinister plot by Zanu PF to destabilise his party and divert the country’s attention from key issues confronting the nation.

Zanu PF has strenuously rejected the claims.

The MDC leader spoke after the party’s national executive directed party officials to discuss the succession issue through appropriate internal party structures, not the press.

But the calls seem to have fallen on deaf ears as former organising secretary and Warren Park MP Elias Mudzuri on Monday declared his ambition to be the president of the MDC.

Tsvangirai yesterday sought to downplay the levels of disquiet in the opposition camp.

“The president is a democratic person and Mr Mudzuri is a golfer; the two play together often and they will continue to play,” Luke Tamborinyoka, Tsvangirai’s official spokesperson told the Daily News.

“This just shows that it is not criminal to be ambitious in the MDC.

“However, there now seems to be an agenda to divert the national attention from the crisis we are facing. So the danger now is, we are running away from critical issues. It should be known that the platform for discussing the succession issue is the congress.”

He said Tsvangirai will remain the president of the MDC until the 2016 congress when the party selects a new leadership.

“We are going to have a congress in 2016 and only the people, not individuals, will decide who they want to lead them,” Tamborinyoka said.

He said there were forces that wanted to divide the MDC, but said all members needed each other.

Insiders say there was an escalating push to topple Tsvangirai by an ambitious clique in the party, and officials warned the situation may explode before the next crucial congress, which is three years away.

Names which have been bandied as possible Tsvangirai  successors include the party’s vice president Thokozani Khupe, secretary general Tendai Biti and organising secretary Nelson Chamisa.

While Mudzuri publicly declared that he is also eying the hot seat, observers say he lacks a critical mass to mount a serious challenge against the MDC leader.

Mudzuri’s “ubridled amibition” has angered Tsvangirai loyalists who are now baying for the ex-Energy minister’s head.

But Tamborinyoka said there will be no witch-hunt.

“What Mudzuri is saying shows that we are a democratic party,” Tamborinyoka said.

“Leadership renewal is not the issue, but the challenges that the country is facing. There are however, right platforms where such issues can be discussed.”

Since elections, the MDC has been bedevilled by mounting restlessness and there is apparently no end in sight as factions now stand at loggerheads.

Tsvangirai, boasting widespread grassroots apeal, appears impervious to pressure.

His steely bravery in the face of the worst that has been throw at him has earned the hero worship of many Zimbabweans who see his challenge against the veteran Zanu PF leader President Robert Mugabe as their country’s last chance to escape from its spiral of decline.

Critics say there is another side to Tsvangirai. The tough, populist leader who carries the hopes of an entire nation is sometimes prone to errors of judgement one of which was agreeing to participate in the July 31 controversial polls.

Those who want to oust him from the MDC are pinpointing his weaknesses to try and make him unpopular with the masses.

Comments (30)

Not now, says Tamborinyoka!

Boorangoma - 13 November 2013

Kusvika rinhi kustate house kure save tose tinoziva kuti Gushungo vari panyanga even 2018 Gushungo will whitewash you Save, its now time you try Komichi

Colonel - 13 November 2013

Handi endi. Kana mada kuenda yendai zwenyu. KUNZIMA MADODA INDODA INAMATHELE ILITSHE ASAZI MADODA KWAZI BANI???? NGUMBUSO WASE MPUMALANGA

NANSI LENDODA - 13 November 2013

what does morgan mean when he talks of zanu pf concerning mudzuri's utterances?

evidence - 13 November 2013

Handiende . Heh Mugabe agarisa kochematama zvoorambira pachigaro what democracy does he shout about this villager from Buhera. Surely some village is missing its idiot

Chokx - 13 November 2013

Whether it is Mudzuri or anyone behind him, they should realise that Tsvangirai is still important in their struggle for a true democratic dispensation in this country. Tsvangirai may be error prone, may have failed thrice but he is still worshipped as a hero in some circles. I totally agree that he should pave way for a new leader but that should be planned and gradual. The successor still needs him on his side so that he can sell him to the povo up to a time when he is accepted. MT will later be assigned another role within the party. Those that love MT should also accept that true democracy is not MT for presidency but Mudzuri, Biti, Welshman, Joyce Mujuru or Joseph Chinotimba in a dispensation not yet obtaining with this ZPF clique of kleptomaniacs. Fortunately ZPF is at its weakest now that the cracks are too wide to hide. This is the time when MDC-T should be busy putting their house in order.

Sankomota - 13 November 2013

Yes in as much as l fully support democracy, you jst dont wake up and say,SAVE MUST GO! There are platforms where you are at liberty of saying that. 2016 is the right time,presenting the opportune moment for those vying for the post. Lets see them there as they will truly be put to real acid test, kwete zvemakumbo enyoka izvi. Currently there is no vacancy for the MDC-T president post period.

imvidzechembere walaz - 13 November 2013

Yes in as much as l fully support democracy, you jst dont wake up and say,SAVE MUST GO! There are platforms where you are at liberty of saying that. 2016 is the right time,presenting the opportune moment for those vying for the post. Lets see them there as they will truly be put to real acid test, kwete zvemakumbo enyoka izvi. Currently there is no vacancy for the MDC-T president post period.

imvidzechembere walaz - 13 November 2013

Really, what Mudzuri is saying makes sense. A man without ambition is dead. A politician who doesn't want to end up being a president must quit politics, teacher-headmaster. That is normal...Movement for DEMOCRATIC...whats more democratic than challenging a leader in public. Let the members vote and decide who they want to be the leader. Its not for the leader to say don't challenge me. Tsvangirayi's call has always been for Mugabe to go.......and that same song in now being directed to him. Mugabe accepted the challenge and beat him, 3 times, whether fairly or unfairly. But as a leader of the opposition, his mandate, is to govern, take power (not given power), but he has failed 3 times. He may be the most popular politician in the country, which Mudzuri appreciated, and asked him to do a Mandela for MDC. If Tsvangirayi claims the Mugabe rigged elections...as the leader, where was he when the elections were being rigged, at such massive scale. Would you want that person to negotiate with foreign countries, when he can easily be duped like that?? what did he do during his mandate in the gvt to ensure a level playing field, ensure the electorate to register???

wezhira wezheve - 13 November 2013

POLITICS OF THE UNLETTERED. The Shonas are at it again, they seem to forget so easily these people. The struggle for independence was led by one group of leaders. We are in another struggle presently, and the Shona sellouts are already showing their selfish traits that have a potential to derail the struggle for democracy.

McAaron - 13 November 2013

POLITICS OF THE UNLETTERED. The Shonas are at it again, they seem to forget so easily these people. The struggle for independence was led by one group of leaders. We are in another struggle presently, and the Shona sellouts are already showing their selfish traits that have a potential to derail the struggle for democracy.

McAaron - 13 November 2013

kuty save endai kuuraya nyika coz its difficulty to win election without tsvangirai so succession of course but not now maybe in a gradual mannaer would help.be careful guys kumhanya handi kusvika .kutanga riinhi muchiudzwa zvokuita (advice ) na maiguru havakudei vanhu ava musaite succession coz zvanz chiitai no save must go but not this is a strategic move yes i agree but in whoose favor don,t empower you opponents free of charge

maisvokwadzo - 13 November 2013

The biggest leadership problem in Africa in general and Zimbabwe in particular is that we personalize our political institutions to the detriment of democracy and progress. We were told that Zanu Pf could not exist without Mugabe. He is the most popular in the Zanu, they said, and therefore he is the face of the party. Mugabe and his inner circle believed the hype and took advantage of this blatant political naivety/illiteracy. What happened my fellow Zimbabweans...a good dosage of 33 years of hell. Now Tsvangirai and his inner circle are following the same path, believing the hype and taking advantage of his supporters foolishness. There is thing as a messiah in political leadership or any leadership for that matter. In the USA a little known Governor by the name of Bill Clinton from a small and insignificant state called Arkansas proved how idiotic such thinking is by defeating the so called popular leaders in the Democratic party. Then came Barak Obama, a little known two term black Senator with a strange name (in the American sense). He overcame the odds and defeated the establishments front runners including the ever Popular Hillary Clinton. And Zimbabweans think that Mugabe and Tsvangirai are indispensable. Tsvangirai was an unknown factor when he was elected Leader of the MDC. The party made him popular and not the other way round. Both Tsvangirai and Mugabe are not good leaders at all but their respective parties molded them into this popular space. Zimbabwe cannot continue to take chances with bad and incompetent leaders who are allegedly popular. Democracy is at its best when leadership is not anointed and the market place of ideas is robust. Tsvangirai must go. A competent leader will emerge from the 13 million Zimbabweans. Give democracy a chance.

connie - 13 November 2013

Correction: I meant to say that: "There is no such thing as a messiah in political leadership."

connie - 13 November 2013

The succession issue need to be handled with care. What i think is democratically just is for tsvangirai to relinguish power and give the platform to the party to choose a new leader, coz what is important is for the pple to understand that pple in the MDC-T are not power hungry as they will view the removal of Tsvangirai as a betrayal motive. Tsvangirai need to support his successor so that pple will appreciate that a change of leadership was a genuine change and a fighting change.

TRUEZIMBO - 13 November 2013

The succession issue need to be handled with care. What i think is democratically just is for tsvangirai to relinguish power and give the platform to the party to choose a new leader, coz what is important is for the pple to understand that pple in the MDC-T are not power hungry as they will view the removal of Tsvangirai as a betrayal motive. Tsvangirai need to support his successor so that pple will appreciate that a change of leadership was a genuine change and not a fighting change.

TRUEZIMBO - 13 November 2013

Vote for Tsvangson in 2006. The campaign has started. Root for your candidate now.

Mavara Azarevhu - 13 November 2013

What drug are you on Mavara Azarevhu. Stop living in the past, its way past 2006. Any way. I applaud most of the contents above , they make a lot of sense. Its high time we start viewing leadership renewal as a stepping stone for democracy, than just touting the word. In essence while renewal is healthy. there is need to show willingness to cede power by the incumbent, so as to gain national respect and appreciation and also to approach power through set out guidelines of an institution as a show of respect for protocol by those vying for possible take over. The lack of this by either party has the potential to manifest into a scenario we see today in the democratic party. But whether its window dressing or not, Tamborinyoka is trying to put some good spin to the crisis, resembling a quest for orderliness. Nonetheless. this McAron fellow brings the country back 90 yrs by expressing his opinion bordering on blatant tribalism. He seems to insinuate that every Shona is a sellout and probably every Jew hates a black man. Times have changed man and opinion is dependent on a personal rather than ethic grouping.

top heavy - 13 November 2013

ndakuonai vanamafekezolo itai party yenyuwo this koo chamunoda kubvisa Save chii madiots imi munokara maposts manje democracy yamunotaura ngeye kuti tangaiwo yenyu party inonzi mudzuri/bannet/kay or dhodhi nekuti vanhu vemuzimbabwe havadi zvetsvina kana zvanetsa mojoina madhuku isu tichatashanda na SAVE KUSVIKA KUSTATE HOUSE Tvekutiudza kuti zanu pf yakabira sei imi maive kumusoro ikoko maivebusy kudya isu tichitambura manje vapandukimese muchamama ndiri kuuya ikoko tachatanga naye mudzuri muconstituence mangu handichamuda

dofo - 13 November 2013

All those who are saying Morgan must step down are sellouts hired by people ,s enemy zanu and those who have written on this stable saying Morgan must go are zanu supporters misquardering as MDC supporters everyone can see that and it is an old fashion propaganda ,you bloodfools

Dibulaanyika - 13 November 2013

I see Save is singing from the same hymn book as President Mugabe. Save has tasted power and he confirms that it is sweet! We teach our leaders to believe that they are the best thing since slice bread and this is why we are struggling with both Save and Gushungu. We must move away from individuals and look at developing democratic systems and institutions, period! There is absolutely nothing wrong with reviewing the tenure of the coach after a string of unacceptable results, it's a normal governance process.

Jose - 14 November 2013

It is common knowledge that all who are saying Save ngavaende are blood sellouts who are being sponsored by blood soaked ZPF, Ahh ndingatongwe namudzuri ini hazviite never....

Virus Detected - 14 November 2013

all these African leaders are the same, well except for Mandela. When they taste power they never want to let go. When Tsvangirai was campaigning, he was saying President Mugabe has been in power for two long, so why doesn't he want to handover power as well. The constitution of his arty stipukates that he must serve 2 terms only, but now he is gunning for a fourth term. So what makes us so sure that if he ever becomes President, that he will save two terms as stipulated by the current constitution.

jetsetter - 14 November 2013

Behind you Save. Kusvika matonga.

DB Cooper - 15 November 2013

Please let us critically analyse the end result of this issue of power struggle being created by the likes of Mudzuri. Democracy yes. But leadership issues must be guided by the opinion of the group (In this case MDC-T supporters and members) and not individuals. Let us not allow ourselves to be distracted from the real issues that matter otherwise you will end up playing into their hands. Why not wait for the right platform to show cause why Tsvangirai must go. You will be surprised by the support he enjoys from the commoners. Leadership material should be marketable to the ordinary people who leave even in remote areas. Your don't have to read a descriptive composition to make people know the candidate for sale. Keep the man, he is your best bet at the moment. The chance is still there. Keep on mobilizing support and communicating your manifesto effectively, giving alternative and constructive opinions to the government. People will understand that the mission is not hatred for Cde Mugabe but alternative administration which considers the development and interest of the hoi polloi.

Dobbs one-four - 15 November 2013

You are lying Mudzuri if anyone want to be a president let him start his own party. Tsvangirai haaendi kuti magetsi here. Those who want him to go are oppositions they are suppose to be chased from party despite your seniority from MDC party.

Change - 15 November 2013

You want Save to go? That's bad assumptions because he hasn't rule the country yet and the main issue is that he won all the elections against ZANU but rigging is the main twig on the eye. MDC people you are always fooled by ZANU pf because you have eyes but you don't see. The problem is not Save but is rigging or change of the voting systems. Even though you put an Engel from heaven they will rig and win because they are the Engels of the devil.

Goalball - 15 November 2013

mese munopenga

FUCK - 17 November 2013

Tsvangirayi said he is still put until 2016 when the congress is due he did not say I am not going. Africa which part of Africa other than Zimbabwe which has personalised politics. Why are these guys in MDC-T not wait for the congress? Why are they not taking collective blame for the loss. If they say it was Tsvangirayi then they should stop talking about this NIKUV business. What guarantees do we have that NIKUV will not play it again when the leader of MDC is BIti, Chamisa, Mudzuri, Sikhala, Komichi, inini wacho, what are the guarantees. If they don't have any assurance kuti they will stop NIKUV yacho, they should just resign from politics toita zvimwe tosiya ZanuPf ichipedzisa Zimbabwe ,ko yasara pakuru here?

Maita Manyuka - 19 November 2013

To those looking beyond ZANU like some of us i suggest lets support SAVE untill the change we need comes in any case,come 2016.we are not saying MDC cannot do without Tsvangirai but his brand name on support base is necessary ask welshman and others.musataure zvamusingazivi.

TERRA COTTA - 19 November 2013

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