Tsvangirai reveals all

HARARE - Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai says the MDC made a huge error by contesting in the 2013 elections when it was clear there was going to be large-scale electoral rigging.

President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party won the elections with a massive majority but the MDC maintained that the elections were stolen.

Tsvangirai said signs that the poll was going to be rigged were obvious and evident but they still participated in the mistaken belief that their millions of supporters would easily overcome any manipulation.

This is revealed in a document by Tsvangirai named Personal Reflections obtained exclusively by the Daily News yesterday. The document is set to be released today.

Tsvangirai said the MDC  thought the bumper crowds at his rallies held prior to the vote would overwhelm the planned electoral mischief. He admitted that his party failed to address flaws in the voter register.

The remarks are seen stepping up the beleaguered opposition leader’s campaign against an election that he insists was rigged by the cunning political veteran’s ruling party as his 15-year-old movement hurtles towards a crucial elective congress amid internal wrangling led by his former ally Tendai Biti.

Electoral watchdogs have said the disenfranchisement of Zimbabweans in the July 31 vote was embedded in many facets of the election — from the equipment used to the actions of key local election officials, to the politically-motivated manipulation of the voters’ roll, to the knowing passivity of Morgan Tsvangirai himself.

Tsvangirai said he took the voters’ roll query to Mugabe, who reportedly passed the buck to wily long-serving Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede.

“I remember my meeting with president Mugabe on the eve of the election, a meeting facilitated by former Nigeria president Olusegun Obasanjo at which I tabled a copy of a couple of pages of the shambolic voters’ roll that was to be used in the elections the following day,” Tsvangirai said in the statement.

“Mugabe’s response was – ‘Ivo vanaMudede vanombozvifambisa sei? (How is the Registrar-General Mr Mudede doing his work?).’ He said this as he retracted into his chair, feigning ignorance of what was about to happen. Despite our much-concerted efforts to get the electronic voters’ roll on time and not getting it, we eventually participated in the elections without the said voters’ roll. As we in the MDC have said, we had assumed that our sheer numbers were going to overwhelm the rigging plot.

With the benefit of hindsight, we were wrong! As the results of the elections became clear to our people on the ground, the nation had once again been shortchanged in yet another electoral fraud.”

Complacency was to blame for the defeat, and surprise at the outcome of the 2013 election was more pronounced because of the confidence of the MDC that it would be returned to power.

After the poll last year, there was little sign of any celebration or violence, reflecting a desire by Zimbabweans  to avoid a repeat of the bloodshed that badly damaged the economy, when Tsvangirai defeated Mugabe in a 2008 presidential vote.

Tsvangirai’s remarks are expected to bring some cheer to a movement divided over strategy and smarting from repeated cheating in national elections.

Tsvangirai noted that the Cross Over rally held in Harare on the eve of the election  was what deluded him into thinking that the sheer numbers at his rallies would ensure the president would be booted out of office.

“The lasting image of the last election that has remained largely ingrained in my mind is of the mammoth crowd that gathered in Harare on what we dubbed the Cross Over rally on July 29, 2013,” Tsvangirai said.

“It is an indelible image of a nation that was geared for change, a determined people on the brink of crossing over to a new country with new opportunities under a new and competent dispensation.”

Tsvangirai admitted that he was shockingly wrong regarding the scale of what he called the planned electoral theft, and said it was impossible for a Zimbabwean electorate to allow a president presiding over three-and-half decades of obviously weak economic growth, horrific jobless levels and general dismay at future prospects to remain in office.

The new Zanu PF government faces a host of challenges, mainly struggling to manage public expectations having been elected with a mandate to improve the welfare of farmers and ordinary people. The ruling party is finding it hard to provide immediate benefits to a restive electorate.

“Now it has been 11 months since the election on 31 July 2013 and the swearing in of the current government of Zimbabwe; but the situation in the country is dispiriting,” Tsvangirai said.

He said the question on everybody’s mind was how so much pain, despair and desperation could immediately follow what the ruling party has called a “resounding victory” that gave them an overwhelming mandate. Many Zimbabweans say they are frustrated with economic hardships including scarcity of liquidity on the market and deflation.

In recent weeks, Tsvangirai has crisscrossed the country and held rallies to push the government and change how it is managed.

“Starting on 3rd September 2013, I began a national conversation with the people of Zimbabwe. I have travelled across the length and breath of our nation, engaging in dialogue with people from all walks of life and holding rallies that attracted multitudes. In my visits to the various districts after the election, I have seen and witnessed the pain of Zimbabweans, the palpable despair amongst the people as they contemplated a future for themselves and their families under the Zanu PF regime. The ordinary people of this country are simply failing to cope with life in the current socio-economic circumstances that are upon us.”

Tsvangirai repeated his call for a national dialogue to save the economy, but previous such calls have been ignored by Zanu PF.

“Given our current economic paralysis, that national conversation to rescue the nation has become more urgent than ever before,” the 62-year-old former premier and trade unionist said.

“There is an urgent imperative for a national conversation of more players than just political parties. The important aspect is that our dialogue must this time be broadened to include the trade unions, the church, students, industry and other stakeholders.

“The broad spectrum of stakeholders in that important dialogue must discuss, find consensus and map the way forward on the current economic crisis, the endemic poverty across the length and breadth of the nation and the massive unemployment in the country.”

He denied clinging on to office, saying congress was the only platform to effect leadership change.

“We cannot be self-contradictory as to claim to be democrats when at the same time we want to remove elected leadership through a coup de tat,” he said in reference to the push led by former MDC treasurer-general Elton Mangoma and Biti for him to step down.

Tsvangirai said the MDC has learnt its lessons the hard way, but will ensure the party wins the presidency in subsequent elections.

“Lastly, despite all our shortcomings I believe, a sunrise is possible and the dawn must start within our well-meaning selves,” the MDC leader said.

Comments (46)

MDC supporters dont vote but ZANU PF suppoters vote.

wind - 7 July 2014

Tsvangirai's mistake is obviously forgiven as of course the majority of the people were never prepared for an election boycott. We have not come to the end of the world. Let's see what happens next time but we can't accept the treacherous Biti &his friends.

kunyanga yaona - 7 July 2014

i love leaders who accept their short comings. of all our leaders in zimbambwe inclusive of the new ones, morgans seems to be one of those who accepts his weaknesses and tries to learn out of them. he is not even fighting any of the people who are day in and day out dressing him down. i see a lot of good in him.

see - 7 July 2014

I HIGHLY THE SELF-INCRIMINATING CONFESSIONS OF THE SEMI-LITERATE FORMER PRIME MINISTER TSVANGIRAI. IN ANY PARTY, THE DOWN-AND-OUT LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION, TSVANGIRAI, WOULD HAVE SIMPLY RESIGNED.

Rabison Nyundo(THE HAMMER) - 7 July 2014

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felix - 7 July 2014

PLEASE INSERT THE WORD 'APPRECIATE' BETWEEN THE WORDS 'HIGHLY' AND 'THE' IN FIRST LINE.

Rabison Nyundo ( THE HAMMER) - 7 July 2014

Just embrace leadership renewal and you a hero Mr President

Nyamhangambiri - 7 July 2014

now this is what i call leading, taking responsibilities when your team looses and accepting the mistakes the team made. Zimbabweans we need accountable leaders. we need leaders that let us tell them what we think without any fear of been charged with treason or any of those extreme charges. almost a year after elections look at our country. we are suffering, ZANU PF rigged elections, but they can never rig the economy. a government that cannot even pay its own workers is a failed government. we need dialogue to resuscitate our economy. this is time for ZANU PF to show they are for the people of Zimbabwe. they have failed, lets engange as a nation to re-build our country. nyika ndeyedu not USA or England. we waste time tichituka mawestern countries, that does not build Zimbabwe. ngatisirei vana vedu nhaka yakanaka. General Tichatatonga.

general tichatonga - 7 July 2014

That is why people say Tsvangirai must go. He is a dictator and power hungry. He was resistant to advice when being warmed by everyone including the media. He even at one point became the spokesperson for ZEC secretariat in defending it.

GOREMUCHECHE - 7 July 2014

This is Exactly I love, support and respect Morgen. He is simply an easy leader to follow. He admits his mistaks and rally everyone as to what to do and how to do it, KWETE vemadegree ava

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we do it - 7 July 2014

Hats off to a man who simply say the truth on earth. I wonder where Biti is hiding now. Tsvangirai is the only Leaser who can talk the walk not other leader who indicate right and turn left. that's total confussin they cause. rigging election will never make all the Zanu Pf people heros of the future generations. Vana VeZimbabwe madictator amunovona chaiwo munotya kuataura namazita asi uyo unorwira rusunungu ndiye wamunotuka. kusaziva kufa ndozvinoreva shoko. kunyange mukataura zvorudzii Tsvangirai uchatungamirira vana veZimbabwe. even Ian Smith one day swallowed his words when he said. Never in a thousand years shall a black man rule this country. as hezvo ka vana Mugabe avo vakangoitonga aripo arimupenyu. Tinokumbira Mwari vawedzere Mugabe makore ekurarama kuti awone Mwana wevhu Morgan Richard Tsvangirai achitungamirira vana veZimbabwe. Leaders are not trained leaders are Born. Joshua was Born a leader and Moses was told to groom him by God himself. tora Joshua ukumure Bhachi rako umupfekedze ipapo mwari vakatora Moses akasazovonekwazve. even Moses didn't want but God wanted it that way. so even imi musingadi zvakasikwa zvakadero. David wakadzingirirwa naSauro for 40 years asi nguva yakwana Sauro wakazviuraya nemunondo wake. Heyo chenjedzo kunavanohwa. Vhurai zheve varume nguva yodo kukwana. ishe varopafadze mashoko avo. Amen.

Danga Remombe - 7 July 2014

Tsvangiruza needs a proactive advice not this ractive advice in an attempt to panel beat his battered image! The DAILY NEWS has tried all tricks to assist him , but it would appear its too late for his disillusioned followers! When a leader confesses his sins and inability to lead his team to score by miscalculating one`s political enemy then it is difficult regain respect ! Let us wait and see how his followers will react after this confession of a loser , asking to be given another chance !

Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof) - 7 July 2014

Tsvangiruza needs a proactive advice not this ractive advice in an attempt to panel beat his battered image! The DAILY NEWS has tried all tricks to assist him , but it would appear its too late for his disillusioned followers! When a leader confesses his sins and inability to lead his team to score by miscalculating one`s political enemy then it is difficult regain respect ! Let us wait and see how his followers will react after this confession of a loser , asking to be given another chance !

Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof) - 7 July 2014

Tsvangiruza needs a proactive advice not this ractive advice in an attempt to panel beat his battered image! The DAILY NEWS has tried all tricks to assist him , but it would appear its too late for his disillusioned followers! When a leader confesses his sins and inability to lead his team to score by miscalculating one`s political enemy then it is difficult regain respect ! Let us wait and see how his followers will react after this confession of a loser , asking to be given another chance !

Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof) - 7 July 2014

Now that Mr Save has done the damascan, and finally seen the light, why not do the honourable thing and pass the button. All along Tsvangirai has been accusing Biti's team of being coup plotters. In short Mr Tsvangirai now admits his errors cost the MDC the 2013 elections. Clearly Mr Tsvangirai is trying to distribute the blame to all MDC leaders, The buck stops on him as an individual. Do the right thing, and step aside .In modern democracies, if an opposition leader loses an election the manner Tsvangirai did, he has to step down. The size of defeat should leave no other alternative, but to resign..Instead Tsvangirai goes yep yep about waiting for congress to dethrone him. How different is this from Mugabe's tricks in hanging on to power ? How can we expect a different outcome, if we do not change methods and strategies ? Changing leadership should form part of changing tactics. BIti's team were only calling for Tsvangirai to step aside, it was never a call for Biti to take over power. Therefore, Tsvangirai's coup plotting accusation is unfounded.

Tafadzwa - 8 July 2014

SR PRESIDENTE,NOW THAT YOU DID NOT WIN SEVERAL ELECTIONS SINCE YOUR PARTY WAS FORMED.....,ITS TIME YOU STEP DOWN,DO YOU THINK MITT ROMNEY OU McCAIN WILL CONTEST AGAIN?

matica - 8 July 2014

There is nothing new about this idiotic article, as long as the man can not admit that he was rejected by the electorate due to his serious shortcomings, no one will ever take him seriously, plus get out of the government house, you still remain a compromised idiot.

reason - 8 July 2014

Two days before voting, Tsvangirai was saying he would announce the election results, and noone would arrest him because by then he would be president. This showed he had confidence that he would win the elections. How then does he turn around and tell us that he knew that the elections would be rigged? Is it that in 2008 we nearly had this not very intelligent guy as our president? Phew!

machakachaka - 8 July 2014

Even if MT was to step down, BITI or Mangoma would never have been better replacements. No one in the so called 'leadership renewal team' would have been any better. David apologized for his mistakes but no one ever suggested that he step down.We can never replace MT with traitors for a mistake anybody could have done.Clearly it is only the ZANU PF supporters who are more vocal on calling MT to resign.They simply are hypoctrites. We will never let Save down.We will struggle with him.

rongekayi - 8 July 2014

Ooh,King David never punished those, including the prophet Nathan, who pointed at the king's mistakes. MT accepts his mistakes & even apologizes but his eternal detractors want him dead.The true God will protect him.

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repairs - 8 July 2014

It took too long for him to see sense. This is what lost him support. He should have have owned-up to these shortcomings way back at least b4 the elections or just after. Those who think he is the only face of a credible opposition in zim seem to have little respect for themselves if any at all. There are many capable leaders out there. The problem is some of them including those contributing to this forum do not have self-belief to that level. Save did his part. He should be rested while allowing someone else to takeover.

taurai - 8 July 2014

Tsvangirai's remarks are expected to bring some cheer to a movement divided over strategy and smarting from repeated cheating in national elections.

sillytalk - 8 July 2014

research findings by independent research organisations were done few months before electionsindicating that support is tilting in favour of ZANU PF,MDC ignored all this ,but it was clearly published in UK newspapers.Why vanhu vachida kuramba chokwadi nekuda manyepo nhayi?l think this is the reason why Save must retire bcoz when all this was revealed plus his own mistakes here and there,he had no clue of what was going on around him.To me this Save is a dander head, haana pfungwa.Why would an educated nation like Zim want to follow a person who doesn't know how to compare , contrast and analyse situations? why?

Hapaz Hapanyengwi - 8 July 2014

At least he exonerates the so called rebels who had labeled him clueless in terms of strategy. Even his confessions tie in with the statement made by Sipepa Nkomo kuti even his wife asked him not to participate in a flawed election but with the help of vana Khupe "you were saying come July 1 we will be at state house". Why doesn't our President do the honourable thing and just step down. The party is full of capable people who can take the revolution forward, "you have run your mile now pass on the button"

mambindambinda - 8 July 2014

Just let us go. This shotgun congress you are plotting is a little too late and will split the party further. After spending the last 5-8 years purging dissenting voices, its time to listen. Its not even about you. If the party splits in half expect 700 000 votes next election. You had a good run for 15 years, became prime minister as well. Please don't kill the movement. Supporters need a new reason to fight from the mdc corner. Since its all been done before, a new approach to reinvigorate the movement is needed. Someone new to excite the base is needed. Stay on and lose or pass the baton and win. It's now a war between the individual and the nation

Way Forward - 8 July 2014

This is one thing Tsvangirayi excels at....Making excuses after the fact...MDC has participated in Elections since 2000....Apa pa 2013 ndipo pavaiti voters roll haina basa?? Why didnt he ask why Mudede&co didnt want ne copy yacho? Why when Lindiwe Zulu and Khama told him not to go into the election did he not listen??? Uyu murume haangaitonge nyika ino. I am sure chero mumba ake I am sure his wife makes all the decisions obikira Morgan usavi hune mhiripiri and then when Morgidza is farting fire wozonwa..."In hindsight I should not have eaten ne mhiripiri knowing kuti ndine ma ulcer"

wezhira wezhara - 8 July 2014

Elections have come&gone.The so called 'renewal team'also participated in the stolen elections although they now blame only Tsvangirai for a collective mistake. But would they have resigned from their gvt posts had MT won this election?? NEVER,NEVER EVER!! These are a bunch of hypocrites & we had better stick to MT as he is an honest man....

KUDAKWAIRA WEZHIRA - 8 July 2014

Elections have come&gone.The so called 'renewal team'also participated in the stolen elections although they now blame only Tsvangirai for a collective mistake. But would they have resigned from their gvt posts had MT won this election?? NEVER,NEVER EVER!! These are a bunch of hypocrites & we had better stick to MT as he is an honest man....

KUDAKWAIRA WEZHIRA - 8 July 2014

There won't be much in the coming congress but just to endorse Tsvangirai, what congress?Congress of bootlickers ,Zimbabweans have for several years been let down with these so called congresses because you will hear this very soon, 'I was elected by congress' and I will keep on saying, 'What congress?'

Nyamhangambiri - 8 July 2014

Tsvangirai is many of poor judgement. With his poor judgement of a magnitude that he displayed over years, I do not think thsi man is suitable for the heighest office on land.

Mistake - 8 July 2014

Tsvangirai is man of poor judgement. With his poor judgement of a magnitude that he displayed over years, I do not think thsi man is suitable for the heighest office on land.

Mistake - 8 July 2014

It's not about just winning an election that really matters. If Tsvangirai lost a free&fair election that's fine. ZANU PF should fix the economy as expected by the people.We don't eat MT or RGM.

GOREKORE - 8 July 2014

The problem is that MT promised his party and the rest of zimbos that he would only serve two terms (maximum terms as per MDC constitution then). He promised people he would not turnout to be another "handiende". But now he does not want to pass the baton. He has become a "handiende" too. Thats the issue. It would be better if he became a "Putin" going for coimng back other than hanging on while destroying the party.

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GALLERYCARTRIDGES - 9 July 2014

The tired old adage.."crying over spilt milk" Move on to your plot in Buhera Tsvangson. You dont have the mental capacity to handle this big mess that Zanu has created.

jacktheswede - 9 July 2014

tsvangirai lost ALL elections he has dared to participate in zimbabwe and in each and every one of them he has claimed elections were stolen ...! does this person called tsvangirai have any brains? or are his brains if he had any,stollen as well?

vincent - 9 July 2014

The matter of fact is that youths do not vote. generally the elderly are voters and they are staunch ZANU supporters. I was suprised on the voting date to see some young guys sitting on a bridge while an old granny was voting pamasvingo. The election was not stolen but the younger generation let us down. remember the crowds that attended Mugabes rallies, do you think those people were playing. they were real voters ,Thats why save lost

TRUTH - 9 July 2014

We know very well that those who are saying Morgan must step down are cio because they are so scared that next elections Morgan is going to win . No mdc t supporters have said Morgan must go . We are not fools and we were not born last week . I say it again Morgan is not going anywhere he is staying put we have given him a job to lead us . Only insane people can want Morgan to step down instead of this 90 yr old man who has do nothing as president for the citizens of this country for 34yrs. Investors have no problem with Morgan they know who is the problem and it is Mugabe hence they will not invest in this country.

Diibulaanyika - 9 July 2014

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