'Let's talk to save Zim'

HARARE - Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday called for internationally-brokered efforts across the political spectrum to pursue dialogue to move Zimbabwe out of a deepening economic crisis.

Tsvangirai was speaking at a meeting at Chatham House in London, and called for help, both financially and with expertise, to improve Zimbabwe’s long-term economic development.

The MDC leader believes in brokering talks to extricate the country from a deepening economic crisis characterised by deep budget cuts and growing unemployment tipping more people into depression.

“An internationally-brokered national dialogue of all stakeholders would be a good starting point to avert the national crisis gripping the nation,” the opposition leader said.

The last talks brokered by Sadc helped end a stalemate over disputed elections and stabilised the economy but the fragile alliance was mired with squabbling over policy and the slow pace of reforms.

The former premier spoke about the geo-political impact of Zimbabwe’s political dispute in the wake of the disputed July 31, 2013 vote, on the same week that Mugabe claimed he won fair and square and claimed the economy was recovering.

Tsvangirai said he believed a “internationally-led process” of compromise and reform was possible, but said he was not calling for another government of national unity.

But, suggesting frustration at the lack of real compromise between the authorities and the opposition, he added: “And I am aware that there are some who have sought to give conditions to this national dialogue.”

Mugabe’s Zanu PF told the Daily News recently that it would be prepared to talk to the opposition only after it recognises Mugabe as a legitimately-elected president.

Tsvangirai said the primary catastrophe was “the crisis of legitimacy that has eroded all confidence and trust in the government.”

“Zimbabweans do not have any faith in the government in Harare because they know they did not vote for it,” he said.

“The international community also knows what happened.”

He said “a genuine and well-meaning national conversation should not be handcuffed by subjective and self-serving conditions that demean the people of Zimbabwe who know the truth of what happened in the last election.”

Mugabe won the July 31 vote but his main rival, Tsvangirai, denounced it as a “huge fraud”. The EU also expressed serious concerns over alleged irregularities.

“The people of Zimbabwe ought to be encouraged to discuss their national predicament and hammer out what needs to be done to extricate the country from this man-made quagmire,” Tsvangirai said.

“Put simply, the domestic solution is unconditional dialogue by a broad section of Zimbabweans to unpack the crisis and chart the way forward.”

Tsvangirai reflected on the importance of strengthening opposition politics for Zimbabwe’s future and the role that international partners can play in Zimbabwe’s democratic progress. He said the international community still had a big role to play.

“Gone are the days of lone-ranger antics in a global village. We must rejoin the family of nations,” he said.

“The current national reality is that we are isolated from meaningful investment capital flow and substantial development financial assistance.

“Zanu PF’s narrowly focused and confined ‘Look East’ policy has not yielded direct fiscal support.

“We have had a myopic foreign policy that overlooks the significance of the broader international community, thereby underplaying the potential of leveraging international relationships in a broad sense.”

He said Zimbabwe, isolated since 2000 after the advent of the land reform programme, must once again rejoin the family of nations, “in its wide scope, in mutually beneficial relationships largely driven, on our part, by the desire to enhance and further the interest of the ordinary citizen of our country.”

“Zimbabwe needs friends, strategic partners and promoters across the breadth of the international community,” he said. “Our international relations, even at the regional level, require fixing.

“We have been consistently inconsistent for so long that there are not many takers supporting our plans for the way forward. The safest bet is to shift our mindset towards new thinking and new pronouncements that are inclined towards mutually beneficial policies.”

The 28-nation bloc has begun the process of removing top regime cronies from the sanctions list, EU foreign affairs spokesman Michael Mann has said, and all sanctions could be dropped by November.

The decision gives a boost to Mugabe, whose Zanu PF party calls EU sanctions illegal.

“I am aware that the EU has decided to re-engage Zimbabwe and I know that the people of Zimbabwe stand to benefit from any form of re-engagement,” Tsvangirai said.

“But the international community must not just re-engage without a framework; but must insist on implementation of agreed electoral conditions and the embracing of universally acceptable standards by the authorities in Harare.

“We also notice that sanctions have to all intents and purposes been removed except the travel bans on Mugabe and his wife. This is welcome in that it obliterates and removes any excuse by the government for not delivering services to the people.”

The EU lifted most of its sanctions last year but an asset freeze and travel ban remains for the veteran leader.

After winning elections last year, Mugabe called for the EU to boost ties with Zimbabwe and the removal of sanctions.

Tsvangirai said he does not encourage a mere removal of sanctions without a framework that plods and entices the nation towards the respect of full democratic values.

“You must insist on the government in Harare respecting and implementing the national Constitution,” he said.

“You must insist on the need to respect the rule of law and the conditions sanctioned by Sadc to ensure that the next election is vaccinated from the periodic mischief that has blighted the credibility of all our elections.

“Any re-engagement must be accompanied by a stubborn insistence by the international community on the universally accepted standards that ensure the guarantee of full freedoms and the enfranchising of the ordinary citizen.”

He said any re-engagement must be alive to the past and present acts of omission and commission and the crimes committed against Zimbabweans.

“Individual EU countries must not just call for re-engagement because of the selfish interests of their respective individual countries,” he said.

“They must re-engage to add to global pressure on universally acceptable norms and standards of governance that respect the interests of the people of Zimbabwe.”

Tsvangirai said he will “take permanent residence in the trenches until democracy is achieved in Zimbabwe.”

“I have no doubt in my mind that with unconditional dialogue by the people of Zimbabwe and with international re-engagement premised conditionally on universally accepted standards, we will forge a way out of the current morass,” Tsvangirai said.

 

Comments (24)

Tsvangirai is correct with his reasons, but Zanu will never agree to talk. It means that they will present themselves for prosecution on crimes committed, and that will be the end of them.

Tiger Shona - 27 July 2014

He should talk about passing the leadership baton to others first. What stalls progress in many economies is the attitude of refusing to pass on power. Tsvangirai by refusing to give others from within his party a chance to lead- is showing that he can also be part of the problem that zim is faced with. Surely we can not argue that he is the ONLY suitable person for oppossition leadership. Let Biti, Mangoma, or whoever takeover. That is what would make zimbabwe progressive.

zvirozviyedzwa - 27 July 2014

Let us talk so that I become a government official again and remain in the plush suburb of Highlands. Demonstrate your desire for talks by engaging Welshman Ncube, Biti, Mangoma and others. Charity begins at home. If you succeed on this one, then we can trust you for the Zim talks.

Bhora Mberi - 27 July 2014

Let me first remind you that Tsvangirai is not in Power, and he has never failed the nation or the people of Zimbabwe. Real leaders like Mandela were at the Helm of ANC for more than a term but once they came into Gvt they passed the baton to someone coz they had achieved the struggle. Tsvangirai is a Brand that can be reckoned on, removing Tsvangirai now is like starting a new political part, VanaNcube vakambozvizana zvikaramba. Now that ZANU PF has become a liability to itself and the nation they cant afford to do that now and in the near future, Mugabe will rather die in office coz his legacy is soiled no electorate in his or right sense will second or vote Mugabe. People who actually likes Mugabe are less than 100 000, excluding all those who are looting. Did you know that during the last election The CIO boss bonyongwe made sure that more ballots paper be printed and who voted for them the army and police recruits spent the whole night putting X on Mugabe and MPs country wide. Thats how desparate these people are. Mugabe cares less for us coz he actually knows the trueth kuti he is there by hook and crook. Mugabe igororo.

Reason Maziwise - 27 July 2014

We thought Tsvangirai was going to show how leadership is shared. As a matter of fact he did promise that he would not serve more than the limited term. But then, look how he has changed the constitution so he can be there endlessly. Trust me my friend Tsvangirai is a handiende. Given the chance to govern, he would die in office.

zvirozviyedzwa - 27 July 2014

@Reason Maziwise::::? You just give your morbid hatred of ZANUPF and its leadership forgeting that your leader Tsvangiruza connived with the West on the imposition of sanctions which are making people suffer. If you have any evidence that the elections were rigged why did you not come forward and assist TSVANGIRUZA b4 he withdrew his court challenge on the elections?Spreading BABA JUKWA-like lies against ZANU wont get you anyway! The very SEC GEN of MDCTSVANGIRUZA Biti admited publicly that ZANUPF had a better message to the electorate than Juicing ! See at the ballot box in 2018!

Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof) - 27 July 2014

@Reason Maziwise::::? You just give your morbid hatred of ZANUPF and its leadership forgeting that your leader Tsvangiruza connived with the West on the imposition of sanctions which are making people suffer. If you have any evidence that the elections were rigged why did you not come forward and assist TSVANGIRUZA b4 he withdrew his court challenge on the elections?Spreading BABA JUKWA-like lies against ZANU wont get you anyway! The very SEC GEN of MDCTSVANGIRUZA Biti admited publicly that ZANUPF had a better message to the electorate than Juicing ! See at the ballot box in 2018!

Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof) - 27 July 2014

@Reason Maziwise::::? You just give your morbid hatred of ZANUPF and its leadership forgeting that your leader Tsvangiruza connived with the West on the imposition of sanctions which are making people suffer. If you have any evidence that the elections were rigged why did you not come forward and assist TSVANGIRUZA b4 he withdrew his court challenge on the elections?Spreading BABA JUKWA-like lies against ZANU wont get you anyway! The very SEC GEN of MDCTSVANGIRUZA Biti admited publicly that ZANUPF had a better message to the electorate than Juicing ! See at the ballot box in 2018!

Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof) - 27 July 2014

@Reason Maziwise::::? You just give your morbid hatred of ZANUPF and its leadership forgeting that your leader Tsvangiruza connived with the West on the imposition of sanctions which are making people suffer. If you have any evidence that the elections were rigged why did you not come forward and assist TSVANGIRUZA b4 he withdrew his court challenge on the elections?Spreading BABA JUKWA-like lies against ZANU wont get you anyway! The very SEC GEN of MDCTSVANGIRUZA Biti admited publicly that ZANUPF had a better message to the electorate than Juicing ! See at the ballot box in 2018!

Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof) - 27 July 2014

@Reason Maziwise::::? You just give your morbid hatred of ZANUPF and its leadership forgeting that your leader Tsvangiruza connived with the West on the imposition of sanctions which are making people suffer. If you have any evidence that the elections were rigged why did you not come forward and assist TSVANGIRUZA b4 he withdrew his court challenge on the elections?Spreading BABA JUKWA-like lies against ZANU wont get you anyway! The very SEC GEN of MDCTSVANGIRUZA Biti admited publicly that ZANUPF had a better message to the electorate than Juicing ! See at the ballot box in 2018!

Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof) - 27 July 2014

@Reason Maziwise::::? You just give your morbid hatred of ZANUPF and its leadership forgeting that your leader Tsvangiruza connived with the West on the imposition of sanctions which are making people suffer. If you have any evidence that the elections were rigged why did you not come forward and assist TSVANGIRUZA b4 he withdrew his court challenge on the elections?Spreading BABA JUKWA-like lies against ZANU wont get you anyway! The very SEC GEN of MDCTSVANGIRUZA Biti admited publicly that ZANUPF had a better message to the electorate than Juicing ! See at the ballot box in 2018!

Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof) - 27 July 2014

@Reason Maziwise::::? You just give your morbid hatred of ZANUPF and its leadership forgeting that your leader Tsvangiruza connived with the West on the imposition of sanctions which are making people suffer. If you have any evidence that the elections were rigged why did you not come forward and assist TSVANGIRUZA b4 he withdrew his court challenge on the elections?Spreading BABA JUKWA-like lies against ZANU wont get you anyway! The very SEC GEN of MDCTSVANGIRUZA Biti admited publicly that ZANUPF had a better message to the electorate than Juicing ! See at the ballot box in 2018!

Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof) - 27 July 2014

@Reason Maziwise::::? You just give your morbid hatred of ZANUPF and its leadership forgeting that your leader Tsvangiruza connived with the West on the imposition of sanctions which are making people suffer. If you have any evidence that the elections were rigged why did you not come forward and assist TSVANGIRUZA b4 he withdrew his court challenge on the elections?Spreading BABA JUKWA-like lies against ZANU wont get you anyway! The very SEC GEN of MDCTSVANGIRUZA Biti admited publicly that ZANUPF had a better message to the electorate than Juicing ! See at the ballot box in 2018!

Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof) - 27 July 2014

And just yesterday, in his inaugural UK speech, didnt he implore the EU to bring back the sanctions they just recently removed? And in the sane vein he wants funding to prop up our economy, where does this man really stand ? I dont understand him, really.

badass - 27 July 2014

Tsvangirai havana njere veduwe, vairamba kuti zim haisi pamasunctions nhasi voti ngaasabviswa saka arikumboti kudiiko uyu? Mbiti bhora mberi dofo riri kuenderera mberi neselfishness, pasinewe mogiza pasinewe

hawarr - 28 July 2014

@badas the problem is that we sometimes act on hearsay. When did Tsvangirayi call for sanctions in his recent visit to the UK. This reporter captures the gist of what his speech entails and l dont see anywhere where he calls for the return of sanctions. Even if you are a CIO don't make it obvious.

Mzwazwakankoviyo - 28 July 2014

Some ZANU PF opportunists hide behind their dirty fingers to call for MT's ouster.MT does not have to talk with those who rebelled against him. Instead&rightly so, MT is calling for talks with relevant authorities to save our failing economy NOT for him to stay in gvt like his blind detractors would have us believe.The man is crucial in the rebuilding of the country's economy for all of us. Ncube & Dabengwa teamed up together but how many seats do they collectively have in parliament? Biti&Mangoma are already fighting for leadership of their breakaway MDC. Tsvangirai cannot be blamed for the failure of these guys.He has not interfered with their campaign anywhere.

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GALLERYCARTRIDGES - 28 July 2014

Tsvangirai's call for dialogue to avert the imminent collapse of our economy is very noble & should be supported by truly patriotic Zimbabweans. The fact that gvt has even embarked on chasing street vendors to raise revenue speaks volumes about a dying economy. It's no longer time for political grandstanding.We need jobs!

vhunduvundu - 28 July 2014

I admit that we are suffering that has become our common ordeal. No one would feel comfortable in a country without safe drinking water. And for that, we as a people ought to formulate dialogue that allows for suggestions regarding the way out of these setbacks and possibly how to grow our economy and many other relevant issues. However, I don't think Tsvangirai can make any signifint difference. He has already achieved to big a feat for his ability. Sure, becoming PM of Zimbabwe was a major achievement that has to be admitted. We must not forget that he also used some of his time as PM to market himself to us the public. Whatever he did well has credit for it. That which he did bad has its effects as well. People are saying (not Zanu PF supporters) pass on the baton. Handiende attitude is distroying the party. The man tested power. Power is addictive and very much so with my home boy. He has to trust others. Unless he feel that he is indispensable then it can only be he, himself and hisself.

taurai - 28 July 2014

Guys this Tsvangirai stunt of trying to go back into government and enjoy those goodies and women he used to enjoy by the back door is nonsense . If the economy is collapsing That should be a blessing in disguise for him cause come 2018 he goes straight to state house by winning with a land slide victory via the so called failure by ZANU PF . Now this retard knows that he will never make it so he wants talks . What talks . He thinks he is GOD come on guys to hell with that womanizing fool

Mose Ruddolf ( Hitler) - 28 July 2014

There are two extreme positions here. The first one is that Zanu pf is in power and AU and SADC gave a thumbs up for the recent elections. The second position is that MDC-T is disputing the election results and are arguing for talks or a fresh election. Tsvangirai should by now know that there are no talks coming, and there are no fresh elections coming. He should thus not waste his time, but to confront the challenges in his own party and get to 2018 with some strength. His daily wailing will not help his MDC-T or anyone in Zimbabwe for that matter. The Nikuv he is crying about should be be taken with a pinch of salt. Firstly, Nikuv were at one time based at Tsvangirai's home in Buhera after he had hired them Secondly, Theresa Makone visited Nikuv headquarters in Israel when she was Minister of Home Affairs. So who knows Nikuv better Zanu pf or MDC-T? Is Tsvangirai so dump that he had been hosting people at his rural home who were scheming to rig elections against him. If he is that dump, then whose president does he want to be? Tsvangirai should be careful about his politics. Someone is 'advising' him to make a lot of noise about past elections, leaving him no time to deal with problems in his party. Soon it will be 2018, and you will hear him saying 2018 elections should be postponed because his party won't be ready. It happened in 2013, and when will he learn. Siyana nekuchema homeboy and start organising for the next elections. Otherwise you will cry well beyond 2018. Don't say homie haana kutaura.

machakachaka - 28 July 2014

isingazviziwe kti maelection akabiwa ndiani kno kumanicaland tozviziwa Tsvangirai 4 ever .nhamo yatikuwadza

wasu - 28 July 2014

i see alot of people who comment here and say bad comments about Tsvangirai are really Zanu Pf people. what i like is they compare what Tsvangirai say to what they think Mugabe had said. They simple know how good tsvangirai's ideas are that is why they Keep reading this newspaper. Keep it up Zanu Pf people you really show how Tsvangirai worth because you keep a track on him. Keep reading.

Danga Remombe - 29 July 2014

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