'Let's have fresh polls'

HARARE - Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has written to Sadc demanding fresh elections, claiming that last year’s polls were rigged by President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF.

In a damning letter to the Troika Organ on Politics, Defence and Security of the 15-member Southern African Development Community (Sadc), Tsvangirai said a compromise to produce a government that might save Zimbabwe from further financial calamity was proving elusive.

The MDC leader’s emissaries handed the letter to the regional leaders at the two-day summit at the Victoria Falls at the weekend, as hundreds of anti-government MDC protesters began a jobs march in the capital Harare yesterday, raising fears of political instability.

The opposition party’s calls for demonstrations are appealing to poor Zimbabweans struggling with high unemployment, daily power and water cuts, a deepening liquidity crunch and deflation.

Tsvangirai’s letter claimed that the 2013 elections were rigged and that Mugabe has a fake mandate.

But Zanu PF and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission have rejected the claims.

“As we write to you, we are aware that Mr Mugabe, the man at the centre of the illegitimate government in Harare, is the incoming  chairperson of Sadc,” Tsvangirai’s letter says.

The MDC leader’s letter came as regional leaders handed the rotating Sadc chair to Mugabe.

Confirming that it was in a Catch-22 over Mugabe’s chairmanship, Tsvangirai’s letter was handed to the Troika not the Sadc chairman as is the norm, and to other 14 heads of State.

The opposition MDC is hoping for a solution over the disputed election and was in a quandary over plans to take the query to the Sadc, which is now chaired by Mugabe.

“It is in this respect that we hope that the Sadc Troika, to which we have addressed this letter, will take seriously our position on the developments in this country, which developments are slowly gravitating towards an inevitable implosion,” Tsvangirai’s letter says.

“We in the MDC have waited long enough for truly free and fair elections. We have great faith in Sadc as an institution and the dedication of its member states to ensure peace and good, democratic governance in our region.”

The regional bloc mediated a power-sharing deal between Mugabe and the MDC leader five years ago.

“Despite Mr Mugabe’s chairing of the regional body, we urge all member states to take into cognisance the grievous and parlous state of the economic and political situation in Zimbabwe,” Tsvangirai said in his letter.

Zimbabwe has lurched from one crisis to the next since last year’s poll and is now enduring a deepening recession. Nearly one Zimbabwean worker in five has no job.

“We in the MDC will not be looking forward to events taking care of themselves, or to expect this illegal government to take seriously their responsibility by ensuring a return to legitimacy or stemming the unfolding economic and political tide,” Tsvangirai’s letter says.

“Our Constitution, to which our colleagues in Zanu PF have no iota of respect, makes it certain that it is within the rights of citizens to engage in peaceful protests,” the letter adds.

The MDC has said it would be unfurling weekly protests until their demands are met.

“We in the MDC are drawing a line in the sand and we hereby inform our colleagues in Sadc, well in advance, that the people of Zimbabwe shall be writing their own script for an endgame to the struggle for freedom and democracy in Zimbabwe,” Tsvangirai warned.

“The multi-layered crisis in the country is stemming from the crisis of legitimacy, arising from the stolen election of July 31, 2013.

“It is a crisis that can only be resolved by a return to confidence and legitimacy, which can only happen once this country holds a truly free and fair election predicated on those reforms that Sadc itself had insisted on, before allowing the election to proceed in the absence of the same reforms.”

A key Sadc resolution at a Maputo Sadc summit held ahead of last year’s election was that the Zimbabwe government was mandated to engage the Constitutional Court to postpone the election from July 31, 2013 to enable reforms to take place.

Tsvangirai said that postponement did not happen and the country went to rushed polls in the absence of key reforms that Sadc itself had said were at the heart of the conduct for a truly free and fair election.

“As I write this letter, President Mugabe has confirmed that on-going internal elections in his own party are being rigged amid allegations of vote-buying and kidnappings,”

Tsvangirai said, referring to accusations of ballot fraud that blighted the Zanu PF Youth League vote last week.

The former prime minister said it was his belief that Sadc’s role does not begin and end with elections.

“Sadc has a role to play in this country, especially in the face of a debilitating crisis and the government’s failure to implement a national Constitution written and endorsed by millions of the country’s citizens,” Tsvangirai’s letter says.

“There was a crisis of monumental proportions when Sadc intervened in 2008 and the region cannot just watch while the situation deteriorates to yet another crisis of a similar magnitude,” Tsvangirai said.

Lieutenant-colonel Tanki Mothae, director of the Sadc Troika, told reporters in Victoria Falls ahead of the summit that regional leaders would not entertain opposition complaints.

Comments (32)

To Morgan Tsvangirayi: Let zanu-pf self-destruct, I know your heart is in the right place but sometimes you just have to be patient. Zimbabwe is going down the drain, and so is ZANU-PF. do not throw them a lifeline by writing to SADC where he(Mugabe) is chair. If you are invited to discuss possible solutions, at this time, you are doing it in a position of weakness. Allow ZANU-PF to go to congress this December, by then, the economy and the in-fighting will have made many a people to re-evaluate their positions (case in point is Jabulani Sibanda) who is already talking corruption. Meanwhile, I suggest DMC clean house, continue to reach out, mend fences where you can, and establish better communication channels within and outside the party. Focus on what you empathy, goodwill and good leadership. I think if you do those things, and let the chips fall where they may, you have a better chance of influencing the next phase of rebuilding Zimbabwe. I know the temptation is to press on, but if you do I can guarantee you, that it will blow in your face. The best uniter in ZANU pf is their hate for democracy and change. The moment they hear that you are making in- rods somewhere, they will forget about their interal struggles and come after you. And this derails the rebuilding project which in all of this is in my view the most important issue to Zimbabwe and her peoples.

tino - 19 August 2014

Tsvangirai you are just wasting time for as long Mr Mugabe is the chair of SADC then its like a dog chasing its tail. wait for the next elections and try to put your party, personal life in order.

omega - 19 August 2014

tsvangirai please spare us from your delusion. or is it that yu want to be seen to be doing something? your mind is simply blunt, and yu have no solution to our situation in the country. better unyarare hako

deluded tsvangirai - 19 August 2014

Although SADC noted a few problems in the conduct of the elections, they endorsed the elections. I do not know how Mr Tsvangira expects the same regional grouping to renounce its earlier verdict on 2013 elections and call for new elections. Mr Tsvangirai should also tell this nation how these elections were rigged, so that we become elightened. Shrill claims of rigging without putting forward the method of rigging will not help us. Your newspaper saying 'damning'. What is really damning about something that is being repeated, without also submitting evidence of fraud? Mr Tsvangirai alleges that SADC allowed the elections to go ahead without the agreed reforms. I think he has a point here, but then why did he drag his party into such election then? Was he not saying, three days before voting, that he would become president after vote counting? Before the elections, privately owned newspapers reported "Tsvangirai takes charge" of the election process, and we know this was done to project power on the part of the then PM. If he was in charge, what went wrong, member in charge?

machakachaka - 19 August 2014

With all due respect Mr Tsvangirai, you are wasting your time on this one. Start working hard towards 2018 -its just round the corner.

John o - 19 August 2014

CHIDOFO CHE-MDC-T NA CHEMATAMA WACHO CHINOTONYADZISA!! [1] Morgiza no longer has any official standing to expect, let alone demand action from SADC; paaitandanisa madhirezi muGNU aifunga kuti zvicharamba zvakadaro??!! It doesn't need any rocket science to know that Chematama's petition will promptly find home in the waste paper basket!! [2] what strange logic & foolishness is that to expect the SADC troika to act against the overall chair [Bob]??!! [3] kusekana kwaanakamba!!...is Tsvangison aware that Biti allegedly also wrote to SADC complaining about his [Tsvangirai's] dismal leadership qualities??!! [4] it's clear Chematama suffers from a very defective memory!!...does he remember that he once labelled SADC as "a bunch of spineless cowards"??!! [5] the demos about jobs were meant to embarrass Gushaz in the presence of the other SADC leaders but it didn't work!! Future demos will be ruthlessly dealt with...look at USA where they have now called in soldiers [National Guard] to help quell the riots!!

ZVOKWADI - 19 August 2014


reason - 19 August 2014

diye anonzi tsvangirai watinoziva uyu. anongo rova nyaya yake kunyangwe nepasiriipo. ibasa basa.regai vamwe vakamutiza.

zvirozviyedzwa - 19 August 2014

wandiuraya nekuseka @reason. munhu wedzimba muchinda uyu. Arikuedza kuita zvese politics nemichato yake. vana biti vakazviona vakati regai timudzinge mumusangano.

zvirozviyedzwa - 19 August 2014


DOLL - 19 August 2014

Tsvangirai knows for a fact that SADC will never reverse their endorsement of 2013 election but he has to tell them that those elections were rigged.He knows very well that SADC are a useless lot when it comes to Zimbabwe but he has to talk to them all the same. Many things were tried during our liberation struggle & there is absolutely nothing wrong with MT doing the same thing here.We know ZANU PF hate a free & fair election because they won't win it. But tino's advice is very good.

STRUGGLE - 19 August 2014

Holding fresh mock elections will cost around $100 million and the government is flat broke (unable to pay civil servants). MDC-T is likely to get about 15% of the vote down from 31% in July 2013 because the other 15% will got to Biti's Renewal Group. This is hypothetical because mock elections are never going to be held for as long as Mugabe is in charge. There will not be any reforms. Last time ZanuPF was adamant no reforms were ever going to take place. Why did MDCs continue to drink wine (elections) they thought had been laced with poison (rigged)? Mugabe is the most senior in Sadc and besides he is chairman so nobody would dare challenge him to hold fresh elections which will be rigged anyway. I think Tsvangirai should lick his wounds in peace and not suggest the impossible. MDC-T is all but history now. MDC-T painted themselves into a corner by going into a coalition with ZanuPF and then participating in what were clearly sham mock elections in June 2013. MDC-T will lose again in 2018 if the few left decide to participate in the elections. Biti's Renewal Team is just “old wine in a different bottle”.

Musona - 19 August 2014

Apa tawirirana mukuru musona. ispot on. Tsvangirai ndirikutadza kubata paakamira chaipo. Maybe kusaziva politikos kuti inofamba sei. But apa tawirirana.

taurai - 19 August 2014

When will this idiot start reasoning

peter mayor - 19 August 2014

Who is the idiot the one trying to solve the bad economic situation in the country through all good means and those who are follower of 90 yr frail .semi blind killer of 20 000 unarmed citizens of this country. An idiot is the one who destroyed africa .number two economy and left us broke with no currency of our own . Yes that is the biggest idiot in the world .

Diibulaanyika - 19 August 2014

I don't think fresh elections is the way to go and neither is this a view shared by the majority Zimbabweans. Calling for fresh elections is very divorced and divergent from the situation on the ground. Ordinary Zimbabweans, are looking up to the national leadership (both within and outside govt) to solve the prevalent economic crisis. This is the greater cause. To ordinary Zimbabweans out there, ngatisiyanei nekusweroita jee tichiti "he he zviri kumbofamba sei" nyika ichienda kumawere. That's very demonic in my view. Lets intercede for our lovely nation by seeking the face of God.

zvozodii - 19 August 2014

Tsvangirai is showing his political immaturity. Appealing to SADC is a waste of time and we are tired of we want fresh elections. Wait for 2018 and let those who still think that you can rule this country vote for you. You are finished politically

dunga - 19 August 2014

This rhetoric worked well before Tsvangs joined the unity gvt. This is pre-gnu talk and strategies MDC is recycling. Today MDC realizes the people are suffering yet in their stint in the GNU they never did much to aid the people, but aided themselves and women upwards. ZANU won't have time to even worry about MDC let alone SADC. We anxiously look to ZANU to see who will emerge victor to possibly give new life to the party or fracture it for good

dont matter - 19 August 2014

I hope Tsvangirai reads all these comments. What makes you think the elections will be any different??? If anything it will be worse. Zanu PF is controlling all institutions unlike the last election when you were part of some institutions. Put your energy in preparing for 2018. At times its better to keep quiet that to speak.

Open Eye - 20 August 2014

I don't think MT is wrong in talking about fresh elections which he knows will never happen.It's unfortunate Zimbabwe is full of do nothing problem analysts but fortunately, such useless analysts did not exist during our liberation struggle.You try everything in the struggle.You can't keep quiet when a big event is taking place in your country. Of coz some of us live on money of blood&they fear ZANU PF's defeat. ZANU PF will forever refuse reforms&observers from the west because of their fear of free & fair elections.MT is not at all wrong in calling for fresh elections. Yes his enemies will always make their usual derogatory but empty words against him.Let him try. No one has been stopped from trying to wrestle power from evil ZANU PF.

DZIVAREMBWA - 20 August 2014

Tsvangirai's efforts should be commended by all forward thinking citizens of all southern african countries. Because of the rigged elections of June 2013, Zimbabweans keep flocking to neighbouring countries putting a burden on their own service delivery. Right now there are fresh reports of xenophobic attacks in South African townships targeted mainly at Zimbabweans. Who is to say these xenophobic attacks will not spread to Botswana, Namibia and Zambia? Tsvangirai has given SADC leaders a point to ponder and when they go back to their countries, though they may not act since they are also benefitting from the crisis in Zimbabwe in some ways, they will have to discuss the possibility of an unstable environment leading to chaos within and outside Zimbabwe.

Dr Know - 20 August 2014

Dambudziko ravaTsvangirai nderekuti havana rimwe basa ravanogona kuita rinovapa mari, cash, kunze kwepolitics dzavasingagone futi! Vamwe vavo magweta uye vanemabhizimisi anovapa chouviri.Ndapota batsirai vaTsvangirai vawane basa kana bhizimisi rokuita kuti vawane mari semunhu angeajaira kubata zhunde remari yaasina kushandira.Mukadai, munoona murume uyu achinyarara sezvo arinani kana akanyarara pane kuti awawate twusina maturo nguva dzose iye arimunhu mukuru.

Anotida - 20 August 2014

Nobody in their right mind wants to hear anything still coming out of this Bozo Tsvangirai's mouth. He has become a non-important element in Zimbabwe and I think its time we watch for something else.

Chaguduka - 20 August 2014

Both Anotida & Chaguduka are terrible liars.We really want to hear Tsvangirai talk the way he does.You hate him for no apparent reason except that he is fighting an evil system. You hate the our freedom becoz you are well fed by your devil.If not give us the alternative to Tsvangirai.

GAKANJE - 20 August 2014

Aaah Tsvangy anopedza simba..sure like seriously, no wonder u are stil in opposition, what has changed that was not changed prior to 2013 elections?try and channel your energy towards redress of those things that were amiss during 2013 so that by 2018 maybe, maybe they would have been corrected..otherwise 2018 will come and go and still continue calling for fresh elections

WabhoraTsvangy - 20 August 2014

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@gakanje another alternative is Tendai Biti. Tsvangirai mutsvagiriewo rimwe basa se zviri kutaurwa nevazhinji. Dai zvemadzimai zvaibhadhara angadai asina problem. Ndizvo zvakamuvhiringira trust yaaive nayo. Donors do not trust him any more - do does a large section of the zim electorate. Try biti hama.

zvirozviyedzwa - 20 August 2014

Biti lied to his wife saying he was going to Nyanga for a meeting only to take his girlfriend&had a car accident in Chegutu. .If your argument is based on women then you have no point at all pathetic ZVIROZVIYEDZWA. You just hate MT & I doubt if you really support BITI.

GAKANJE - 20 August 2014

Morgan Tsvangirai should also repeat MDC-T primaries elections before he makes such claims coz Chamisa,Lovemore Moyo and Abednico Bhebhe imposed and rigged for some individuals in last primarries which caused them to be trounced heavily by Zanu pf

eta - 20 August 2014

Gys above all our comments God is the author of Events Don't relax and forget Zimbabweans. Why cant we mature why should we we fight a war of words? The Bible Says and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. Gods desing is not a mistake Regai zvikurirane zviyo nesora. Time shall tell. Go has a plan for us not to harm us but to prosper. Zvemadzimai hazvinei neNyika dont mix Politics and private personal live. Advise these uneducated Men of God. Mdc and Zanu. Our life and our blood is crying over them. The shall be answerable. Lets teach them and Advice them.

Maraku - 21 August 2014

all things work together for good to them that love God. So nothing is amiss

musharukwa - 22 August 2014

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