Tsvangirai under Zanu PF siege

HARARE - Analysts say President Robert Mugabe and his ruling Zanu PF are once again waging yet another assault on opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s political career, ahead of the country’s much-anticipated national elections in 2018.

These sentiments come in the wake of successive, but ultimately unsuccessful attempts last week by the Deputy Sheriff — on both occasions in the curious company of riot police and State media — to attach the MDC president’s personal property over a labour dispute involving former party employees whose contracts were terminated in disputed circumstances in August 2010.

Despite the fact that the MDC was armed with a stay of execution order, and that there is no obvious direct link between Tsvangirai and the disaffected former employees, the Deputy Sheriff still attempted on two occasions to take the personal property of the former prime minister in the government of national unity — including vehicles and household furniture, prompting analysts to suspect this as political persecution ahead of 2018.

Virtually all the analysts who spoke to the Daily News on Sunday yesterday fingered Mugabe and Zanu PF in the assaults on Tsvangirai — citing the presence of armed riot police and State media journalists as evidence that the ruling party was intent on “decimating” him completely ahead of the country's next elections.

Prominent academic Ibbo Mandaza said it was difficult to escape the conclusion that Mugabe wanted Tsvangirai and the MDC annihilated before 2018, and that the former premier was therefore “a hunted man”.

He said there was little doubt that Mugabe had a lot of scores to settle with Tsvangirai and would thus not miss an opportunity to embarrass him.

“The question that would be asked is who is behind the actions of the Deputy Sheriff? It certainly appears political and there are big issues here.

“Just look at the issue of Tsvangirai’s benefits. He is a former prime minister of the country and is entitled to his pension and benefits, just as Ian Smith got his. He (Mugabe) also got his when he became president, but did Tsvangirai get his? No. It tells you there are issues,” Mandaza said.

Zimbabwe Democracy Institute director, Pedzisai Ruhanya, said contrary to claims by Mugabe that Tsvangirai was finished after losing the 2013 elections, the nonagenarian was “still rattled” by the former prime minister’s influence in local politics.

“It is clearly a case of political persecution, especially when you look at how the police were involved in all the drama. It was meant to intimidate Tsvangirai and throw the whole MDC and its structures into disarray ahead of 2018,” Ruhanya said.

However, he warned that Mugabe’s actions were likely to yield the opposite effect of what he wanted to achieve, adding that Tsvangirai’s “persecution” would very likely earn him public sympathy instead.

“History has taught us that Tsvangirai is most effective when he either confronts the State or is confronted by the State. They are making him more relevant by doing that and they know that available scientific evidence shows that Tsvangirai haaperi zvekumhanya. (It’s not easy to destroy him)  Since 2002 he has not won less that 1,5 million votes,” Ruhanya said.

He also added that Mugabe was only too aware that Tsvangirai would emerge victorious if he was to contest Mnangangwa, Joice Mujuru or Mugabe himself in 2018.

“Scientifically and quantitatively, Tsvangirai can win against them even in a stage-managed election. He will shock a lot of people like he did after the 2005 split and Zanu PF know that,” Ruhanya said.

Political commentator Maxwell Saungweme said the actions smacked of “political machinations”, arguing that law enforcement agents were supposed to draw a line between different legal personas.

However, Saungweme said there was also room to try and establish if the property that the Deputy Sheriff sought to attach did not belong to the MDC.

“You cannot rule out political games at play but one also needs not to be naive to think that Tsvangirai owned the 22 cars that were reportedly parked at his house. So to me we need to tread carefully and have all the facts,” Saungweme said.

Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka, said the attempts to attach the veteran opposition leader’s property merely indicated that Zanu PF was “running scared”.

“Zanu PF is in panic mode and everyone can see that, as they unfortunately and unwittingly confirm that he is a powerful brand in Zimbabwe.

“It is ridiculous that they said Morgan Tsvangirai was politically finished on 31 July 2013, but if he is a spent force, is he still worth all this effort (against him)?” Tamborinyoka asked.

Comments (9)

First of all zanu intelligence has rediscovered that Morgan was never finished as lied before hence this panic which has activated their barbaric behavior .Secondly the whole excise was to spy at Morgan 's residence as we know zanu is led by the cowards who will even shoot at a gundwane which strays in their house using a bazook so they always think Morgan is housing terrorists and has arms catch which i have no doubt they are planning to plant those arms before elections as political gimmick . They were in a spying mission finish and klaa this thing of attaching goods for the dismissed workers is bullshiit bcoz we all know zanu never care about workers and will never care one day . To any sane citizen last week 's barbaric on Morgan shows zanu knows Morgan will win next elections and this time it will be difficult to rig hence single him alone out of many political parties in the land .

Diibulaanyika - 27 July 2015

The politics of Zimbabwe is funny. ZANU PF is Mugabe - Mugabe is ZANU PF. The MDC, similarly is Tsvangirai and vice versa. So was Ian Smith and the RF, Abel Muzoo and, ..., Ndabaningi and Chibwechitedza and Chikerema and TwoBoy's ZUM. In 1999, I was damn naïve sure the MDC would be different. Mind when Susan was taken? She couldn't exactly be the objective - a near miss, and she a crossfire victim. Don't eyes close, Morgan.

maombo david - 27 July 2015

MDc leaders should watch out especially with close relatives . We know ZANU pf is using MT ' s relatives to fish out information that will be used in 2018 . The CIO is working day in day out to destroy MDc from the top . Some of them even boost about it using proxies whom we know have relatives in this dubious organisation , that operates without any known budget

Dzasukwa - 27 July 2015

SAVE MUSACHEUKE MURIDZO NGWARIRAI MABASA EZANU now zanu has abandoned their youths by chasing them and stoping them from from vending the only beter way of making money for youths who at the moment can not find work since companies continue closing at a daily basis.its a pitty the same youths will be paid peanuts again to be used to beat up people come election period .WAKE UP YOUTHS OF ZIMBABWE ITS NOW OUR TIME TO MOVE WITH A WINNING TEAM BEER IS ONLY FOR A FEW HOURS BUT YOUR FUTURE IS FOREVER THINK DEEP

DONT BE FOOLED MORGAN - 27 July 2015

In my book, and despite what may be said to the contrary, Morgan Tsvangirai isn't an obstacle to ZANU PF but a great and valuable asset. He is there to make sure that the Mugabe culture continues to rule Zimbabwe, in other words he is a wolf in sheep's clothing masquerading around pretending to be opposition but in reality assisting Mugabe. If this were not so he would never have signed that GNU agreement, allowed the last two elections to proceed without the required election reforms but each and every time he bows to them and actually facilitates the fully recovery of ZANU PF. It is time all of us woke up to this reality. MDC is in desperate need of big change as we will never ever win with Morgan Tsvangirai at the helm.

Spokes Mutoko - 28 July 2015

Mr Tsvangirai just brings trouble to himself, unnecessarily. As a former trade unionist, why cant he resolve the impasse with his party's former employees!? I am tired of this biased reporting. Herald and Daily News always compete for the top price in lacking critical analysis in reporting.

Lance - 28 July 2015

The fact that you still think he has a "political career" is worrying. #Ndapedza

Ensign - 30 July 2015

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