Zim on its knees - Tsvangirai

HARARE - Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is ratcheting up the pressure on regional bloc Sadc, whose leaders are meeting in the Botswana capital Gaborone today, to once again intervene in Zimbabwe’s worsening and seemingly unstoppable political and economic crises.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily News at the weekend (see full interview on page 4), the former prime minister in the Government of National Unity also accused President Robert Mugabe and his ruling Zanu PF of forcing the country to “its knees” through their misrule and being oblivious to the suffering of Zimbabweans.

He said Sadc had issued a contradictory verdict on Zimbabwe’s disputed 2013 national elections, which the regional body had described as free but not fair — presumably hoping that this would encourage Mugabe to institute much-needed reforms and end the country’s long running political and economic crises.

“Now, the critical thing is that Mugabe has left the (Sadc) chairmanship, (and) the crisis of Zimbabwe is not going away. It now behoves Sadc to bring back Zimbabwe on the agenda of Sadc. It’s in their responsibility because what happens in Zimbabwe affects the whole region.

“We are a very pivotal country that we cannot allow an implosion of this magnitude which is going to affect the whole region and Sadc is just folding up its arms and looking (at it) as if nothing is happening. So it’s unavoidable that Sadc will have to bring back the Zimbabwe crisis on its agenda,” Tsvangirai said.

If the MDC leader succeeds in pushing Sadc to intervene in the Zimbabwean crisis, this would not be the first time the regional body would have been sucked into Harare’s recurring problems.

After the country’s violent and vociferously disputed national elections of 2008, the 15-nation bloc, led by South Africa and its then president Thabo Mbeki, put pressure on Mugabe and Tsvangirai to form a power-sharing government in a bid to try and end the anarchy that has characterised Zimbabwe for most of the past two decades.

Sadc leaders also tried valiantly to shepherd the country to a credible election in 2013, which was largely peaceful but still not free of problems as opposition parties and independent electoral bodies alleged electoral malpractices and an uneven playing field.

With Mugabe’s assumption of the chairmanship of both Sadc and the African Union soon after those elections, democracy activists feared that Zimbabwe would fall off regional, continental and international radars on account of its human rights deficits.

But the coming in of Botswana President Ian Khama as Sadc chairperson appears to have rekindled hopes that Zimbabwe will not be able to escape censor when it transgresses its citizens’ rights.

Analysts also say that it is noteworthy that Khama sheltered Tsvangirai in 2008 after the opposition leader defeated Mugabe in that year’s presidential elections and then faced threats on his life after authorities held back the results of the ballot for weeks on end as they seemingly plotted how to thwart the democratic process.

The brutally-honest Khama, who is not much liked in Zanu PF and Zimbabwean government circles, continues to be one of the few African leaders willing to openly criticise and take on Mugabe — recently blaming the nonagenarian for presiding over the country’s economic collapse that has forced millions Zimbabweans to emigrate to other countries that include South Africa and Botswana.

Asked by the Daily News, at the weekend, whether he had sent a team to Botswana to lobby for Zimbabwe’s return to Sadc’s agenda, Tsvangirai said he had as it was important to keep reminding the regional bloc of its obligation to the country.

“Yes, because it’s very important to say ‘you thought you have resolved, you were given a mandate to oversee the Zimbabwe crisis, you did not complete the job because the election was disputed, violence has continued in one form or the other’.

“The fact that Mugabe is chair does not mean that Zimbabwe is in a stable situation. So, we will advise them that you will have to go back and revisit this issue, because instead of resolving this issue, the issue is actually escalating out of control,” he said.

Tsvangirai spoke in the wake of his party boycotting the more than 20 by-elections that have been held in the country since 2013, in protest against Mugabe’s refusal to implement necessary electoral reforms in line with the country’s new Constitution.

The other key demand the MDC is making is that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) should undertake a biometric national voter registration exercise, which will hopefully give rise to the creation of a clean and accurate voters’ roll.

Tsvangirai and other stakeholders allege the voters’ roll, inherited from the Registrar General’s office by Zec, is littered with gross irregularities and includes names of thousands of deceased people.

“Everyone accepts that the political, technical and environmental issues under whose conditions those elections were conducted will leave a lot to be desired in terms of the standards set by Sadc,” he said

Regarding Zimbabwe’s escalating political and economic crises, Tsvangirai said there was need to lobby and increase the spotlight on the country’s problems and leaders, in an endeavour to find long-lasting solutions.

“To have a solution, you must escalate the crisis. Why do I say that? Perhaps it has not dawned on Mugabe that the country is on its knees ... It has not dawned on Mugabe that the country is desperately looking for leadership. We are desperately looking for a way out of the crisis.

“We are almost like the Greek situation. But the Greeks can fall back on the EU (European Union), isu tinoita fall back on who (who will we fall back on)? Internationally, there is no one who can back a regime that has been discredited, which has been illegitimate for all this time. There is no one who is going to take the risk to rescue this country,” he said.

Comments (20)

Though they are peers,[age wise] Robert may not be forgiven for considering repatriation of Nehanda's skull at the expense of the economy.May SADC inform the guy on the need to be serious with the economy.

juks - 17 August 2015

If Zim is on its knees I am happy. It means we are on our knees praying for a solution

Solution - 17 August 2015

What else can he say.

Ndugu - 17 August 2015

Kuchazove rini Nehanda nyakasikana" Dai vaMuzenda vanga vachiripo zvokwadi nhetembo iyoyi vaiiddzokorora. We ran the race and we archieved what all the fallen heroes were craving for. Now when the Economy is on its knees,all the leaving heroes take heed when the skulls of the earlier get repatriated for believe you me munopera. Upfumi hwamakarwira ngahunanzviwe nevapenyu vose. Mbuya Nehanda vatozokwir pachuru kuridza huwi kuti kuno kwaita ngome kana kuti kwaita defe dovuyai mose munombore. Izvi aiwa bodotsvo.

papa - 17 August 2015

Kuchazove rini Nehanda nyakasikana" Dai vaMuzenda vanga vachiripo zvokwadi nhetembo iyoyi vaiiddzokorora. We ran the race and we archieved what all the fallen heroes were craving for. Now when the Economy is on its knees,all the leaving heroes take heed when the skulls of the earlier get repatriated for believe you me munopera. Upfumi hwamakarwira ngahunanzviwe nevapenyu vose. Mbuya Nehanda vatozokwir pachuru kuridza huwi kuti kuno kwaita ngome kana kuti kwaita defe dovuyai mose munombore. Izvi aiwa bodotsvo.

papa - 17 August 2015

arikufarira kutambudzika kwevanhu nekuti ndiyo weapon yake for his political mileage. without protest votes tsvangirai is irrelevant. even with so much protest support he still fails to beat mugabe. iyi ndiyo imwewo mhamo ye munhu. ngaachisiira vamwe chigaro nguva yake yaka so expire kare kare.

zvirozviyedzwa - 17 August 2015

Is TSVANGIRUZA celebrating the Lucifer effects of sanctions he supports? What new can Khama do for him outside SADC, AU and UN? Zimbabweans are not given to surrendering to neo colonial forces that workwith KHAMA! The Bots President has no diplomatic clout to benefit stooges in Zimbabwe!

Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof) - 17 August 2015

Morgiza won 2008 elections. The man should claim his victory full stop

X-MAN IV - 17 August 2015

Yes indeed the country is on its knees and very soon and very soon it will be horizontal and dead ,That is what happens when the country is ruled nga MAZANGA .You can not rig economy can you? When you turn world class commercial farms into MBEVA hunting grounds this is exactly what happen shiit every way . Amazanga cried day and night to rule this country they even went globe trotting berging for money to rig election they got what they wanted but bcoz they know nothing about running a country but only rigging this country will collapse now now now . If these people in govt love this country and they are patriotic citizen they must resign and say sorry to nation and africa at large for doing a bad job in govt and for making every one poor in this country . that is the only reasonable thing they can do now to regain their soiled respect finish and klaa .

Diibulaanyika - 17 August 2015

Nonsense this country had sanctions during Rhodesia if they is any person still talking of target travel bans then I have no doubt the idiot was brain washed at some Border Gezi camps or that person is a dekeleke siruturutu that believes zanu rubbish .

Diibulaanyika - 17 August 2015

Why should Tsvangs make all this noise? He was with ZPF in the inclusive gvt. he ate with ZPF, drank with ZPF and 'went to bed' with ZPF. But he failed to effect even a single reform. Another thing is that he believes in gross inaction and suffering, and this expalins why he failed to participate in the by-elections. He thinks that if people suffer then a solution will be delivered. But by who? and How? Why blame others if he totally failed when he was within the circles? Now he is out of the picture and holding press clubs across the country. He foolishly think that he can win an election through a press club?? I would rather advise him to go back to the drawing board and study ZPF more.At least he may get an idea of how they manipulate the election process.

Hotshot - 17 August 2015

thanks to you morgan for getting in to bed with whites its partly your fault that zim as at its knees,we know what you did with blairs and bushes,you just a failure as those whom your blame for the continued suffering of zimbos ,how you do and many other people a favor and just resign if you really believe in democracy that you preach emancipate your self from mental slavery first , zim will never be colony again rather vote for a dog than you

Dube-1 - 18 August 2015

Hotshot, Muzvinavhu and Zvirozviyedzwa you farted big time. we can't be morning causes at this juncture. this is not the first time this country has been under sanctions. Ian Smith defeated the sanctions through home grown solutions. he even invented war vehicles and pitched up an ethnol plant which the very Zpf gvt discarded and went on to defend the Expensive Beira Corridor to no avail.

nelson - 18 August 2015

Do not ever trust or have any faith whatsoever in what this man Morgan Tsvangirai says because he is someone under the firm control of Mugabe's henchmen. Regardless of what words he might use or how he criticizes Mugabe do not let him fool you because he just isn't for real. We need new faces with new ideas - people who are genuine and committed to freeing us from this misery and oppression. Unless all of us see the light and realize what is going on never will we better ourselves, things will just become worse.

Spokes Mutoko - 18 August 2015

vamwe vanhu kuroiwa chaiko , kana tichitaura zvekusiira vamwe chigaro ndiani anofanira kusiira vamwe, sure sure anenguva yake yakakwana ndiani muno muZimbabwe ndiTsvangirai here kana kuti ndiani, sure vamwe varoi vakarova vamwe vanozviona sekunge vanhu muZimbabwe , sure vakasiya varoya ndookufa saka, nhamo yedu haipere, Mwari dai matibatsira nxaaaa

gmangoma - 18 August 2015

This is the problem with Tsvangirayi - why ask for regional intervention if he cant deal with ZANU (PF) politically. He wants to be handed power in a silver platter!?

Mhofu Chaiyo - 18 August 2015

our own country is greatly in need of a government renewal.

kamungeremu zvidzai - 18 August 2015

Mr Morgan Tsvangirai..you are now happy to Zimbabwe on its knees....

silungisani ndlovu - 18 August 2015

@Silungisani Ndlovu so why don't you cry here so that the public can see you are not happy about the country that is own its knee .More trouble is coming baba as the sewage water that you are drinking with your family will dry up as well chesa mpama

Diibulaanyika - 18 August 2015

@ Mhofu Chaiye SO What do you want Morgan to do ? How many times he has told you to stand up and do something about the limping donkey but you choose to go kubhawa ,to have masese beer .

Diibulaanyika - 18 August 2015

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