Mujuru one of us: Tsvangirai

HARARE - Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has reiterated his willingness to work with former Vice President Joice Mujuru and her newly-formed Zimbabwe People First (ZPF), saying the enemies of the people who needed to be booted out of power were President Robert Mugabe and his ruling Zanu PF.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily News on Sunday yesterday, Tsvangirai welcomed Mujuru to “the side of the people”, adding that the formal entrance into politics of ZPF would serve as an additional arsenal to long-suffering Zimbabweans in their quest to dislodge Mugabe and Zanu PF from power.

The battle-hardened MDC leader and former prime minister in the government of national unity said the “sad reality and incontrovertible truth” was that Mugabe and Zanu PF were the “singular negative catalyst” behind Zimbabwe’s political and economic crises of the past 36 years.

In that light, he added, all the people and organisations who believed in a democratic and better Zimbabwe, and who were prepared to put their “bodies and souls on the line in the fight against the Zanu PF kleptocracy” were for the people, and therefore, allies “in the struggle”.

“For me, they (Mujuru and ZPF) are definitely not the enemy. They appeal to a certain constituency and are part of the opposition now. They are certainly not the problem.

“The problem is, and has always been Zanu PF. So, in terms of accepting... says Mugabe, Zanu PF will be ‘chicken feed’ in 2018

their role and space in the struggle, there is no issue there. I see nothing wrong with them,” Tsvangirai said.

The MDC president spoke after Mujuru officially launched her party in Harare last week, where she also openly expressed her willingness to work with other opposition parties in the fight for democracy in Zimbabwe.

Picking up on the partnership theme yesterday, which has sent Zanu PF into panic mode ahead of Zimbabwe’s eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections, Tsvangirai said it was clear that the MDC shared many beliefs with ZPF on critical issues such as democracy and respect for property rights.

However, the indefatigable former trade unionist cautioned that there was a significant hurdle that opposition parties, Mujuru’s ZPF included, had to deal with — even if they worked together and won elections — and this related to how to transfer power.

“There are many State institutions that continue to be abused to thwart the people’s will. Whether it’s Morgan Tsvangirai or Amai Mujuru, or anybody else, we have to force conditions, conditions that will allow for the mandate of the people to be observed.

“The fact is that Mugabe has always sustained his power through military means and pillars. And this is not likely to stop anytime soon.

“On the other hand, we know and have never said that the military is an enemy of the people. We have always said people must be professional and that they must respect the Constitution.

“If the Constitution were to be observed in both letter and spirit, I can tell you that Zanu PF will not last one more day in power. If we were able to beat them in 2008 as we did, in 2018 they will be chicken feed,” a confident Tsvangirai said.

In an interview with our sister paper, the Daily News last week, Mujuru also spoke about the country’s uneven political playing field, but suggested that she had the capacity to reach out to the critical security sector that is led by her liberation struggle comrades.

Analysts also say Mujuru, whose liberation struggle nom de guerre was Teurai Ropa (Spill Blood), and whose husband Solomon was the first black post-independence army commander, could provide the much-needed bridge that opposition parties have been missing to ensure the smooth transfer of power if they win elections again.

However, they warn that without a broad coalition involving all the major opposition players, Zanu PF would use “its usual thuggish and foul methods” to retain power in 2018.

Expounding on the scope and prospects of a broad opposition coalition, Tsvangirai said while such a move was ideal, even necessary, such a union should not be constructed by political elites alone, without the buy-in of ordinary Zimbabweans and grassroots supporters.

“We have always believed that coalitions should not be pacts among elites. They should be about the people. They can’t just be deals between a few leaders.

“Coalitions should be strategic partnerships that serve to achieve the will and objectives of the people, not just opportunistic vehicles for a few people sitting around and deliberating on who gets what positions,” Tsvangirai underlined.

“We are fighting for a democratic process, the future of this country and ensuring that the people’s will is respected. If the right conditions are there, and the correct political spirit is there, then the opportunity for partnerships is there.

“But I want to emphasise that this is not about positions because the obsession with positions is a fight to the bottom, instead of fighting to ensure that the objective to dislodge the current evil system is won,” he added.

Tsvangirai praised Zimbabweans and his MDC colleagues for keeping on fighting for what “is right in the noble quest to remove the dictatorship in power using democratic means”.

“We have always stuck to the democratic process because we believe in the democratic change of governments. Unfortunately, in trying to push for that agenda, we have met so many thuggish obstacles, including violence and the rigging of elections.

“It is a fair comment to say nowhere else in the world have you ever seen a democratic movement taking on a dictatorship like we have done using democratic means. That’s what defines us and differentiates us from others.

“If you also look at what we have achieved, we have managed to redefine the State through the new Constitution and forced Zanu PF to accept that it has no inherent power and monopoly on the governance of this country. Given all this, the future can only be bright,” he said.

Comments (8)

We are religiously following the opposition leaders. The most important thing is about bringing back rule of law in Zimbabwe. Democracy and respect for human rights need to be the first priority if opposition politics is to win the hearts of the people. Take cognizance of the general people who can add value to opposition politics of the country. It is high time people who are the voters know the position all the different opposition political parties.

Chihwemukudu - 7 March 2016

Kikikikikikikiikiki. Vari kurota Mbuya ava. ONCE ZANU (MORE THAN 34 YEARS PANYANGA!) ALWAYS ZANU. Ko zvamaiti munonamata wani!? IZanu PF musecond half yamuri kutipa iyi neteam yenyu z(anu)pfffffffff! Kubatana kwenyu manyepo aya - your only unity is because you now have one common enemy (Mugabe and Zanu PF). To quote manyepo enyu ayo: "Mind you, President Mugabe is not a young person. He is 92... He would be not be involved in anything.... To me he is a spirit. ..... In my culture, you don't raise a finger to a man or a woman who is your mother or your grandfather's age. It is spiritual, he is now a living spirit and we are lucky to have him alive. If you want to talk to your departed grandfather, you talk to them through him and you don't have to wrong him, because at his age he is just there to sit around and be respected as a living spirit. I don't want to destabilize a living spirit”. Joice Mujuru served as vice president under Mugabe from 2004 to 2014. She held several government posts since Zimbabwe's independence in 1980. In April 2015 she was expelled from ZANU-PF for allegedly plotting against Mugabe." Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) interim leader Joice Mujuru has unveiled her national management committee: Mujuru (president), Didymus Mutasa, Rugare Gumbo, Sylvester Nguni, Cougan Matanhire, Dzikamai Mavhaire, John Shumba Mvundura, Methuseli Moyo, Gift Nyandoro. Zimbabwean politics is cheap and a game of con men and women. Wise up Zimbabweans - we need fresh and new ideas, visionaries, technocrats with clear articulated ideas on transforming our nation; people of character and ethics not these chameleon, mercurial characters

Moffat Makombe - 7 March 2016

everyone in opposition would rather prefer mai mujuru including tsvangirai. machinja kurai mhani. don't just criticize for the sake of it. change is what zimbos are after. to achieve it we have to think deep and unite otherwise zanu will continue destroying our country.

zvirozviyedzwa - 7 March 2016

“Coalitions should be strategic partnerships that serve to achieve the will and objectives of the people, not just opportunistic vehicles for a few people sitting around and deliberating on who gets what positions,” Tsvangirai underlined. "...SERVE TO ACHIEVE AND THE WILL AND OBJECTIVES OF THE PEOPLE, NOT JUST OPPORTUNISTIC VEHICLES FOR AFEW PEOPLE SITTING AROUND DELIBERATING ON WHO GETS WHAT POSITIONS." We have had this talk before from all Zimbabwean politicians musquerading as saviours of us black people. All what I have noticed is they are all the same idiots who have no plans of changing our lives for the better. Selfishness prevails in their genes, worse than in baboons. Ofcourse the chief of them is Robert Mugabe who has utterly no shame. For us Zimbabweans it can only get worse as long as this crop of cheating and lying politicians are in leadership. You just need to listen to Joice Mujuru to understand what I mean. Her husband was a kingmaker. She was vice president for decades in the very party that ruined our country. Today she says she is born again after having been catapulted from the gravy train. Really !

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 7 March 2016

coalition with our erstwhile oppressors are not welcome. once a zanu always a zanu. remember makoni and dabengwa were paid to derail our agenda for change. the same applies to this ugly lady runaida. additionally, her entourage is made up of cruel, rude and non-performing zanu garbage- Claudius makova, bright matonga, didi mutasa, covo gumbo, dzikamai mavhaire, kulover basket. handizivi kuti kuvhotera mbiti idzodzi munenge muchida kunyatsoachiever chii!!! useless from the age of 25 year when you joined govt up to now at 60. mugotsi mako mune mago iwe joice tobvirepo nekusanyara.

josphat mugadzaweta - 7 March 2016

It is a well known fact that Morgan Tsvangirai is now a spent force. Having such a weak leader like Tsvangirai, will turn the country into a haven of Gays and Lesbians. The reason being the MDC is easily dictated to by the West. We will never accept Gays and Lesbians in Zimbabwe. Some will think that it is Mugabe`s stance, but let it be known that Zimbabweans are united whenit comes to Gays.

Yago - 8 March 2016

Tsvangirai is confused, Mujuru has the same ideologies as Zanu. If she had resigned, then we would have said "she's seen the light" . But she was fired.

figo - 8 March 2016

Tsvangirai is confused, Mujuru has the same ideologies as Zanu. If she had resigned, then we would have said "she's seen the light" . But she was fired.

figo - 8 March 2016

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