Demand your rights, Tsvangirai tells students

HARARE - Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai (pictured) says it is high time students stand up and demand their rights from the Zanu PF-led government even “if it means making tertiary institutions ungovernable”.

Addressing students at  the University of Zimbabwe yesterday, Tsvangirai said the struggle for the realisation of student rights needed all learners to brave up and take Zanu PF’s “politics of fear” head on.   

“Government will not respond to your plight unless you demand it!” Tsvangirai, a former prime minister, said.

“The rights of students and the rights of any citizen in the country and freedom are not going to be given on a silver platter.”

Tsvangirai said: “Zanu PF and Mugabe were ready to defend their rule by any means possible,” and the only way to win “was to fight for freedom by any means possible”.

“Yes, you can say Tsvangirai give us a solution to all these problems. I have no solution. I am not the government.

“ . . . the reality is that unless you have the government you deserve which prioritises your rights there is nothing we can do but only fight for you on different forums”.

He said it was unfortunate that students were being forced into prostitution while others were dropping out of school and deferring their studies due to poverty.

He said these infringements of students’ rights at tertiary institutions were just symptoms of a bigger crisis.

“To hear that students are entrenched in prostitution as a way of survival is a shame . . . but you have to ask what you are doing to fight for your rights.

“ . . . we are meeting at a time of a national crisis . . . crisis of an economy, a crisis of legitimacy, a crisis of leadership, a crisis of governance.

“Some of you may not appreciate when we talk of a nearly failed state, it’s a big crisis, when a nation is not able to feed itself, when a nation is not able to deprive the basics . . . it’s an indictment on that leadership.

Tsvangirai said it was easy to blame his party for failing to topple Mugabe who has now governed Zimbabwe for the last 36 years but he had the scars to testify of Mugabe’s “sophisticated dictatorship”.

“Some of us have been in the trenches for long, we can easily show the scars, the vagaries and the loss of loved ones as a testimony of the battle that has been waged by the people of Zimbabwe,” he said.

“Now I know it’s easier to say matadza kubvisa (you have failed to remove) dictatorship but we want to understand the nature of this dictatorship. Naively ourselves in 1999, we thought we would just organise ourselves and vote Mugabe out of power.

“No, it doesn’t work like that. It takes struggles; it takes commitment and takes sacrifice on the part of everyone to ensure that pressure is applied on the dictator.

“And the MDC has been an epitome of that struggle . . . some have been raped, some have had their houses destroyed, the crimes of human suffering perpetrated on human life in 2008.

“I have testimonies of almost 40 groups that come on a daily basis . . . all these testimonies point to the fact that Zanu PF and Mugabe will not give up power easily. They are determined to defend power by all means available.”

Comments (7)

he preaches chaos as he cannot sell his policies,even the british have lost confidence in this moron,come 2018 another resounding defeat awaits this intellectual dwarf

truth - 13 April 2016

Stupid Morgan, you pretend that you don't know your contribution to the problems facing the country today and the students specifically. You are a hypocrite

tk - 13 April 2016

Stupid Morgan, you pretend that you don't know your contribution to the problems facing the country today and the students specifically. You are a hypocrite

tk - 13 April 2016

The bottom line will always be that the factional dog fights obtaining in ZANU PF have rendered the opposition politics useless! The politics now is within ZANU and not outside! The people now, in terms of choice are all aligned to ZANU as a whole and it's now a matter of selecting whose the better devil within the rotten party! ZANU has demonstrated being a formidable party and the prospects of diminishing from outside are close to nil or none!!!

Frank Zibusiso Nyathi - 13 April 2016

What are the students doing at Uni? What bright prospects await them in a Zim ruled by these intellectually superior beings calling themselves ZANU. They have had over 35 yrs at the helm and what do we have? A country in crisis, with the Commander in Chief clueless, his lieutenants obscenely engaged in looting the country dry. If Morgan is an intellectual dwarf, he at least has his few neurons in the right place as far as our country is concerned.

Dunlop Munjanja - 13 April 2016

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