Victory certain - Tsvangirai

BULAWAYO - Opposition leader and former prime minister in the government of national unity, Morgan Tsvangirai, says if long-suffering Zimbabweans continue to fight determinedly for what is right and theirs, it will only be a matter of time before they attain real and meaningful democracy.

Addressing journalists at the Bulawayo Press Club on Friday, Tsvangirai also reaffirmed his and the MDC’s willingness to work with other opposition parties to fight for a level political playing field in the country to enable the holding of free, fair and credible elections.

“We have to fight for conditions and those conditions will ensure that whatever coalition is built, victory is possible,” he said — adding that his party was not against the setting up of a grand coalition of opposition political parties.

“We have not closed our door and neither have we refused to engage with others. It is a process and I am sure that by the time we come to 2018, the possibility of a coalition will be there.

“But let it be underlined here, it is not a question of just bringing together parties. We can have 20 parties (coming together) and those parties will still face the same unfavourable electoral environment and they will be defeated,” Tsvangirai said.

Without naming and shaming anyone, he regretted the fact that there were some people within the opposition who prioritised positions at the expense of “a sound and solid grand coalition” that could win elections.

“There are people who are putting positions first before the right conditions ... If you start talking about conditions then you are actually undermining the process of ensuring that people can work together and achieve the objective that we are all looking for.

“The MDC will not stand in the way of coalition discussions. We will definitely encourage that and that is why we talk about the big tent. We are looking for possibilities for change and if a coalition is the answer, we will go for that,” Tsvangirai said.

The MDC president added that there was also an urgent need for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to ensure “a clean voters’ roll so as to do away with electoral irregularities”.

He also implored Zec to ensure that it registered all Zimbabweans — regardless of their ethnic background, race or creed — so that they could all take part in the processes of democracy.

“There has to be a mechanism for a Diaspora vote. The Diaspora vote constitutes up to 30 percent of potential voters in this country. Let’s have a clean voters’ roll, let us ensure that people in the Diaspora are allowed to vote and that we don’t disenfranchise or displace people,” he said.

His comments come after former Zanu PF bigwig and leader of pressure group Youth Advocacy for Reform and Democracy (Yard), Temba Mliswa, recently reiterated his strong belief that Tsvangirai would “once again easily beat” President Robert Mugabe in the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections if the polls are free and fair.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily News on Sunday’s sister paper, the Daily News, the garrulous former Zanu PF chairperson for Mashonaland West — who swears that he is not an MDC supporter — also said Tsvangirai was the only opposition figure who had the requisite “appeal, support and capacity” to dethrone Mugabe and Zanu PF from power.

Mliswa said contrary to the view of some commentators who had “erroneously concluded” that Tsvangirai was finished politically, the former trade union leader had not lost any ground since Zimbabwe’s hotly-disputed elections in 2013 which were controversially won by Mugabe and Zanu PF.

“Tsvangirai is the man. He is the right person at the right time, and with the right message to take on Zanu PF with his massive support. Even those in Zanu PF readily admitted that he is still a powerful force after last week’s demonstration.

“All those people who do not believe that he has the numbers are insane. Tsvangirai and the MDC did very well by organising that (Harare) demonstration and it was good that the courts allowed the demonstration,” he said.

Mliswa, who is energetically lobbying Zimbabwean youths to participate in the 2018 polls in numbers through Yard, said the reality that some people often wanted to expediently wish away was that Zimbabwean politics was “a game of numbers”.

“The statistics are there. There is no other politician in Zimbabwe who has single-handedly got a million votes other than Morgan. Zimbabwean politics is about numbers.

“The problem is that some politicians and opinion makers try to wish this away. Mugabe has support in rural areas and Morgan has massive support in urban areas,” he said.

“Most of the people who criticise Morgan are in the middle class, and are just armchair critics on social media and other platforms. Unfortunately, social media does not vote. For example, those in the rural areas do not have smart phones, let alone money to buy airtime.

“Morgan’s support has been consistent since 2008. We must not be fooled by what happened during last year’s by-elections where Zanu PF acted in a fashion similar to playing a football match alone, and went on to declare itself winner,” he added.

Mliswa also showered praises on Tsvangirai whom he described as “a practical man as opposed to some political intellectuals”.

“The struggle is not just about intellect. Mugabe is an intellect but look where he has taken the country,” he said.

Mliswa’s comments came after Tsvangirai led a massive and peaceful MDC protest march in Harare, which the party dubbed the “mother of all demonstrations”, as Zimbabwe continues on its precipitous political and economic decline of the past 36 years — bleeding hundreds of thousands of badly-needed jobs and social service delivery hitting an all-time low.

This was not the first time that Mliswa had given Tsvangirai a ringing endorsement. Earlier this year, he also predicted that the MDC leader would “once again win the 2018 elections” — even if he did not reach an electoral pact with former Vice President Joice Mujuru.

He also said then that Tsvangirai was currently having it his way in areas that were hitherto seen as Mugabe’s fortresses because war veterans who used to back the nonagenarian were angry that they had been badly let down by him.

“The only people who could stop Tsvangirai are war veterans and all indications are that Tsvangirai will win the elections again in 2018 without the need for a coalition with Mujuru’s People First,” Mliswa said.

He added that without war veterans campaigning for Mugabe, Zanu PF had no capacity to do so “and that will translate to a peaceful election, as the margin of terror that the ruling party has been depending on will disappear”.

Mliswa said the former freedom fighters’ political allegiance was now shared among Mujuru, Mnangagwa and the G40 camp — a situation which he said made it difficult for them to be a factor in the 2018 elections.

Another factor that would work in Tsvangirai’s favour was the fact that Mujuru and her allies had “a tainted past and will have difficulty in convincing the electorate that they have repented”.

“If they had resigned like what Nkosana Moyo and Nathan Shamuyarira did, they would have no problems getting people behind them. Worse still for them, people out there still sympathise with

Tsvangirai that he was not given the chance to take power when he won elections in 2008,” he said.

Comments (6)

Mdc ,talk shows for yo town voters are welcome.yo real competitor is Zanla n Zipra.We determine who rules.we determine who wins.Zanla.A very strong determined zanla women s league will be at work in rurals ,come 2018 .We are 15000 strong women cadrs of the struggle.Ready to work.

viola gwena - 1 May 2016

what 'numbers',tsvangirai failed to defeat a party weakened by sanctions,zimbos endured shortages of all manner induced by the sponsors of MDC in the hope that they would ditch zanu but the zim electorate stuck with their liberators,only mliswa sees hope in tsvangison,a man claiming to be leading a workers party but whose lifestyle is detached from the workers,as long as tsvangirai campaigns on a platform of making blacks surbodinate to white interests,he will never win an election in zimbabwe,zimbos want people centred policies which are homegrown and not formulated at westminister,as zanu pf we will continue to empower the people,allowing them to determine their destiny

truth - 1 May 2016

No doubt Mliiswa makes good political analysis.Objective non partisan he is in the ballpack

callistus kunzvi - 1 May 2016

ZANU has not won anything since 2000. Even Bob admitted that truth, some pun eh?!! Last election, a ZANU candidate was ready with their conceding defeat speech from the exit poll, only to be gobsmacked when told they had won! Lets talk about ZANU lieing and cheating the people of ZIM on its way to power. Fact is we have an illegitimate bunch of crooks masquerading as a government., and our country is dying in their hands.

Dunlop Munjanja - 1 May 2016

V 4 victory is certain for zanu pf

saManyika chaiye - 2 May 2016

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.