Tsvangirai plots countrywide protests

HARARE - Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has declared total war on Zanu PF, announcing plans yesterday to roll out fresh nationwide protests that are intended to force President Robert Mugabe out of office.

Tsvangirai’s announcement came after the former prime minister in the government of national unity resumed work this week, after undergoing surgery in South Africa two months ago.

The announcement also came as churches, ordinary citizens and pro-democracy groups ramp up pressure on Mugabe to quit as a result of Zimbabwe’s deepening rot.

“The party’s national council was unequivocal in its resolution yesterday (Thursday) that Mugabe and his government must leave office or face popular protests as they have failed to find lasting solutions to the problems facing the people,” Tsvangirai said while addressing the media at his Highlands home in Harare.

“To this end, the party resolved yesterday to continue its provincial protest marches while co-coordinating and preparing for robust and comprehensive national action on a date to be announced.

“In that national action, we will be rallying the nation and all democratic forces to converge on the national demand that Mugabe and his government must retire. While our provincial demonstrations will continue, the logistics and mechanics for the national action are currently being worked out.”

Tsvangirai has lost to Mugabe in three elections which were marred by allegations of ballot fraud and violence, both accusations which Mugabe and Zanu PF dismissed as sour grapes.

The bellicose MDC leader beat Mugabe on 29 March 2008 in a tight presidential race whose results were withheld for six weeks — leaving the fairness and transparency of the process open to scrutiny.

Tsvangirai failed to garner the outright 50 percent plus one vote needed to clinch victory and instead, had to go into a run-off with Mugabe but pulled days before polling citing massive intimidation and violence against his supporters.

Mugabe’s one-man election was widely condemned and this led to crisis talks which paved way for the formation of a unity government that came into force on February 11, 2009.

Yesterday, sensing that the current wave of protests could give him the opportunity for a final push, Tsvangirai said the MDC noted with grave concern the acute deterioration of the economic situation that is fast accelerating towards a full-fledged implosion.

Zimbabwe is currently in the throes of a debilitating economic crisis which has seen revenues plummeting against the backdrop of a contracting economy which has now spawned currency shortages as production dips.

Mugabe’s government is failing to pay its bloated civil service whose salaries gobble 91 percent of its budget.

Recently, the civil servants went on strike after government staggered their pay dates — leading to angry citizens backing them by organising their own crippling stay-away which they dubbed shutdown.

And Tsvangirai paid tribute to ordinary Zimbabweans for staging those protests.

“It is in this context that I want to laud pastor Evan Mawarire, the Tajamuka pressure group and the ordinary citizens of this country, in Beitbridge and elsewhere who continue to send a loud message to this regime that the nation is now fed up. Our colleagues in the struggle need to be lauded and commended for their positive effort.

“Indeed, we heartily welcome them to the struggle, which I assure you will never be a crowded arena.

“At our meetings yesterday (Thursday), the MDC executive organs welcomed the national convergence that is emerging in our troubled country where all players are now agreed that the way forward is to put pressure on this illegitimate regime.

“We have indeed become a big tent of patriotic Zimbabweans singing the same chorus from different social stations. That should be commended,” said Tsvangirai.

Local cleric Mawarire and Tajamuka/Sesijikile are credited with organising July 6 strike widely seen as the biggest general strike to have been mounted in the history of post-independent Zimbabwe.

The strike happened as riots erupted in the small border town of Beitbridge where small traders protested against a government import ban on South African goods, before they spread to Harare where commuter omnibus drivers clashed with police over extortion at their roadblocks.

Mawarire was arrested on Tuesday this week as Mugabe’s administration feared he was about to organise further strikes. He was released Wednesday despite attempts to slap him with more serious charges which were knocked by the courts.

Buoyed by the recent protests which were not led by political parties Tsvangirai said his party had also resolved, as a way forward for the country, that there was need for a political settlement to the current crisis the nation is facing.

He said the settlement that should come in the form of a transitional authority must be able to inspire confidence nationally, regionally and internationally and should not be a replica of the previous government of national unity.

“To this end, the national council, the party’s supreme decision-making body in between Congresses, resolved that the way forward is a multi-partisan National Transitional Authority (NTA). It is our firm belief that the NTA must not be sculptured as the inclusive government we established seven years ago,” said Tsvangirai.

“The NTA must, by statute, operate parallel to the national executive authority of the country but with a specific mandate. The current regime should be left to deal with its own mess in terms of managing the economy. We cannot and should not make our hands dirty in this area.”

The NTA, Tsvangirai suggested, should among other things  supervise the implementation of the Constitution, oversee and monitor the work of Commissions such as the Human Rights Commission, National Anti-Corruption Commission, National Peace, Healing and Reconciliation Commission, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and others.

He said the authority will also oversee the political reform agenda, prepare the nation for credible elections, monitor food aid distribution, and develop a shared national vision and economic reconstruction programme

“The broad mandate of the NTA will be to steer the country on a path towards the return to legitimacy through truly free, fair and credible elections whose outcome is not disputed,” the former trade unionist said adding that the country needed its own “Marshal Plan”.

Tsvangirai said details of the transitional mechanisms including the composition, structure, form, relationship to the State executive, establishment processes, signposts and roadmap to elections would be negotiated which he would  soon engage to consider the proposal.

“As the MDC, we are tabling this as an important starting point for the nation that we love. I am giving Mugabe an opportunity to soft land the national crisis.

“He will only have himself to blame if citizens take matters into their own hands. I urge Sadc and the AU to provide wise counsel to him.

“The ball is now in his court.”

Comments (13)

Tell him bob straight zvake zvokuti mirai term yangu ipere itsvina/doti zveterm zvinotibtsirei...how many terms did he finished and done nothing mukazwa angotaura zvekuti term term igudo imbwa...tsvina yembwa not to the same person again and again we are not his kids ;;bona and chatunga uye grace mukadzi wake ...we are sufferring.....iye saka ngaataure kuti anoda kupedzisa term yake asinga hori pay kana achida ....funga mudhara...do not give him a chance this time.

dofo - 16 July 2016

any attempts to overthrow a legitimate govt will be resisted,we stand ready to defend our constitution which clearly spells out how to remove an incumbent govt and which is not riots or calling for sanctions,tsvangison take note that zanu pf has not yet rallied its supporters to respond to this provocation,just because yu failed to participate in the liberation struggle should not make yu think yu can stoke tensions in a peaceful country,a civil war is not a picnic,beware of where yu want to push this country to just to realise your misguided ambitions for statehouse,we as zanu pf can mobilise our supporters to meet yu in the streets,beware,tsvangison,we are not lame ducks

truth - 16 July 2016

I WE Truth....ligitemate gvt isina mari yayo wakamboina kupiko.....gvt isina industry inorara nezvikwereti.....its temporal illigitmate gvt to save Bobo personal interest....tarisa izvozvi avekuda kuisa mukadzi wake....iwe truth hautombozikanwi....vana mai mujuru navama mutasa nagumbo ,namutsvwangwa wakatandwa kunge imbwa dzinemiswe wani kwavekuzoti iwe zvako truth kkkkkk..hiya.

dofo - 16 July 2016

Iwe truth what do you call a legitmate gvt......unenge vakaoma musorofuti.....a legitmate gvt is gvt : 1-gvt support ye majority evanhu vemuzimbbwe 2..recognised by international community 3..can look after its citizens 3.has its own currency$/money,,,is self susterned .....yaunoti legitimate gvt ngei zvose izvozvo hazvina basa ko tiri muhondo here kana usingakwani kudriver this so called ship zimbabwe ku direction yekuti vanhu wave negood life...chibva usatifungira mumwe wopinda hazvisi zvehondo ngezvekunzwisa mwana wevhu....tarisa wana uk David Cameroon akatosiya no fight ..no what......imi ma blacks makaita sei tell you mugabe he is not God lets rotate on this job...upresident ibasa....haunganamiri pabasa...kandi mofungasei makuvanhu imimi.....ibvai tipindewo muone zvose kuchema kunopera mukanyara.......mugabe is failling his fatherhood and nationhood by clinching to that post

dofo - 16 July 2016

Should VP Mphoko be going to prison and releasing prisoners without a legal process? At least Tomana did it through a sem-ilegal process. We are tired of corruption. You should read Herbert Ushewokunze's Agenda for Zimbabwe 1984. What he predicted is comming through where a black minority has taken power from a white minority and expect the people to close their eyes when they abuse power and amass undeserved land, houses and businesses for themselves and their families and expect the rest to live in poor ghetos under neo colonialism.

bexilford - 16 July 2016

Hazvidi vane nhetemwa izvi. Hazvidi vanogwisa vakananga zvigaro. Hazvidi vana timbodyavo izvi. Vemapato epolitics regai kupindira. Do not highjack the evolving revolution lest you interfere with its momentum because Mugabe will find reasons to smash it. You tried before but could not succesed. Now its time for you to take a back sit and give a spontaneous revolution a chance. This kind of a revolution is the only option left for this country. Like a massive tsunami it takes time to build but once it matures it will unleash its energy on Mugabe and his arsenal of lethal weapons sweeping him into oblivion. He knows that very well because he studied history. He can now hear the echoes of its impending arrival and history tells him there is nothing he can do to stop it. Sadzwinyu kana kuti chidhanana he has already secured a new home for his family in the far, Far East.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 16 July 2016

Simbi kuna Ngwena.

viola gwena - 17 July 2016

Morgan publicly calling for all out war against ZANU PF? I'm not against the idea but at the same time have to ask: how come Moran hasn't been arrested for plotting treason. Why was Evan Mawarire arrested. Does Morgan have some special muti that makes him immune from arrest? Same question applies to Joice and her team. Why are the CIO and Police being so selective in who they arrest, beat up and detain? Therein lie some clues to who is for real and who isn't?

Mbewa - 17 July 2016

If zanla n zanu want to survive this onslaught ,it will take reality check 1st and unite,g40 n lacoste .The current divisions will aid mdc.Ngwena has grassroot support in zanu while g40 has 1st family support.Failier to unite may not cause a split bt will cause bhora mushatini.Its time we come to face facts,President needs to handover now bfo 2018.Handover to a popular person in zanla n zanu.This onslaught by international communities led by France may spell doom for us.These French dont play games,check their history in Africa when it comes to changing governments.Its best to react now

viola gwena - 17 July 2016

And now it seems that the leader of the MDC, who has been quiet for so long decides it is the time to say something!!! I would suggest that Morgan and co leave well alone and allow the true people of this next generation revolution to climb mountains and proudly place the flag as they, the people, deserve to do. Move aside gentlemen of both sides and let the ordinary Zimbabwean in the street stand and deliver.

martin - 17 July 2016

we support that move all democratic forces must join hands in dislodging the demagogue

general mkota - 18 July 2016

we are tired of the dictator no freedom in zim, demos should continue

m.d - 18 July 2016

These thieves will hang in power because it protects them againt their crimes.

Nyepo Rambanapasi - 18 July 2016

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