Not even killing us will save Mugabe: Tsvangirai

HARARE - Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, angered by President Robert Mugabe’s shocking threats and vitriolic attacks on him and the MDC on Friday, has bluntly told the increasingly frail nonagenarian to prepare for the end of his time in high office.

Speaking to the Daily News in an exclusive interview at the weekend, the former prime minister in the government of national unity also warned Mugabe not to behave as if he was “immortal” — adding that not even the arrest and killing of dissenters would rescue the nonagenarian and Zanu PF from the wrath of long-suffering Zimbabweans.

“We have all seen the worst of Mugabe and Zanu PF over the years, and if there is one man who has witnessed this first hand it is me. I have been beaten, thrown into jail on trumped-up charges and have been tried for treason. My wife also died in unclear circumstances.

“I have quietly tried to put up with Mugabe’s hurtful bragging about beating and harassing me all these years, but it is enough now. We have always known that we are up against a dictator whose only preoccupation is the retention of power by any means necessary.

“Zimbabweans know that Mugabe will resort to violence when challenged peacefully and democratically. Let me warn him that he can continue to beat us, or even kill us and do all sorts of things, as is his natural tendency, but what is inevitable is that he is not immortal,” the usually unflappable Tsvangirai said.

The former trade union leader, who defeated Mugabe hands down in the hotly-disputed 2008 elections, also narrated “the countless times” that Mugabe and Zanu PF had attempted to “destroy me politically and otherwise”, to no avail — including arraigning him on trumped up treason charges which were eventually thrown out by the courts.

He also recounted how on March 11, 2007, he had been arrested “for no reason at all” and left for dead after he was bludgeoned mercilessly by police while in custody, when authorities crushed a prayer meeting that had been organised in the Harare high density suburb of Highfield.

A well-known cobbler and MDC activist, Gift Tandare, was murdered in cold blood during the sickening assaults, which all later culminated in the subsequent intervention by Sadc.

Mugabe — the only leader Zimbabweans have known since the country gained its independence from Britain in April 1980 — on Friday ominously promised to crush and jail all dissenters, including leaders of political parties coalescing under the banner of the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera).

The warning came in the wake of a High Court ruling which quashed a recent police ban on protests in the capital, with Mugabe telling the Zanu PF central committee that the MDC and pro-democracy groups were playing “a dangerous game” by agitating for reforms and change in the country.

“The MDC has apparently now adopted a policy of violence … we warn them that they are playing a dangerous game, a very dangerous game.

“They are bragging that they want to take their violent demonstrations to rural areas but again I say let them be warned that when we move against them they should not cry foul saying there is no more democracy in the country.

“Some of them (opposition leaders) have never been held in cells eating very little food in a filthy place before they are even tried in court. If they have ears to hear, let them hear.

“Let the opposition parties and all those angling for chaos and mayhem be warned that our patience has run out. Government will take very strong measures against any political party, organisation or individuals who perpetrate violent demonstrations,” Mugabe said.

But Tsvangirai told the Daily News that Mugabe’s threats betrayed the “obvious fact that the man is panicking and running out of options”.

“The jails are now not for criminals but for us ... I know his recent outburst where he said that I was organising people against him is a result of his anger at being rejected by the people of Zimbabwe since we defeated him in 2008. There is no doubt that we have shaken Zanu PF’s hegemony since we were formed.

“And the fact is that the people are organising themselves against him and Zanu PF.

“They want change, not only with regards to Mugabe, but the whole system that has led us to the pits where we are today. They want a new leadership that is able to define a new vision and promising future for the country,” he thundered.

“There is also no doubt that there is a new national convergence by Zimbabweans of all persuasions, including war veterans, workers, students, vendors and so on — on the need to democratise our country and create local and international confidence.

“Mugabe will be foolish to dismiss this as a far-fetched dream ... and we will not resort to overthrowing him illegally to achieve change and democracy in the country.

“But I can promise him that we will not stop demanding what rightfully belongs to the people,” the emotionally-charged Tsvangirai added.

Since the country’s economy began experiencing serious turbulence, including witnessing banks running out of cash, Mugabe’s government has come under growing pressure as angry ordinary Zimbabweans have mounted seemingly unending demonstrations.

This coming weekend, 18 political parties will hold rolling protests in 210 constituencies around the country, despite Mugabe’s threats.

Two weeks ago, heavily-armed police ruthlessly crushed another Nera demo before they invoked a controversial ban which was later ruled unconstitutional by the High Court.

Mugabe has also recently made threats against the judiciary, in an ill-advised rant which was widely seen as trying to sway the Bench to his side in light of the growing protests against Zanu PF’s misrule of the past 36 years.

Comments (27)

have yu lost your bearings tsvangirai?yu will never rule this country this country,yu tsvangirai should not attempt to steal our votes because we voted in 2013 and the mandate expires in 2018,so we the masses will not allow yu to circumvet our vote ,his excellencys term ends in 2018 and we stand by the president and support him to execute his mandate,yes ,your wife died in mysterious circumstances because yu were lusting for younger women,we would like to warn yu to stop formenting trouble as we are capable of responding

truth - 12 September 2016

The comments made by the president of this country about everyone protesting including opposition leaders deserve to be condemned. We dont expect such irresonsible utterances by a head of state, especially one who claims to have a huge mandate. We now know that Mugabe is not for democracy, he is for violence. If you study Mugabe's history well, that is how he elliminated opponents, kill and make them dissappear, even to the extend of taking a mere family man like Itayi Dzamara. As people of Zimbabwe Mugabe must know that the people are no longer afraid of the police nor the military who normally engaged to silince people. WHO WOULD LIKE A VIOLENT FATHER LIKE MUGABE, WORST OFF ONE WHO BECAMES A FATHER BY BEING ELECTED, WORSE OFF ONE WHO CHEATS THE ELECTION. So truly speaking Mugabe is not the true president of this country, that is why he cant hold the centre and wants to threaten people in order to hold onto his ill-gotten position.

Robert - 12 September 2016

I fail to understand how as a person and as a Zimbabwean the president chooses to remain indifferent to the hungry, desperate and shuttered voices, loud and clear, of the very people he purports to lead.

CDE JACK - 12 September 2016

Truth go to hell with your 2013 mandate. Which mandate are talking about, Mugabe said it him self that Tsvangirai won, old people dont lie ohhh. If the masses voted for Mugabe, would they be protesting today. I wonder if we still have moroons like Truth in this country. dont waste your time truth, the time when people were fooled with propaganda is well gone. This time around we study the situation on our own, we dont get direction from governement media like you coz we know that u are paid to lie.

Lies - 12 September 2016

Can anyone show me the difference between Ian Smith and Robert Mugabe....the same except that one ran an economy against all odds while the other feeds hangers on at all costs. Cry the beloved country but surely as the sun comes from the east and sets in the west, this dictatorship will go.

Viva Unidade - 12 September 2016

More Gay Tsvangirai is delusionary as always. He shud concentrate on healing his colon cancer

Gagai - 12 September 2016

Forma PM ,I applaud yu on yo contribution to the sanity that prevailed during GNU. Yu allowed reasn and common sence to prevail.But now I think the fire is gone in yu sir.Yu and President Mugabe thriller is gone now,finished n clar.Will yu not now appoint 2 more mdc presidents to assist yu.yu have 3 deputies ,maybe an iddition of 2 more presidents to assist yu.

viola gwena - 12 September 2016

TRUTH WAKADHAKWA NJERE ZVACHOSE. WARATIDZA KUTI NDANGARIRO DZAKO NDEDZE MHONDI DZAIGURA VANHU MAOKO MUCHITI zanu zanu zanu IWE

munyimi - 12 September 2016

They used to say chi Unity government ngachiende. Kungoenda kwacho things got worse. What does that mean. Failure at its best.

kays 1 - 12 September 2016

VanaTruth they say that because maybe they do not have family members who were killed during gukurahundi, murambatsvina, the short sleeve and the long sleeve era of 2008. If they have such relatives i bet he would not write such nonsense. When this brutality visits you one day then you will come to your senses. Ask Muchechetere, Jabulani Sibanda and others.

kays 1 - 12 September 2016

Truth more like a deluded liar I am sure your family are benefiting from the current government One has to be insane to vote and support this present government He promised 2 million jobs but Chinamasa says for the economy to survive for until end of 2017 people are loosing jobs You guys obviously get backdoor bonus but we rely on the 13th cheque Go kuna 4th street or all over the city you see young people fighting just to get one person into a combi -wat do they get 10 cents or less from combi drivers The little they get they abuse glue and cough mixtures not because they are enjoying this but so they can get through the day and then start all over the next day ----because there are no jobs Even if there were jobs why do you want this old man to remain in power Does it not look ridiculous -Zimbabwe has educated people but we insist no one else can do a better job No state hospitals to speak of because he ruined the health system You want him to remain because makaba and you are scared the new government will want an explanation on how you accumulated so much wealth This should be the first thing the new government should do He has 13 farms !!!! how ridiculous is that ???? Reading the list some of the prominent people never went to war Chinamasa went to which liberation struggle asi ane farm and a certain judge has a farm = why?

Naphiri Chisayi - 12 September 2016

truth you are actually the opposite of your name by coincidence it means you are some how totally confused . you sound like an ordinary chap on the zanu pfs payroll whose agenda is to perpetuate propaganda. you appear to speak on behalf of a very corrupt cde .you are a microphone being used ucharaswa wapedza kukushandisa

peacelover - 12 September 2016

truth you are actually the opposite of your name by coincidence it means you are some how totally confused . you sound like an ordinary chap on the zanu pfs payroll whose agenda is to perpetuate propaganda. you appear to speak on behalf of a very corrupt cde .you are a microphone being used ucharaswa wapedza kukushandisa

peacelover - 12 September 2016

The only way Mugabe will escape being sent to the International Criminal Court,being crushed or jailed is if he lives forever

jason mpala - 12 September 2016

Rob..Robbery and 'truth' seem to view the masses as lunatics. truth's definition of majority is two, as dictatorship means democracy to both 'robber' and 'false.' kare haagari ari kare.

zero - 12 September 2016

Truth is eating from the palm of this corrupt team.Dont fool us we know the truth ,Truth.We dont feed on your foolish propaganda boy.such foolish assertions should never be revealed to the general populace.

MATINYANYA - 12 September 2016

Truth ranting and raving. Are you being paid for the rubbish you vomit up?

Pieter Herbst - 13 September 2016

@truth, you should stop defending the indefensible. People are not calling for trouble from governement. People are simply asking for food, jobs, eradication of poverty, halting of forced disappearances, and an end to corruption. We here that you want to respond to people's demonstrations. Its good , first respond to the issues they are raising.

Viona Ngwena - 13 September 2016

Truth duzvi remunhu.

olga - 13 September 2016

Lets get real and stop fooling ourselves - the only thing threatening Mugabe's tenure in office right now might be his health. Knowing that he has the full support of the Police and Armed Forces plus the unconditional support of SADC and the AU, he literally has nothing to fear. Not until such time as SADC, the AU and UN formally condemn this vile dictator and force free and fair elections upon this nation can or will things change.

Rhodie - 13 September 2016

truth is a Zanu PF plant - seeded to grow weeds in this publication. I see reference to Mugabe always says the only "leader" this country has known for 36 years, I disagree. Leaders lead to some visionary destination, this former teacher is a ruler, not leader. If he was a leader the country would be prosperous. Where we are is due to a ruler whose only excellence is in RUINING accompanied by brainless and cold-hearted vampires wooing him on.

Sagitarr - 13 September 2016

@viona ngwena,i am not defending the indefensible,its not a secret the world economy is not perfoming due to the slowdown in china,commodity prices are depressed and this has adversely affected our govts revenues which has negatively affected its ability to deliver services,the drought has not made things any easier and most resettled farm are failing to produce,the sanctions in place and the lagacy of the european sanctions are throwing us off the rails,the people must therefore be patient with the govt,a culture of violence is no excuse or response,the govt must nip that in the bud

truth - 13 September 2016

Truth u r such a stupid idiot from the village,u better hang womama,unofunga kuti is there any person achiri kuda Mugabe,shame u u stupid idot,zanu pf yaparadza,enda kuchikoro mufanha duzvi rako.Siya Dr Tsvangirai nesu MDC-T takadaro tokuchaya boy u nigga idiot.Nxaaaa

Jocho Matomatisi - 13 September 2016

Guys murikupedza nguva nekutaura nanaTruth,,this person is cleaning Mugabe's ass. If he stop writing his rubbish he will get fired.He cleans Mugabe's ass nerurimi rwake.He really knows that he is talking rubbish.Idiot truth

matsotsi - 13 September 2016

I wanted to ignore this but surely we have assholes in this society. Truth, when are you going to be mature. Mugabe is 92 now, and you think he can efficiently and effectively deliver the will of the people as head of state? @ 92? You talk of sanctions and World economy not performing, does that have to affect Zim alone? What sanctions nonsense are you talking about? Zanu pf is stealing from the national coffers and every level headed Zimbabwean knows this except for fools lyk you, Truth.

Emperor - 14 September 2016

nxaa ,truth, musatanyoko

tutsi - 15 September 2016

I don't know what are you talking about,chavakudiwa kubatsirana pfuti chete varume vamwe vakaramba vamwe varikumajere we need united and fight titaurirane ogaraega nabona mwana wake isutafa hedu panekungochema Mr President Tsvangirai ngakave vamwe kukundwakwako nekunamata kwako,ukaramba rakangarakadii tinopera you have to talk and act kuti vaonewo urumehwedu vakapindawo musango vakakunda totadza neyi

MOyo moyosk - 26 September 2016

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