Tsvangirai tells Mugabe to quit

BULAWAYO - A fired-up opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, raised the political stakes yesterday when he bluntly told President Robert Mugabe to heed the growing calls for him to quit power now peacefully, to save Zimbabwe and to avoid the risk of being removed from office violently.

Addressing thousands of MDC supporters in the City of Kings’ White City Stadium, who had gathered to mark the 17th anniversary of the founding of the party, Tsvangirai said it was also in Mugabe’s own interest and that of his family that he relinquished power immediately.

“There are two options to the end-game. The first option of the end-game is a violent end and the second option is a peaceful transition.

“Mugabe must choose one of these two options, a violent option where we get to a point where someone is shot because he or she is simply demonstrating, or the stage where Mugabe chooses to install his wife Grace as president, at which point it becomes gloves off and people confront the regime,” Tsvangirai warned.

This is not the first time that the former prime minister in the government of national unity has warned Mugabe about the risks of a violent end to his rule.

Addressing his supporters at Rufaro Stadium in Harare in September 2000, as the MDC was celebrating its first anniversary, Tsvangirai also told Mugabe that he risked being removed violently from office as Zimbabweans were fed up with his misrule.

And as the MDC leader revisited the issue yesterday, there were growing fears that Mugabe and his government are increasingly resorting to using the country’s security apparatus more and more, in their desperate bid to fend off restive citizens who have been demonstrating endlessly as a result of the dying economy and the attendant hardships.

Mugabe, the only leader Zimbabweans have known since the country gained its independence from Britain in April 1980, is battling to save his long political career as civil unrest escalates over the ever-deteriorating quality of local life, which they blame squarely on his misrule.

But the increasingly frail nonagenarian has not taken lightly to the challenge to his power, unleashing the country’s security apparatus on the restive populace with devastating consequences — amid fears that the government may soon effect a State of Emergency to foil further protests.

Two weeks ago, police and soldiers ran amok in many of Harare’s high density suburbs where they indiscriminately beat up nightclub revellers, before they also ordered the early closure of shops in Chitungwiza.

Authorities also savaged and arrested scores of pro-democracy activists and opposition members coalescing under the banner of the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera), who were holding nationwide protests to press for much-needed electoral reforms ahead of the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections.

This was despite the fact that demonstrations outside central Harare had not been included in the current police ban on mass action of any kind.

Tsvangirai said yesterday that the time was now ripe for Mugabe to leave office, as his continued stay was driving the country further into the mire.

“There is an alternative option. Mugabe must retire. All Zimbabweans are saying it. President (Ian) Khama of Botswana recently said it and the whole world is now also saying Mugabe must retire, and after he retires there will be a peaceful transition,” he said.

Two weeks ago, Khama openly told Mugabe that it was time for him to leave office, adding that the nonagenarian should step aside without delay and allow new leadership to take over as Zimbabwe’s political and economic implosion which began in 2000 was dragging down the whole of southern Africa.

Asked by news agency Reuters if Mugabe should accept the reality of his advancing years and retire, 63-year-old Khama responded: “Without doubt. He should have done it years ago”.

“They have got plenty of people there who have got good leadership qualities who could take over. It is obvious that at his age and the state Zimbabwe is in, he’s not really able to provide the leadership that could get it out of its predicament,” Khama added.

Tsvangirai piled the pressure on the nonagenarian yesterday saying there was nothing that Mugabe could do to extend his stay in power.

“This is the end-game and all we have to do is to re-define it so that it reflects the true aspirations of the patriotic sons and daughters of this land. In spite of the ongoing brutality and sustained attacks on citizens, the people have remained united, peaceful, committed and resolute.

“That has been the nature and character of our struggle for the past 17 years. Armed only with our bare hands and determination, we have succeeded in pushing a brutal regime into a corner through our sheer determination in demanding the respect for our basic rights and freedoms.

“What we have seen in the past few months is that this nation has broken free of the ghost of fear. We have broken the siege, a feat we in the MDC achieved when we kicked off public protest marches in the country with that demonstration in the streets of Harare on April 14, 2016,” Tsvangirai said.

He also asserted that there would be no going back on Zimbabweans’ demands for electoral reforms ahead of the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections, despite Zanu PF’s insistence that this would not happen.

“The issue of reforms is not negotiable. We will continue fighting to get the electoral reforms. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) must remove all obstacles to free and fair elections.

“Now as we go towards the 2018 elections, we know the elections have already been rigged. We know Zanu PF has sent 150 agents to Israel on election-rigging tactics,” Tsvangirai claimed.

Nera has watched in frustration in recent weeks as police have thwarted their protests aimed at forcing the implementation of the much-needed electoral reforms.

Police have twice tried to frustrate the political grouping by invoking protest bans, with the courts having to intervene on numerous occasions as panicking authorities have increasingly turned to the draconian Public Order and Security Act (Posa) to keep the opposition and pro-democracy activists at bay.

As it is, the High Court will be making another ruling tomorrow on the latest police ban. Nera wants the court to declare section 27 of Posa unconstitutional.

Comments (25)

tsvangirai must not abuse himself to think the people of zimbabwe no longer have faith in the president,infact zimbos are tired of him,this is a straight forward issue,mr british puppet are yu so terrified of facing his excellency in an election such that yu think the best way for yu to win is not to face him in an election?the only way to statehouse tsvangison is thru the ballot box,woo the electorate with home grown ideas and maybe they will vote for yu,the masses have stuck whith president mugabe despite the sanctions and sabotage on the economy designed to make them revolt,zimbos will not be dictated to by london no matter how poor they are,yu tsvangirai must gracefully retire and seek treatment for your colon cancer as it seems its spread to your brain

truth - 2 October 2016

Save musacheuke muridzo.

bazaruto - 2 October 2016

Dialogue is the only best way forward to saving our country of total colupse.Save yu know who to talk to ,yu knw who to stat talking to.Save change yo tactics and direction.Doing same things over and over will not bring different results.Talk to pple that matter in gorvernment.Mudhara is old,too old to understand yu .Yu Save can initiate dialogue.Bloody elections will not usher in yo party .Only dialogue 1st then elections can follow.Do the right thing Save .

viola gwena - 2 October 2016

iwe humba chimbomira zvemushonga yechiboyi where ever you are getting it from mazuvano vanhu wave kuvimba naMWARI kwete zvechiboyi izvo mani

PEACELOVER - 2 October 2016

It is apparent that the people of Zimbabwe are feeling the pressure of the economic meltdown but it is an irresponsible lashing of the tongue by the veteran opposition leader to agitate for a violent removal of Mugabe from the office which he acquired peacefully through beating everyone by the popular vote. Tsvangirai has the game in his favour at the moment and it is good for him to launch his manifesto and chat the way forward of how he plans to rescue the nation from the marauding poverty. Violent engagements never yield the desired result the world over- Lybia, Somalia, South Sudan are some but a few examples. Even the intervention of the UN and the international community does not help things. Save please dont do it. Start campaigning and the people will vote you in. It is wishful thinking to imagine Mugabe relinguishing power before the end of his term when Tsvangirai sold him the majority in Parliament. If there were sufficient opposition MPs in the august house maybe we could talk of impeachment and vote of no confidence but what is obtaining is a sorry state. Mugabe will continue to be in power thanks the betrayal of the people by the ever weaning MDC-T.

chatambudza - 2 October 2016

truth, has lied,all people want the President to retire,with exception of only few irredeemables,they say itz only the deaf who continue to play when the music stops,to all intents&purposes MUGABE is too old to remain President,itz only that especially during election times ,he resort to violence abusing the powers of highest office in the land,forcing the military,the police,the intelligent community,and the youth militia to beat the electorate into submition ,otherwise he wld hv already retired years back.Itz true the people of zim do not support Tsvangirai's options of violence but many in the military ,police,the CIOs are with the peoples,they support Mugabe's resignation.Despite that he often lies that itz the west who want him to retire.If he wants to test ths,let him campaign peacefully come 2018,& allow all others to campaign freely as well,he will b retired.People do not really want Tsvangirai, but to retire Mugabe

Addmore Gudo - 3 October 2016

addmore, you are 100% correct, let there be free campaigning, kana akambodyiwa 2008 paya akazoshandisa violence, it simply shows kuti haachadiwa

SAMBIRI - 3 October 2016

no to violence chematama. ko 2018 zvayava pedo unochemei.mirira tione.ko mareforms acho akaiswa sieko naMwonzora in the first place.tinyareivo vanhuwe-e

Seka Memo - 3 October 2016

The people's will can rightly be expressed in a freely relaxed environment of campaigning, debate by opposing individuals, access to national radio and TV as well as all areas where there are constituencies etc .....on paper that is. In practice Zanu PF has come up with what it describes as "no go" areas for other parties why? Who decides that this is a no go area? Can you imagine MDC-T declaring all urban areas as "no go" areas for Zanu PF? The biggest frustrations in any field in this country come from Zanu PF through their arrogance and feeling of "know it all". No wonder Mogidza is saying it as it is.. the end game will be decided by violence. Those at the receiving end of Zanu PF violence are at the edge and will hit back, if not as a group, then as individuals. Tit for tat, bullet for bullet. I am tired of being scared of death.

Sagitarr - 3 October 2016

TRUE ITAI FREE CAMPAIGNING MUWONE KUTI ANOHWINA 2018 HERE

NUTTY DREADLOCK - 3 October 2016

Only dialogue will usher in economic prosperity and jobs.Yu can bash each other bt yu will need then to sit n dialogue.So take away violence and start talking.Talks centred on job creation.Economic revival.Waiting for va Mugabe to go 1st will not bring yu in,as the likes of moyo n kasukuwere have a sory plan to continue the misery.I saw 3 soldiers bashing almost 50 yuths n men ,using their military belts.Pple scatered everywhr running away from 3 soldiers.Violence has one winner ,known winner.Dialogue will save our country .

viola gwena - 3 October 2016

The good thing about dialogue,there will be a referee,ie.Mbeki.Violence will not be an option for all partakers,only brains.The last dialogue brot in peece n prosperity.This time it shuld bring lasting peece n prosperity.New pple in,from zanu,from mdc.We need talks now.Talks on GNU.

viola gwena - 3 October 2016

a true leader will never advocate for violence,especially at a public platform this actually shows how Tsvangirayi and his western handlers are now bereft of ideas as on how to oust a legitimate government ,the only way is to wait till 2018.the you brace yourself for an election.another option Mr Save is an inclusive government ,i know you and your advisers are hungry for that one.then you tell your western sponsors to remove the illegal sanctions ,which are crippling the economy to alarming levels,then it will be fair game,ndiwo ma reforms atinotarisirawo kubva kwamuri .Isnt it you want a level playing field?.we expect you as a leader to be exemplary not that reckless language about violence ,we do not want war in this country .war does not pay its devastating.

vivazim - 3 October 2016

a true leader will never advocate for violence,especially at a public platform this actually shows how Tsvangirayi and his western handlers are now bereft of ideas as on how to oust a legitimate government ,the only way is to wait till 2018.the you brace yourself for an election.another option Mr Save is an inclusive government ,i know you and your advisers are hungry for that one.then you tell your western sponsors to remove the illegal sanctions ,which are crippling the economy to alarming levels,then it will be fair game,ndiwo ma reforms atinotarisirawo kubva kwamuri .Isnt it you want a level playing field?.we expect you as a leader to be exemplary not that reckless language about violence ,we do not want war in this country .war does not pay its devastating.

vivazim - 3 October 2016

a true leader will never advocate for violence,especially at a public platform this actually shows how Tsvangirayi and his western handlers are now bereft of ideas as on how to oust a legitimate government ,the only way is to wait till 2018.the you brace yourself for an election.another option Mr Save is an inclusive government ,i know you and your advisers are hungry for that one.then you tell your western sponsors to remove the illegal sanctions ,which are crippling the economy to alarming levels,then it will be fair game,ndiwo ma reforms atinotarisirawo kubva kwamuri .Isnt it you want a level playing field?.we expect you as a leader to be exemplary not that reckless language about violence ,we do not want war in this country .war does not pay its devastating.

vivazim - 3 October 2016

@viola gwena,well said dialogue is the answer but as the ruling party we will only engage the MDC in dialogue if it renounces violence,calls for the removal of sanctions ,the MDC must also undertake to rid local councils it controls of corruption as that corruption has a contagion effect in the unlikely event of it assuming state power,tete,we dont need violence and protests which are the hallmarks of the MDC,i for one want to be left alone to farm and contribute to the prosperity of this lovely country,am i asking for too much?

truth - 3 October 2016

@Truth.Thats the dialogue we need ,to sort out all stumbling blocks n start working again.Men need jobs,to be busy working for their families.If Zanu and Mdc start talking on this ,our country will take good path.Sanctions and violence must go.We want industry to start ticking.JOBS,JOBS,JOBS.

viola gwena - 3 October 2016

Morgan usadenha zvoisu kana worobwa tinongotarira...

jereboy - 3 October 2016

Mugabe ngaaende. Mugabe must go! I will vote you out. Am tired of this messed up country you have left us. Go!

Tibvirei - 3 October 2016

You want dialogue truth, tell your party to open a dialogue on Gukurahundi in Ndebeleland. Than you will see who the perpetrators of unthinkable violence and torture are!!

Young Zimbo - 4 October 2016

Hallo maZimbabweans... all of you are correct @truth and @viola.. my suggestion goes like this. 1 Violence is not the answer to us as Zimbabweans. if we notice what has been happening, the protests and demos.. we are only destructing our properties. His Excellency is having coffee while we destroy each other's properties. As for the elections, we all know that it won't work.. Nomatter you vote for Mugabe or not He will vote for himself. kkkk we all know what happened in 2008 and 2013 That man is intelligent. He always win. the best solution is jus wait on God...

mkanya - 5 October 2016

Redefining the endgame. .

claris dee - 6 October 2016

vakomana ko kuvarungu yakabva seyi?vote ngaive nevalue

save - 7 October 2016

truth,msunu kanyoko

Benito - 8 October 2016

I think mukanya you are giving Mugabe too much credit He is not clever at all Cleverness is recognising your limitations and exiting whilst people still respect you Cleverness is dealing with rogues like Moyo Kasukuwere etc Cleverness is not flying on weekly or daily basis with a cash strapped economy Whats clever in handing a job to your son in law when you know he wont even resuscitate Air Zimbabwe All this will achieve is further increase the debt which air Zimbabwe is in Whats clever about inheriting a one of the best countries in Africa and running it down Whats clever about throwing lavish wedding of daughter and a 92th birthday when your country is already toiling Mugabe is not clever at all He stopped running the country more than 2 decades ago He has allowed his ministers to loot and his wife dug him too deep now he has lost control BY arresting and brutalising citizens shows he is not clever By not acknowlrdging citizens issues shows he is not clever Next elections what tools is he going to use to campaign Promise 5 million jobs ???? Promise to deal with corruption ??? He has no ammunition to use in 2018 but violence All those in Zanu can not fool us I see blood in 2018 that's the only way they will win They are not hiding that fact Chiwenga Chihuri declared war saka hapana chakanaka chichabuda 2018 I am dreading it because I don't see a way of getting rid of this regime We need a miracle We need God

Naphiri Chisayi - 8 October 2016

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