Zim struggle is at critical stage: Tsvangirai

HARARE - Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai says President Robert Mugabe and his ruling Zanu PF are now hanging onto power by their fingernails and cautioned Zimbabweans to be wary of being bought at this stage of the struggle for democracy as this would derail the gains that have been made so far.

Tsvangirai’s passionate appeal for heightened commitment to the change cause to ordinary Zimbabweans, opposition parties and pro-democracy activists — which he made at the MDC’s 17th anniversary celebrations in Bulawayo at the weekend — came as the opposition is working towards forming a grand coalition against Zanu PF, ahead of the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections.

“We are cognisant of the fact that such phases of the struggle are dangerous both for the struggle itself and for the lives of leaders and activists. Throughout history, it is at such critical phases that some sell out, some lose faith while others are brutally exterminated as happened to Josiah Tongogara and Chris Hani in South Africa.

“I urge everyone to retain their faith and commitment and not to sell out at this critical juncture when we have already lost so much. We all have critical roles to play in the final execution of this struggle,” he said.

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 citizens blame squarely on his misrule.

The long-mooted 2018 elections deal between Tsvangirai and former vice president Joice Mujuru — which has spooked Mugabe and Zanu PF — also involves smaller opposition parties who are members of the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) which has been holding demonstrations around the country to press for much-needed electoral reforms.

“The entire nation is now speaking the same language. A broad coalition of opposition parties is now fighting as a common front for comprehensive electoral reforms in the country. A few years ago this was inconceivable. We welcome that unity of purpose.

“Genuine war veterans, who for years used to brutalise and fight the common man and woman, have now seen the light and have come out in the open that they will never engage in another crusade against fellow citizens,” Tsvangirai told his supporters at the Bulawayo bash.

“At a personal level, I have had fruitful discussions with the leadership of these heroes and heroines of our struggle. We all realised that we share so much in common in terms of our vision and aspirations for our country.

“Morgan Tsvangirai meeting with veterans of the liberation struggle was inconceivable a few years ago because of misconceptions and Zanu PF’s propaganda. Indeed, we must welcome them for their bold move to come to the side of the people that they liberated 36 years ago.

“There is one Zimbabwe that we all love and we are all patriotic sons and daughters of this land, regardless of our different social and political stations.

“So, the nation is slowly coming together. Citizens, war veterans, vendors, civil servants, political parties and civil society are all speaking the same language. That convergence must be encouraged and celebrated,” Tsvangirai added.

“When as a party we met for our 4th Congress in Harare in November, 2014, we adopted a road-map in which we called for national convergence and a big tent of diverse Zimbabweans so that we could sculpt the future of the country together.

“This is the convergence we are seeing across the nation today and as we celebrate our 17th birthday we must congratulate ourselves as a party for having realised the intrinsic value in unity and togetherness.

“Indeed, together we are better, stronger and more formidable. The past is another country and together we shall build on this emerging convergence and poise our country for unity, growth and prosperity,” he said.

Tsvangirai went on to savage Mugabe, saying the increasingly frail nonagenarian was no longer fit to continue holding office.

“We are aware that it all has to start with Mugabe moving out of the picture. We owe it to the people to table our plan, well aware of course that all signs point to Mugabe wanting to die in office. The grim reality is that given his age and his crimes of omission and commission, he must set the stage for national recovery.

“For the sake of his legacy, he needs to send out a message that the country is more important than individuals. He must retire and set the stage for a new course for the country. If he truly loves this country, his departure will be the first positive sign to set the country on a new trajectory for recovery and growth.

“However, we are aware that it is one thing to have a road-map and quite another to have it implemented. Given the complexity of our situation, we as a party and others will continue to put pressure on this regime to steer the nation towards far-reaching reforms that would return us to legitimacy,” the former prime minister said.

Speaking earlier on, Tsvangirai had raised the political stakes when he bluntly told 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.

“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,” he warned.

This was not the first time that the former prime minister in the government of national unity had 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.

Mugabe and his government are struggling to fend off restive ordinary citizens who are reeling from the current economic rot which they blame on the nonagenarian and his colleagues.

But the 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 effect a State of Emergency to foil further protests.

In recent weeks, there has been a resurgence of violence across the country, including a savage crackdown on the opposition and pro-democracy activists by authorities, as civil unrest continues to escalate in tandem with Zimbabwe’s dying economy.

On Tuesday last week, suspicious riots rocked Harare, as police fought running battles with supposed protesting street vendors in the capital’s central business district — amid stunning claims that the troublemakers in fact belonged to factions within the warring Zanu PF.

Analysts warn that there could be more protests in the coming weeks if government fails to adhere to its promise that the introduction of the bond notes will not signal the end of the use of United States dollar which has been credited with stabilising the wobbly economy.

Zimbabwe will be introducing the much-distrusted bond notes at the end of the month amid serious concerns that government could flood the market with the surrogate currency which has already attracted two lawsuits.

Comments (27)

Yes understood Mr Prime minister,but I herd this before ,in 2013, we still waiting for the day.We cant be patient anylonger, a month is too much to wait.We want to see action in boardrooms now,Dialogue.This way noone dies for mahara,like the 200 poor souls that died.We want Dialogue.Yu and Mr Mugabe must sit back n allow dialogue to start.Yu 2 have been running our poor lives since 2000 to no good.Allow dialogue ,back to GNU,that will be without yu 2.

viola gwena - 3 October 2016

Morgan, you are sick my friend, just retire from politics and give someone else a chance. You had many wonderful opportunities to get rid of Mugabe but failed in spectacular fashion casting so many doubts in our minds about your sincerity and leadership qualities. No too many people listen to you anymore Mr Tsvangirai, time to go I think?

Mbewa - 3 October 2016

mbewa ndiwe murwere mukuru -- chigulani chaicho

munyimi - 3 October 2016

@Mbewa at least Tsvangarai proved that he is masculine and a man to be counted among men not you. you expect to get things done for you ana mucheka dzafa. For the record Mugabe never won an election since 2000. He said it himself that Tsvangirai won 73% and what happened then. Mugabe and his mafia club's day are numbered

pride - 3 October 2016

mr tsvangirayi, thank you for standing upwe count up. this nation has an environment that is very harsh and to actually clearly stand up pachena all these years heyi, its courage shuwa. we appreciate

kelly - 3 October 2016

We have had enuf of these fights.The bank ques everywhr ,pple cant access their cash.Old pple cant access their pensions.The homeless in city parks,the hungry,jobless.we cant afford hospital visits.Chilldren deserting the country to be slaves in foreign lands.Corruption, .This is toomuch to bear.Both Mugabe and Tsvangirai have failed us on our ubuntu hunhu.A failed nation.No prosperity.Selfish leaders.2018 is too far to wait .Wait for what ,violence n deaths of our children.?We need dialogue now.To hell wth 2018,we need GNU now for jobs ,economy to start kicking.

viola gwena - 3 October 2016

@viola gewna,they will be no prosperity in this country if we do not uphold the rule of law and follow the constitution,the constitution is sacrosant,its our bible,we cannot circumvet it no matter what,elections are due in 2018,as per constitution,we must accept that the president has a legitmate mandate,dialogue cannot substitute elections as way of choosing our leaders,by the MDC own admission the GNU was a failure,they failed to get any reforms and got caught up in the trappings of power,the MDC should not be forced on the people and get into govt via the backdoor just because they have support in western capitals,tsvangirai thinks because he can pack hotel conference rooms with elites he mistakes that for support,he has become so desperate that violence has now become an option for him,this country is now at a critical stage,it will result in clueless leaders like him being dumped,@viola gwena,just look around and see tsvangirais percieved suppoters,the urbanites how they have embraced our land reform program,,all desperate for land,dialogue yes,but no to dialogue that seeks to take away the peoples right to choose a govt of their choice and smuggle the MDC INTO GOVT

truth - 3 October 2016

Zimbabwe needs a transitional authority and not a GNU.No matter hw some pple may hate Tsvangirai he can't be blamed for Zanu pf's misrule and worse still the dictator's insatiable love for power.

wangu - 3 October 2016

give credit where its due Those who say Tsvangirai failed to beat Mugabe before shame on you You either voted for the oldest guy of Zanu pf or you never voted I am not MDC but reflecting all the years Tsvangiral has done his best considering who and what he was fighting about Up until 4 or 5 years ago my friends used to put Mugabe on a pedestral but I did not agree with them Now you guys you want results like yesterday Did you speak with your own mothers and emphasise why they can not vote for zanu anymore The zanupf youth in ghettos The district zanupf leaders in rural areas targets these poor old people and youth Threaten them who to vote for Stop complaining and educate relatives on why not to MDC Talk about boldness .These folks are threatened that Zanu can tell if you vote for anything else Anyway Tsvangirai is busy and has been since 1999 What are you doing ? Complain is all you do He cant defeat Zanu ari ega Zanu is an alien force so do your part Go challenge Mugabe if you can do so rather than expecting others to do it for you

Naphiri Chisayi - 3 October 2016

There is only one struggle/war Zimbabwe is engaged in: "The war of economic freedom". Zimbabwe will never be a colony again Mr Tsvangirai.

ADF - 3 October 2016

Viola yu are so forthright on your calls for a well considered unity GVT.This will open nation-wide opportunities across the nation as GDP growth rate will hit double digits within 6months ,sanctions will be removed,fear will no-longer be there,no election mode and so on.We call for a national referendum on this critical issue.

April 7 - 3 October 2016

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nadeem - 4 October 2016

All sane people know we had unity agreements with zanu in this country before which never worked as they were all violeted by zanu . In 1987 zapu and zanu had an agreement to work together and build this country but zanu took this as chance to swallow zapu then came another one in 2009 where mdc and zanu agreed to work together but zanu again regarded mdc as their juniors and never worked as agreed instead zanu got the chance to revamp its self and rigged elections so any suggestions that we must have unity agreements with zanu again never work and misinformed at this point of the struggle which seek to remove zanu and Mugabe from power forever for the sake of the economy of the country .

Diibulaanyika - 4 October 2016

TRUTH ANOTEDZERA CONSTITUTION NDIANI WEN zanu IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST VIOLATORS OF THE ECONOMY. THESE GUYS ARE OUT TO HOLD ON TO POWER UNTIL THE LAST MAN. HOWEVER I FEEL THAT IF THIS STATUS QUO REMAINS VIOLENT ACTIVITY IS GOING TO UPSURGE AND DEVOUR EVERYONE. Remembaer the statement by Marx "ALL ENDS OF LIFE CAN BE ATTAINED BY THE FORCIBLE OVERTHROW OF ALL EXISTING SOCIAL CONDITIONS LET THE RULING CLASSES TREMBLE AT A COMMUNISTIC REVOLUTION THE WOKERS HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE BUT THEIR CHAINS . THEY HAVE A WORLD TO WIN"

NUTTY DREADLOCK - 4 October 2016

IF YOU ANALYZE BOB MARLEYS SONG ZIMBABWE ITS AS IF HE KNEW WAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN IN THE FUTURE AND I QOUTE 'EVERY MAN HAS GOT A RIGHT TO DECIDE HIS OWN DESTINY. AND IN HIS JUDGEMENT THERE IS NO PARTIALITY SO ARM IN ARM WILL HAVE TO FIGHT THIS LITTLE STRUGGLE COZ I DONT WANT MY PEOPLE TO BE TRICKED BY MERCENARIES BROTHER YOU RIGHT" MERCENARIES IN THIS CASE ARE ZANU WHO TRICKED THE PEOPLE . MARLEY NDOFUNGA WEN HE SAW THESE ZANU CRONIES HE INSTANTLY KNEW THAT THESE GUYS WERE DECEITFULL MERCENARIES

NUTTY DREADLOCK - 4 October 2016

Zanu is not a small poor party that can be easily pushed over like Zapu or Mdc.Besides running the cou try they are sitting on wealthy resourses they use for their benefit.Only a very seriouse revolution,blood spilt ,can push Zanu out of power.Zapu Itself is so low in numbers n moral presently ,to mount any challenge on zanu.It has no support countrywide,it has no money,no known structures besides Dhu himself.Mdc has support bt lacks starmina.Leadership of Mdc is poor on organisational structures.That is why its supporters end up looking to pastors like Mawarire,who has since fled the country.It shows a seiouse vaccuum in Mdc.And also they are poor,no cash.So to rely on these 2 for change is wishfull thinking.The 2 are also waiting for circumstances to put them into power,not thru their planning bt luck.Zanu in turn has support in rurals.yu cant run away from that.Im in zanu and I know wht im talking about.Zanu runs police,military and has that support ,even if yu say its 30p.c.Its enuf to stay in power forever.Only dialogue wth Zanu will change our economy.Mdc can has no monopoly on sanctions .Its international community that must put it away,after satisfying themselves that Zanu has reformed.They are not waiting for goahead from Mdc.DIALOGUE is our only hope.

viola gwena - 4 October 2016

Well dander heads will always follow crooks and be crooked further . Shuwa with rotten reputation who in his or her right senses can want to sit down and try to sort out things with zanu .?Only those suffering from war hang over still believe zanu is a big political party . A political party surviving on violence not popularity to remain in power is not big even during war this party was the weakest of the 2 warring parties bcoz it was disorganised and full of squabbles but it came to power through tribalism and threats . If political parties used money to win votes then Smith party would be still in power bcoz it had mone better than zapu and zanu but Mugabe poor from Maputo with nothing only bad breath came to power . .In 2008 zanu lost to mdc t but it had a lot of wealth . Still mdc t has support across the country and that matters most bcoz these are the voters who will vote for it to lead this country while zanu with millions of stolen money no sane person will waste vote voting for them just like in 2008 .Abandoned by its comrades in crime the war vets zanu is as good as finished .

Diibulaanyika - 4 October 2016

@diibulaanyika,back off,at least bad breath is better than siki disguised as colon cancer

jojo - 4 October 2016

Only a rural skunk doesnt know Smith was defeated by a combination of protracted liberation war and international isolation ,sanctions besides the threat by Henry Kissinger to shut the SA border.Other than this nothing wuld have removed rich RF.Obviouse skunky apes wont comprehend these mere facts.Bury its head in holes n fart ,see no facts kind of a creature,that was fed on skinking beef by scouts during the war.A sellout wants to move on to Mdc bt we all know there is no rewards for selling out.Skunk.

viola gwena - 4 October 2016

@viola gwena,tete yu could have described @diibulaanyika better,the editor must spare us from these shallow debaters who can hardly comprehend anything

truth - 4 October 2016

@viola gwena,the guy is a skunk,thinks this platform is to kill his boredom

truth - 4 October 2016

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kwa mutare - 4 October 2016

Vanhu ngatirege kushoora Tsvangirai,murume munhu uyu.Since 1980 hapana kana 1 akafamba kusvika paakasvika neZanu. Ndinomutenda vazhinji nanhasi muchakarara nanhasi here?

S Macdonald - 4 October 2016

Viola You were not present during Smith time you had run to Moza where you were just a sex object that is why you always talk shirt here together with your side kick Truth who is you anyway .. For your own info i worked for Risco during Smith and we all know RISCO was not in rural area .Even if you are a town girl your father never built that town . Actually to me you sound like very confused idiot who does not want other views typical of zanu and you have gukurahundi tendencies

Diibulaanyika - 5 October 2016

Filthy bloody skunk.sellout.what Risco ,yu said yu were in yo rurals where yu killed cdes wth the help of selouse scounts.Yu yoself said it.Now its Risco,skunk.Did yu lose those cattle yu claimed to have lost,at Risco mine? Stop stumbling all over yo stupid lies.Yu arent even MDC ,yu are a skunk, bad stink.

viola gwena - 5 October 2016

idiot skebereshi i i would travel to my rural area like any other Rhodesian that time you do not that pple would travel on weekends to their rural homes bcoz you were busy in the moza busy camps servicing the sex hungry males in those camps blood fool . Your Skop is full of gukurahundi nonsense .I fed zipra forces in my area and i am proud of that and one will change it everyone knows it here not that nonsense of trying to twist what i had said earlier on this forum . indeed you are stupid .Swine bastard

Diibulaanyika - 5 October 2016

Yu are a skaramanga.Lier.crap.a skunk.

viola gwena - 5 October 2016

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