Mugabe faces doom in 2018: Tsvangirai

HARARE - Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai says President Robert Mugabe’s stunning fallout with war veterans earlier this year is a potential game changer in Zimbabwe’s tortured politics which could see the nonagenarian and his warring Zanu PF being turfed out of power in the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections.

Tsvangirai’s predictions come as the country’s economy continues to die — fuelling growing civil unrest which has seen fed up ordinary Zimbabweans, pro-democracy activists and the Church uniting in their calls for Mugabe to step down.

“The split between Zanu PF and the biggest section of the war veterans, who were once described as the reserve army to protect Zanu PF interests, is a potential game changer.

“This is a clear sign that the war veterans are now clear about how Mugabe and Zanu PF have lost the founding principles, aims and objectives of the liberation struggle, hence his failure to take the country forward.

“What still remains is for other institutions such as the security sector and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to begin to respond in similar fashion, to begin to realise that the country is greater than the whims of individuals,” Tsvangirai told an enthralled international audience in Johannesburg at the weekend.

War veterans served Mugabe with divorce papers in July this year, to end a long relationship with the nonagenarian which dated back to the days of the 1970s liberation struggle.

This was after war veterans had issued a damning communiqué in which they churlishly said that the nonagenarian was now a national liability and “a hard sell” for the 2018 presidential poll.

Subsequently, angry authorities launched a brutal crackdown against them, resulting in the arrest of a number of their leaders, while also moving to expel them from Zanu PF which is being devoured by its deadly and seemingly unstoppable factional and succession wars.

Until then, the former freedom fighters had been Mugabe and Zanu PF’s strongest pillars of support over the past five decades, playing particularly significant roles to keep the nonagenarian in power in the hotly-disputed 2000 and 2008 elections which were both marred by serious violence and the murder of hundreds of MDC supporters.

Since their stunning fallout with Mugabe, many of the ex-combatants have also been working with pro-democracy and opposition groups to end their former patron’s rule, which they now openly say has been disastrous.

Last week, the disaffected war veterans also bluntly warned Mugabe again that they would campaign for an opposition candidate in the 2018 elections, if the nonagenarian stood as a candidate in those polls.

“We are happy Mliswa won and Zanu PF should know that we are plotting another Norton for 2018 after realising that Zanu PF in its current state cannot be the vehicle with which the people’s aspirations can be realised, hence we will back a party that will field a candidate that we feel is incorruptible.

“We are going to support anyone who is going to represent the people’s aspirations with the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) acting as a fair referee in the election.

“Should we come to the conclusion that there is none among the candidates that the parties will have fielded, we are in the process of amending our constitution ahead of our congress, and there the association will decide if it seconds its own candidate without it necessarily turning into a political party,” war vets secretary general Victor Matemadanda said.

This was after Temba Mliswa knocked cold Zanu PF’s Ronald Chindedza to win the Norton constituency, which fell vacant earlier this year following the expulsion of war veterans leader Christopher Mutsvangwa from the ruling party — with disgruntled former freedom fighters playing a key role in the by-election.

In his address in South Africa on Saturday, Tsvangirai said the MDC anticipated that different political parties would see the need to come together and put in place a framework that would decisively deal with Zanu PF in the 2018 elections.

“The benefits of this coalition building go beyond increased power in relation to us as the opposition. It will strengthen the ordinary citizens’ resolve who are not MDC members and are keen on hearing of a method that can take them out of the oppression and poverty they currently face, and remove Zanu PF from power.

“A coalition can also bring more expertise and resources to bear on complex issues, where the technical or personnel resources of any one party would not be sufficient ... Whether we go into this election as a coalition is not the question, but the great wish and aspiration by all of us as Zimbabweans in our broad sense.

“It is important that this election will not see Zimbabwe sliding into another illegitimacy crisis approved by Sadc, hence the call for the implementation of far-reaching reforms as a precondition for participation,” Tsvangirai said.

Analysts say a united opposition fighting with one purpose would bring to an end Mugabe’s long rule, especially at this time that the country’s economy is dying and the increasingly frail nonagenarian is fighting to keep his warring Zanu PF united.

Tsvangirai and former vice president and now Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) leader, Joice Mujuru, are seen as the best combination of bringing to an end Mugabe and Zanu PF’s rule in 2018.

Both the MDC and ZPF are among opposition parties coalescing under the banner of the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera), which is pushing for far-reaching electoral reforms ahead of the much-anticipated next polls.

Mujuru and Tsvangirai signalled their intent to work together last August, in a move which analysts described as “very significant”, when they took part in a massive demonstration in Gweru.

Describing the scenes then as ‘‘heart-warming’’, Tsvangirai showered praises on Mujuru for joining the MDC in its protest and public rally.

“Did anyone ever dream of Mujuru becoming a part of the opposition? I want to congratulate her together with the ZPF leadership for seeing it necessary for us to have this joint programme. It’s not by accident that the MDC and ZPF are here together.

“I know that there will be a lot of talk, especially from Mugabe because he is afraid of the people, and by the end of the day he will even be afraid of leading Zimbabwe. We in the MDC respect Mujuru for the contribution she has made to this country. Mujuru is not the enemy,” he said.

Comments (20)

Cover all ground work and all reforms .......make all the checks just make a check list and put extra effort it will do.......nothing defeats hardwork VAPRESIDENT MORGAN

dofo - 31 October 2016

Action (rather than only talk) is what is required. A plan to penetrate the rural areas for a campaign is still not in place. Besides, not many will be excited about Mujuru`s tilt to the opposition. We know her. The party MDC started very well but , unfortunately, shot its self in the foot by exhibiting the same peculiar tendencies typical of Zanu-PF. Now some of us are not sure if its a party for positions or a party with a leadership bent on sweeping away Zanu-PF government replacing it with a people-orientated government. We are not after voting a new breed (the timbodyavo) in government to continue the Zanu-PF legacy with a different flag. Ofcourse I will ask for no guarantee to that effect but maitiro muparty should assure us that we are for really change. Hooking Mujuru and and making her a tramp card disqualifies me to voting for MDC. I know her. I will rather wait for events to take a course suitable for us. Mugabe will eventually be history after which it will be clear which direction our country will take

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 31 October 2016

Zanu pf has very few cards to play now Bribing isn't working. Violence isn't completely working. All thats left is torture and murder. Or maybe they'll actually focus on economics rather than politics and state in 2018; look we are rebuilding the country!

Young Zimbo - 31 October 2016

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chimbamauro - 1 November 2016

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TF Flooring - 1 November 2016

For ten years as VP Mujuru showed every one her many limitations as a leader and of late her short comings are glaring.Why should l vote her as President then? Tswangirayi as former PM showed beyond doubt during the GNU that given a chance he can turn around the economy.However,l still think that there is need for a former millitary strongman to assist him bring about ORDER,LIBERALISM and VISION post 2018.

April 7 - 1 November 2016

All opposition parties need to consider the following issues on the ground. 1. Mugabe has been using hook and crook to sway the opinion and mind set of voters since 1980, appearing to be the sane boy. 2. Hunger in the previous election has been instrumental in assisting him to appear popular as a savour, then use those huge forced followers to rig the votes on paper 3. The 1999 loss of the NO vote assisted him to step up the violent gear mode and crashed the opposition revolt and rig the elections in parliamentary 2000 and presidential 2002. 4. In the GNU, he use Prime Minister to get legitimate presidency and went on to run parallel government, using diamonds from Marange and bride military chiefs to be on his side. 6. The issue of bond notes now may be used to create serious panic in the market, and then just before elections 2018, reverse the process, paint a picture of things getting right in the hands of ZANU PF and rural folks follow. 7. What need to be done is to follow closely the developments on the ground, offer solutions to the people, not to compound it. 8. Serious unity of the entire opposition, minimise infltration from ZANU PF especially the likes that has been discovered already 9. Less media attention, and playing far from ZANU PF camps.

amina - 1 November 2016

Who will finance the elections,reauiring a good $6oom?How will pple get to 2018 no jobs,no food,no power,no pay for police to monitor peace during election.Less than a year to prepare all this.And the bond note perhaps coming in to worsen the situation.

viola gwena - 1 November 2016

@tete viola comrade vee,tell us if yo Ngwena takes over from RG ,hoping that he will lead to weed out corruption and get all finances from western countries,what makes you think he will then not cling on to power like RG?Yes elections in the midst of hunger and poverty are not free nor fare but yu advocate postponing 2018 ,who will then referee the elections which yo ngwena may also want to win.Kubvunza cde ,zvisina kutukana.Personaly im listerning to yo suggestion becoz of the violence involved in elections.The past 3 elections have brot only misery .

gandanga - 1 November 2016

@Viola Gwena And tete you seem to have seriouse dislike of prof moyo.Is this bordering on personal relationships between you and him ,that may have gone sour ?You dislike him with a passion, even before these corrupt stories came out.And why do you prefer Ngwena?After all these stories we hear from Matebelaland.kubvunzavo tizive.

gandanga - 1 November 2016

What I see as a noble idea is for MDC and ZIMPF to share the number of constituencies and enter into the election like that. They should not contest each other.

Gumandafa - 1 November 2016

Listening to this crazy rhetoric suggesting that the opposition can win the next elections with this ZANU PF still in control of the whole election process just typifies Morgan's stupidity and lack of leadership skills. And anyone promoting such a process are likely to be agents of CIO. Everyone must by now surely realize that we are being led by a totally illegitimate Government, one that is refusing to let go? It is for this precise reason that all of us must stop thinking about elections and demand the intervention of the UN who apply pressure for Mugabe to step down, an interim Government established that led to UN supervised elections. Without this happening I il guarantee you that the next elections wil also be stolen and our hardships made worse, a lot worse!

Mbewa - 1 November 2016

Tsvangirai's remarks reflect a much ignored but very potent political flaw that has affected the strategy of the MDC in its quest to replace ZANU PF all along. It relies more on the shortcomings of ZANU as the default trigger for its ejection from power and an about turn by mechanisms and institutions that have oiled the tyranny and dictatorship of ZANU this far. This is far from the truth and it could even generate complacency and create inflated expectations that, come 2018, ZANU PF can be dislodged easily without a whimper. Getting the army and ZEC et al to abandon the master who has been feeding them for the past thirty five years amounts to wishful thinking and should not be entertained seriously. Independent and non partisan electoral institutions can only be a product of agitation for genuine and far reaching reforms that will ensure the honest and professional custodianship of the processes by all the involved. Expecting that ZANU will shoot itself in the foot is an easy and uncertain method of its replacement at the ballot box. Instead, a comprehensive strategy that will also plug the loopholes in the electoral processes , promotion of sound economic policies and transparent and accountable governance will contribute to ZANUs doomsday in 2018.

Jaikolu Maison - 1 November 2016

@Gandanga. Since 1980 we have had only 2 meaningfull elections ,that is 1980 and 2008.1980 brot in Mugabe ending colonial ,segregative minority rule.2008 brot in GNU where we had Tsvangirai as PM .The other elections never brot in anything meangful or any advantages for our country.They brot in murder and post election transgrations .This 2018 election will bring nothing besides wars n hunger,ilegitimacy and more sanctions and this time horrible santions.It is my view that we culd postpone these elections 2018, and concentrate on a unity gorvenment that embodies both zanu and mdc.These are the 2 most powerfull,fuully represented in parliament.This will save us money ,$600m and put it into state for development.This GNU has to be lead by one from zanu and one from mdc,.Trust me this will bring jobs n jobs and jobs for our pple.This will have international backers in finance.

viola gwena - 1 November 2016

For Zanu I dnt see any other person other than Ngwena.He has the experience in govmt, diplomacy,and security sector.He brings in stability,respect and economic growth.He has already started command farming which has been imbraced by most farmers.Results will show.He has taken corruption head on,to crush it and channel the money to development.He is on the move .He is not a corrupt tinted person, no farm he invaded,no war victim funds he took,he never took any thing offered for free by government.He is a lawyer by profesion,sat on desk.I cannot find any other person in Zanu who culd rightly take over Zanu leadership from President Mugabe,who is now old.Besides that Ngwena will bring in new ministers, not the current once.The current ministers will go wth the current government.Ngwena will bring in new guys,uncorrupted young educated ministers.Yu will then see the current once in yo pubs ,retired,if they are clean on corruption.Otherwise Chikuribhi.So Ngwena is our best chance .He wont be there forever bt less than perhaps 5 yrs.Then a good election.Remember a bad election brings bad economy.We need a very good credible election,2023.

viola gwena - 1 November 2016

Viola you paint a rosy picture of The vice president. but... but he was head of intelligence during those disgusting massacares in the 80's. What are the chances he had nothing to with them and do we just turn a blind eye. I think people want the 2018 election so we can start a new.

Young Zimbo - 1 November 2016

"@Zimba.The guku isues need the right pple and right time to look into.A book was writen by one retired mp on guku,which accused Ngwena of being part of guku.Ngwena denied taking part and invited one Coltart to go to court on that.Thats not the language of a guilty person.Anyway im not qualified to give lectures on that sad history of ours.What I know is the whole Zanu and Zipra leadership are equaly to blame for this guku.These 2 parties came from Mozambique and Zambia and started blasting each other instead of working together.Vp Mphoko says its not anyone s falt bt British.In any case the 2 parties did unite and are now one.That chapter of guku is now behind us bt not forgoten.

viola gwena - 1 November 2016

Let us quickly improve existence of opposition representation in rural areas. I was in Gutu, zaka, Chiredzi, Bikita and Makoni in October to say the truth we still have people or parents who do not want to hear you saying anything good about MDC. The main reason is fear so instead of wasting our energy in urban areas let us start building confidence in the rural areas. ZANU PF has started demolishing houses in urban areas so that all those affected goes back to their rural areas where they will be intimidated to vote for ZANU PF by traditional leaders. Watch out guys let be proactive.

Gwenhoro - 2 November 2016

Its a finnished game in rurals.Too late for opposition.I read on this platform last yr ,Tete Viola saying she is already working in Mutoko campaining for Mugabe and Mnangagwa.Those infiltrated people wont change come 2018.MDC needs to get people like Ray Kaukonde who knows Mutoko .Relying on recruits is disaster.When Kaukonde was fired Tsvangirai should have moved in on him and recruited him and his Mutko team.

runde - 2 November 2016

What explains why the USA is great country is becoz they don't keep a bigot.Itz clear the majority of americans are not going to elect bigot ths November to th white house(to the presidency of their country)Even members of his own party are rejecting their bigot.But Im wondering why in Zimbabwe we stil hav a significant number of our ple choosing to stick with aur local bigot.We saw what he did since 1999 flouting clear leadership principles& can still hope can deliver our country to Canaan.When there is every sign of his leadership failures.Signs of a doomed nation really!

addmore gudo - 2 November 2016

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