Tsvangirai warns Mugabe

HARARE - MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has warned President Robert Mugabe that he faces not only a united opposition in the 2018 elections, but also internal revolt within the ruling Zanu PF.

The opposition leader’s comments are on the back of the nonagenarian leader boasting during his 93rd birthday interview that he would win the forthcoming watershed elections because there is no meaningful opposition to his 37-year rule.

But Tsvangirai — Mugabe’s long-time rival — thinks otherwise.

Through his spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka, he said the continent’s oldest leader — who celebrates his birthday milestone in Matopos today — has a “tendency of writing us (MDC) off”, but faces a rude awakening in next year’s key polls.

“We...later on haunt him; we did the same thing in 2008. We had problems as the MDC in 2005, and then against all expectations, we beat him in the 2008 elections. He should be careful what he says,” Tamborinyoka said.

With the country hurtling towards the elections, opposition parties are racing against time to strike a coalition deal, which analysts say could end Zanu PF rule.

Behind the scenes, the hugely popular MDC leader is desperate to sign an election covenant with other opposition parties, particularly the Joice Mujuru-led Zimbabwe People First.

But a fortnight ago, the much-hyped grand coalition appeared to suffer a stillbirth after Mujuru’s party crumbled under the weight of irreconcilable differences.

Despite stark differences in the opposition circles, Tamborinyoka reiterated that Mugabe was going to face a united opposition next year.

“The president has been mandated to form a grand coalition and it is coming, we will however not discuss such issues in the media, what I can tell you is that there is overwhelming support for a grand coalition and that is what Mugabe is going to face next year,” said Tamborinyoka.

“We are not really worried about what Mugabe says because he is now old, so whatever he says is consistent with people of his age, he is a senile man who is living in dreamland.

“We would like to remind him that even before he comes to us, he should face the internal opposition in his party. It was actually Mugabe who was telling us that there are factions in his party and that is opposition to his rule.”

While Tsvangirai and Mujuru have been reluctant to join the Coalition for Democrats (Code) — a loose alliance of seven smaller opposition parties — PDP president Tendai Biti joined the alliance last week.

While there is no love lost between Biti and Tsvangirai — something that could stymie the grand coalition — analysts and observers say the two former allies have so much in common and should bury their egos for the good of the country.

Speaking after officially joining Code, Biti said while there is no doubt that a grand coalition could give Zanu PF a run for their money, there was need for all opposition parties to put aside their selfish interests and realise that “no political party is bigger than the other”.

“This is a coalition that is not in competition with other opposition parties but we are not going to bow before anyone...we are going to work very hard to ensure that next year we give Zanu PF a run for their money, we are coming for you Mugabe, we are coming for you Grace, we are coming for your children,” Biti said.

Comments (3)

Mr Tsvangirai is always warning Mugabe. but nothing ever happens

Young Zimbo - 25 February 2017

Tsvangirai worms Mugabe based on yr support but u always let him down.I know what u mean by that,,but u need to understand that without the people of Zimbabwe's support Tsvangirai can not do much.

Matsotsi - 26 February 2017

No one is letting down Tsvangirai,he is only not a democrat ,hence causing a lot confusion within the opposition circles.MDC has never bn formed for the purpose of benefiting Tsvangirai-aiding him to land the presidency of this country;but only as a platform by all to fight for the democratisation of our country;itz his collegues in the party who sold his name to the public in the first place in the hope of achieving the same goal,now after going some miles-some growth in popularity has bn attained with the people, he turned selfish,refused to give the very people he started with,the ones who worked for the status quo, also space after his many yrs of attempt & failure at Mugabe.Bunnet told him to retire& he refused,Mangoma the same,Biti the same,only exploiting the present status of achievement bec has bn worked attached to his name,forgetting that the founding principles were to achieve for the nation not for him.So no one is letting him down but his style of leadership is at the core of confusion& loss of hope-has become greed.

addmore gudo - 27 February 2017

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