Tsvangirai urged to pass the baton

HARARE - Former Zanu PF politburo member Kudakwashe Bhasikiti — now opposition Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) top official — has urged ailing MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai to hand over power.

He suggested MDC vice president Nelson Chamisa as the capable Tsvangirai successor.

This comes amid growing calls for Tsvangirai to take a backseat in politics on the back of his ill health.

The long-time President Robert Mugabe foe is suffering from colon cancer and has of late been in-and-out of hospital in South Africa.

Bhasikiti claims Chamisa has the mettle to galvanise the opposition family into one political force to successfully challenge Mugabe in next year’s elections.

“If...Tsvangirai is overwhelmed by current medical procedures let’s take a young focused candidate in the name of...Chamisa,” he said.

“I want to agree with all progressive forces that we join hands to be one opposition movement to remove the ravaging Zanu PF monster,” Bhasikiti said

His pronouncements come as an awakening of sorts as ZPF elders — Didymus Mutasa and Rugare Gumbo, both formerly in Zanu PF — have previously disassociated themselves with the MDC Alliance saying its name and logo are tantamount to marketing Tsvangirai.

MDC Alliance is a union of seven opposition political parties, which joined forces to challenge Mugabe in the 2018 elections.

The Alliance is led by Tsvangirai.

Commenting on Tsvangirai’s continued leadership, director of a UK-based think tank APPRI (Africa Public Policy Research institute), Lloyd Msipa, said:  “It will be a test of how great a leader Tsvangirai can be if he does the right thing and steps down. Tsvangirai has fought his fight, he has run his race. He has the chance to live behind a credible legacy if he steps down now and leaves a credible successor with time to put together a team to take his party to the next level. That will change the entire political discourse and even boost the voter registration process that is happening”.

However, MDC Alliance principals have remained firmly behind Tsvangirai, insisting they will continue to support him as their presidential candidate, despite panic over his health.

MDC Alliance spokesperson and leader of the smaller MDC, Welshman Ncube, said they still have faith in Tsvangirai and he still remained the opposition’s best chance to topple Zanu PF which has been in power since 1980.

Comments (10)

Tsvangirai need not step down. What he has to do is make sure that there is a transparent succesion plan in place.A plan that leaves no doubt as to who should take over from him in case he becomes unable to continue.

Frank Mukanya - 12 November 2017

True to the demandsof the times Save has to declare that he has played his part but due his heath restrictions a new leader has to carry on with the movement for change. We have tobe honest to ourselves. Yes he could continue to lead but circustances beyond his control do not allow that hence he has to watch it (and help as necessary) from home. You have done your duty Save.I thank you for that in the same way I thank Robert for his contribution to the armed struggle. But if circumstances like health/old age creeps in please accept it and smoothly let the show go on with you as a spectator. Zimbabwe is greater than an individual. That what education is all about: that we accept our errors and weaknesses and then seek for the best way the country should survive in this ocean infested with sharks. I am sure we will hear from Save to that effect as soon as the occasion avails itself.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 12 November 2017

MDC is a disciplined party and it has clear organizational protocols and procedures for electing leaders. The MDC alliance family which has recently expanded (ne vakwasha neva roorwi), are clear on who is head of family. Its interesting how Bhasikhiti, a neighbor or passerby maybe, can suggest a junior inexperienced member of our family be given reins of leadership of the family. Chii chamurikunyangira va Bhasikiti? Stay in Zanu or wherever you are. Its ok to talk of leadership change, BUT DON,T tell us who should be leader. Ndimi makakonzera ma Zanu factional fights ku Masvingo, and you want to do the same in MDC. We have 2 elected presidents in MDC, Tsvangirayi and his vice Khupe, so dont try to rock the MDC boat, so far its sailing on course. Bhasikiti, DON,T BE AN IMBECILE!

Will Blackman - 12 November 2017

I agree with sentiments that Morgan should stand down on health grounds and hand over the reigns to elected vice president Khupe no one else.

sinyo - 13 November 2017

You can only make an opinion and not proffer a name coz we will begin to wonderkuti asi munovenga Tsvangirai?

Che - 13 November 2017

Tsvangirai need not to retire only on health grounds but also that his time had already expired when they changed the MDC constitution in the year 2005 in order to accommodate or to remove limits to his continued stay at the helm as long as it takes;just as good as Mugabe. Chamisa shld in no day b an automatic successor as he was in similar fashion(unconstitutionally) hand picked by Tsvangirai& even Khupe is not the ready person; but that the MDC caucus shld go to their congress whether extraordinary or otherwise,to choose a new leader as per their agreement at the out set(the constitution).And stop Tsvangirai fans fr imposing their supper endlessly.His time had already expired

addmore gudo - 13 November 2017

plain tribalism bhasikiti plays out only in your home called zanu. apart from the fact that chamisa is your homeboy wezhira, what is any other reason that he should be left to lead the coalition? please carefully read the following points which militate against him: 1. he was not democratically elected but picked like mangoes at a market stall by morgan. he jumped a lot of cadres in the process who are apparent unhappy with the move to elevate him 2. he lost the sg post dismally only less than two years ago showing that the boy is not loved in the party 3. he was primarily responsible for the party's loss in 2013 by fielding zanoids like eric knight. mudzuri had done a sterling job in the same post in 2008 4. he is entitled and arrogant like mugabe. in chikomba recently he likened biti to a fallen leaf which can never find its way back to the branch. that is arrogance at its worst and anti the spirit of unity 5. generally the boy still has college mentality as he has not been in the industry for a long time. his tiff with khupe over leadership of the party in parly being a case in point. CHAMISA IS MUGABE BY ANOTHER NAME. COBRA

josphat mugadzaweta - 13 November 2017

the major problem in zim is we practice politics of personalities tat the expense of politics of ideaolgies! often the result of this is a creation of cult of personalities where one cant seperate a party & its leader, ie, there is no mdc without morgen & there is no zanu without rhobhati!! the resut of this are difficulties that arise when it is time for leadership change. morgan & rhobhati appear unsubstitable in the eyes of many

SaManyika Chaiye - 13 November 2017

yes yes thats cool but he can only pass the baton to Elizabeth Macheka its the new game in town

eliasha - 13 November 2017

@wiill blackman ndatenda hangu hautiudzire wekuisa musangano unegwara bhasikiti ibhasikiti zveshuwa haana akamuvhotera akangozvigadza

g40 - 13 November 2017

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