Tsvangirai died bitter: Chamisa

HARARE - Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa revealed yesterday that his revered late predecessor, Morgan Tsvangirai, had died a bitter man after he was allegedly duped by President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his allies that an inclusive transitional government would be set up following the November 2017 soft coup which felled former president Robert Mugabe from power.

The stunning revelations came as Mnangagwa warned Chamisa yesterday against the MDC leader’s continued refusal to join talks aimed at resolving Zimbabwe’s decades-old political and economic crises on the president’s terms— saying this was tantamount to playing with people’s lives.

 Speaking in Harare at the first anniversary of Tsvangirai’s death, Chamisa also said the country was continuing to experience major problems because Zanu PF had not fulfilled its promise to form a transitional government which would have resulted in the mapping of a credible electoral roadmap, the implementation of much-needed reforms and the restoration of political legitimacy in the country.

“I was asked by Tsvangirai to attend Mnangagwa’s inauguration at the National Sports Stadium, but I remonstrated with him saying these people could not be trusted.

“He (Tsvangirai) told me that he had been assured that a transitional arrangement would be formed that would set the reforms and conditions for free and fair elections, but that is not what happened and he died a betrayed man,” Chamisa said — vowing never to fall in the same trap again as the talk about national talks keeps gathering steam.

Speaking earlier, Tsvangirai’s emotional wife, Elizabeth, also revealed how a sick Tsvangirai had initially been upbeat about the army moving in to remove Mugabe from power — which was the reason why he had taken part in the marches in which Zimbabweans had demanded the nonagenarian’s ouster.

“His vision was for Zimbabwe to be united. He wanted to see the people free to express themselves and he yearned for the life that the country experienced in the early 1980s when the people had enough to eat. He wanted people to have jobs. He supported the new dispensation because he sincerely believed that it was going to be the beginning of a new era.

“Unfortunately, something else happened. For the sake of my husband, I would like to say the people should unite, not only in the MDC but across the political divide,” Elizabeth said.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily News last year, Mnangagwa’s spokesperson George Charamba also indicated that there had been a deal on the table for the country’s politicians to work together.

Charamba added that although he could not disclose intimate details of the discussion between Tsvangirai — who died on February 14 last year, and whose medical bills and funeral expenses were partly paid for by the government — “it was a forward looking agreement, but it appears that the MDC leader was interred with his vision that he had for this country”.

“Chamisa did not realise that there was prior dialogue to the structure which he has now assumed leadership of, a dialogue that went ahead of the party, a dialogue that was national in outlook. He jettisoned it, he fouled it, but I would still say better late than never. Now I am seeing he is coming round,” Charamba said then.

However, Chamisa who has whittled his initial 10 demands for talks with Mnangagwa to just two, said yesterday that just as Tsvangirai had refused to be assimilated by Zanu PF during Mugabe’s ruinous rule, he would also not fall into the trap of the current president.

“I have told Mnangagwa that we should unite the people, but he is not yet ready. I will only accept dialogue when we have a credible convener and then we will put down our demands.

“We can only start dialogue from that stage. We want to ensure that there are reforms so that in the future we will not have disputed elections. We do not want people like (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairperson) Priscilla Chigumba running the elections ... we want reforms so that we will not have disputed elections,” Chamisa said.

To push Mnangagwa to the negotiating table, the charismatic opposition leader told his supporters that the MDC would use its democratic right to demonstrate and reclaim its “stolen power” from Zanu PF.

“The ZCTU is the one that organised the very successful shutdown (of last month), but then the authorities thought it was us the children who had organised that, mistaking a child for the mother.

“But I can tell you that when we organise it (their own shutdown) it will be bigger,” Chamisa said.

Meanwhile, Mnangagwa while speaking at a belated New Year’s reception for members of the diplomatic corps which was held at State House in Harare yesterday, also called on Zimbabweans to work together for the good of the country.

“On the 6th of February 2019 I invited the leaders of all political parties and former presidential aspirants in the 2018 presidential elections to an unconditional dialogue aimed at narrowing our political differences and drawing a common socio-economic future and political path for our country.

“All presidential candidates who have the maturity and sense of leadership joined us. I call on those who refuse to take part in the national dialogue to stop grandstanding and playing games with the lives of the people of Zimbabwe,” Mnangagwa said.

Chamisa snubbed last week’s meeting insisting that he would only enter into formal negotiations with Mnangagwa if certain conditions were met.

Among his demands are mediation by a neutral third party and a requirement that all “prisoners of conscience” be freed, and that there be an immediate return to the barracks by the military.

Speaking yesterday, Mnangagwa said continuous dialogue within the country was something that he was determined to do as the country’s president — but accused “foreign hands” of fuelling last month’s violent fuel protests.

“What is indeed worrisome is the premeditated nature of this unprecedented violence, including active participation by extraneous foreign hands in collaboration with local surrogates, disguised as political, civic, labour, academic and non-governmental groupings.

“The demonstrations were therefore neither civil nor peaceful and were bent on effecting regime change,” he said — adding that the events, including the death of at least 12 people, and the alleged torture and rape of women by State security agents would be investigated.

“Any evidence of rogue police officers or soldiers taking the law into their own hands will be dealt with, and they will face the force of the law,” Mnangagwa said.

Mnangagwa also said the painful policy decisions that were being taken by the government were meant to improve the economic situation in the country. In order to succeed, we are aware that we must make tough decisions such as balancing our budget, bringing in investors and attracting FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) so that we create more jobs for our people,” he said.

He also said that his government was in the process of implementing the recommendations of the Kgalema Motlanthe-led Commission of Inquiry into the August 1 post-election killings.

This comes after Zimbabwe was last month thrown into a ginormous crisis when angry protesters flooded the streets of Harare, Bulawayo and several other towns across the country, demonstrating against sharp fuel price hikes.

Property worth millions of dollars was also destroyed and looted in the mayhem which ensued, after thousands of workers heeded the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions’ three-day strike call.

At the same time, security forces unleashed a brutal crackdown against the protesters, the opposition and civil society leaders — in a move which received wide condemnation in the country and around the world.

Rights groups also continue to report human rights abuses by security forces — including galling allegations that soldiers had raped women and girls during their much-condemned crackdown against innocent civilians.

    Comments (10)

    Chamisa ane problem,sei asingadi kumover forward.Toda dialogue kwete zvekuba nekupisa zvinhu zvevanhu kuti iye apinde mupower.VaChamisa tarisai muenzaniso wamakasiyirwa naVaNkomo naVaTsvangirai.Its not about your personal benefit but a Zimbabwean nation benefit.Sei muchizvitora kunge ndimimoga munoziva Zimbabwe yose.Neparufu hamuna respect munononoka kusvika kuti vose vaone pamunosvika kuti tatsikwa.Pamaelections makaiposer maMP edu akareza .VaChamisa hamuna maturo

    Adam - 15 February 2019

    Chamisa's mercurial character is an embarassment to the MDC alliance leadership and supporters. If Tsvangirai had advised for a transitional government after engaging with Zanu PF why did you rush into the elections? Your turn around is not surprising - after canvassing our comments you summarise them and dispense it as your wisdom. Chamisa you walked into the ring blind folded. Politics is about negotiation - anathema to you (internally - MDC - externally), a skill the late Tsvangirai and Dr. Nkomo were skilled in. The wise, mature and articulate Thabitha Khumalo would effectively lead MDC rather than the naive ego-centric Chamisa. A transitional government was the best thing that could have happened on the removal of Mugabe.

    Daniel 5 - 15 February 2019

    Daniel you seem lost here, is it Chamisa who formed a government or ed, who called for elections, do not be blind, what is happening with judiciary, are they not waiting for a signal to pass judgements, who is giving the signals. Captured state by thugs, gukurahundists, 2008 murders, who perpetrated them, same faces, 2018 July shootings, 2019 January killings, the script is incomplete if we do not mention who killed General Solomon Mujuru, was it not clearing the passage. The blind can see.

    Kufandada - 15 February 2019

    @kufandada let us not run away from clear facts here. the problems of the country at present are a direct result if the actions and inaction of both ed and chamisa. one is totally clueless in running the economy while the other is purely power hungry and will stop at nothing to grab it. both guys lack the leadership qualities that would take the nation forward. I lament the passing on of morgan, mqabuko- what brilliant caring leaders the country lost. the current crop of both mdc and zanu leaders are just some self-seeking characters with no national interests at heart.

    mukovhe watshilidzi - 15 February 2019

    Chamisa you did well by not attending the so called dialogue. Don't be unequally yoked

    Eddy - 15 February 2019

    Is it Nero who introduced the 2% tax? Is it Nero who increased fuel prices? Is it Nero commanding soldiers to shoot innocent civilians? Tip of the iceberg, a zanoid has given you clues as to who the murderers are but still you say Nero is the problem? Mugodhoyi yevanhu mhani!!!!

    Tau - 16 February 2019

    Some are holding thank you rallies after romping to victory, while others are narrating history - Life is unfair on earth, who knows they say Humambo hwenyu ndehwekudenga

    willo - 16 February 2019

    Legend of the Seas cruise!Politics dzinobhadhara vakomana, Tsvangison akambonakigwa!

    Humpty Good - 16 February 2019

    Chamisa is paddling fiction. It is on record that ED invited MDC to form a GNU following Mugabe's resignation. However they (MDC) turned it down. Chamisa's concern was that a successful GNU would make ED look good going into an eventual election. Others in MDC - e.g. Mwonzora, Mudzuri etc were for a GNU. But Chamisa was adamant. His calculation was that he would win. Now that he lost, he wants to go back to the GNU. This is all public information. The guy is neurotic!

    Buns Tinobvinex - 16 February 2019

    "Kufandada" Comprehension 101. Chamisa is the one quoted in the article - reminiscing about a missed transitional government opportunity. The facts were and are still clear Kufandada - no amount of navel gazing by Chamisa will change the reality at ground zero. One needs real wisdom and strategy to engage Zanu PF. Chamisa unfortunately is deficient in these.....

    Daniel 5 - 20 February 2019

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