Tendai Kamhungira 13 February 2017
HARARE – MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who is currently touring the
country’s provinces holding consultation meetings with community leaders
has claimed that chiefs who are known Zanu PF surrogates are now ready to
work with him.
Speaking to the Daily News through his spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka,
while in Masvingo, Tsvangirai, said the level of support he has been
getting in the on-going nationwide consultations is unprecedented and
“It is a long programme. The turnout by chiefs, who are openly speaking
about the abuse that they get from Zanu PF especially during election
time, is amazing and encouraging.
“The traditional leaders are saying they no longer have the respect that
they deserve because they are now being seen as Zanu PF agents. Their
complaints are that people now hate them for being perceived to be Zanu PF
agents,” Tamborinyoka said.
He said after Masvingo, Tsvangirai will be travelling to Manicaland, and
has already visited Matabeleland and Midlands provinces.
The consultation meetings are part of Tsvangirai’s broader scheme of
collecting people’s views and hearing their challenges ahead of the 2018
“We are doing something unique because we are not only meeting MDC members
but members from across the board. Tsvangirai is listening to the people’s
problems and the issues that need to be addressed when the MDC gets into
power. We are already in the post (President Robert) Mugabe era,”
With the economy crumbling and government seemingly clueless on providing
lasting solutions – Tamborinyoka said the most painful part is that
“everyone is saying things are bad”.
From teachers to village heads, Tsvangirai said Zimbabweans can no longer
afford to buy clothes and basics.
This is despite the fact that teaching was a noble profession back in the
day, where one could be able to live a decent life, Tamborinyoka said.
He added that from poor salaries, the teachers are also complaining about
the government’s failure to pay them their 2016 bonuses, in addition to
the confusion being brought by Primary and Secondary Education minister
Lazarus Dokora’s new curriculum.
“It is unprecedented that a lot of people including chiefs, teachers,
pastors and other community leaders are coming out in the afternoon to
meet Tsvangirai,” Tamborinyoka said.
In the past, it has always been difficult for people to openly and fully
associate with Tsvangirai in such meetings, for fear of victimisation from
Zanu PF, which has boasted in the past for having “degrees” in violence.
Tsvangirai himself has on several occasions been brutalised by Zanu PF
agents, who fear his influence and capacity to win elections against
Mugabe, who turns 93 next week.
Tamborinyoka also noted that most of the areas that the MDC leader has
visited are so marginalised to the extent that many still live in pole and
dagga houses 37 years after independence.
He added that it was now clear that every Zimbabwean sector has grievances
that the MDC will address once in government, and that chiefs complained
about the way Zanu PF treated them and forced them to distribute food on