Tsvangirai woos top army bosses

Source: Tsvangirai woos top army bosses – DailyNews Live

Fungi Kwaramba      1 June 2017

HARARE – Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has set the cat among the
pigeons within the warring ruling Zanu PF, revealing that he has held
meetings with the country’s feared military officials as part of his bid
to allow the smooth transfer of power if he wins next year’s watershed
national elections.

This comes as the dogged former labour union leader is on the cusp of
wrapping up an electoral pact with smaller opposition parties, which
analysts say could see both President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF defeated
in the eagerly-awaited 2018 national polls.

“I have met with the church, political leaders from across the entire
spectrum, the army, war veterans, civil servants and leaders of various
social networks and civic groups who all agree on the need for a positive
trajectory for this country that we love.

“We are very much aware, of course, that the stakes are high and that the
regime will invest scarce national resources into nothing else but power
retention.

“We must be ready for them, armed with no other weapon except our sheer
unity and a collective resolve for change.  All we need is a formidable
unity that spans from the top to the very grassroots of our nation,”
Tsvangirai said on Monday.

“The change we seek will be good for every Zimbabwean, even for those who
have tenaciously fought and frowned upon any prospect for change over the
years. I wish to re-state that we mean no harm to anyone and none of us
should feel endangered by the change we seek,” he added.

Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi had not responded to questions sent to
him by the time of going to print.

Analysts have consistently said Mugabe and his deeply divided ruling Zanu
PF have in the past managed to thwart Tsvangirai because of the influence
of the military and war veterans in Zimbabwe’s body politic.

They have also said the increasingly frail nonagenarian was saved from
losing out to the former prime minister in the disputed 2008 polls through
military intervention.

Tsvangirai beat Mugabe hands down in the March 2008 presidential election,
which saw results being withheld for a suspiciously long six weeks, amid
widespread allegations of ballot fiddling and manipulation.

When the widely discredited results of that poll were eventually
announced, Tsvangirai was forced into a presidential run-off which he
pulled out of following massive intimidation and violence which saw
hundreds of his supporters being murdered in cold blood.

Mugabe would go on to stand in an embarrassing and widely condemned
one-man race in which he declared himself the winner.

However, Sadc and the rest of the international community would not accept
the poll, forcing the nonagenarian to share power with Tsvangirai for five
years to prevent the country from imploding completely.

Former State Security minister and one of the founders of the Zimbabwe
People First (ZPF) party, Didymus Mutasa – who was for decades a close
confidante of Mugabe – later lifted the lid on that election’s rot,
following his sacking from Zanu PF, revealing that the nonagenarian
remained in power through chicanery and brute force.

Analysts have repeatedly opined that Tsvangirai would find it difficult to
govern even if he wins elections due to suspicion by Mugabe’s fearful
securocrats.

They have often referred to the statement by the late commander of the
defence forces – Vitalis Gava Zvinavashe – who in 2002 infamously said the
military would not salute someone without liberation credentials, in
apparent reference to Tsvangirai.

“Any change designed to reverse the gains of this revolution will not be
supported …

“We wish to make it very clear to all Zimbabwean citizens that the
security organisations will only stand in support of those political
leaders that will pursue Zimbabwean values, traditions and beliefs for
which thousands of lives were lost …

“Let it be known that the highest office in the land is a straightjacket
whose occupant is expected to observe the objectives of the liberation
struggle.

“We will therefore not accept, let alone support or salute, anyone with a
different agenda that threatens the very existence of our sovereignty, our
country and our people,” Zvinavashe said then.

A large cross-section of Zimbabweans – including civic society and
political analysts – has welcomed Tsvangirai’s inclusion of former vice
president Joice Mujuru in the talks to form the country’s planned
opposition coalition.

Tsvangirai and Mujuru have been working with other opposition parties
behind the scenes to finalise the mooted coalition.

Recently Tsvangirai signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with Mujuru
and his former secretary general Welshman Ncube in developments that were
described as significant steps towards finalising the electoral alliance.

Mujuru, who now leads the National People’s Party (NPP) and whose
liberation struggle nom de guerre was Teurai Ropa (Spill Blood), and whose
late husband Solomon was the first black post-independence army commander,
is seen as providing the much-needed bridge that opposition parties have
been missing to ensure the smooth transfer of power if they win the 2018
elections like they did in 2008.

In his statement, Tsvangirai says he is not seeking to build a coalition
with political parties only but with all Zimbabweans regardless of their
backgrounds so as to extricate the country from the current troubles.

“I say this because we cannot commit the same grievous mistake made by our
colleagues when they came into office in 1980. They thought the attainment
of independence was the destination when in fact 1980 actually marked the
beginning of a critical phase of the struggle. They came in without a
cogent plan but we have to be very clear about what we will do well ahead
of the next election.

“We want to build a huge coalition for change that goes beyond party
slogans; a coalition rooted in the people in their various social stations
where they continue to slug it out under very difficult circumstances,”
Tsvangirai said.

Analysts maintain that a united opposition, fighting with one purpose, can
finally bring to an end Mugabe’s long rule, especially at a time that the
nonagenarian is fighting to keep together his warring Zanu PF.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 3
  • comment-avatar
    Nyoni 5 years ago

    All we want is a life where we all are treated fairly and with respect. This regime has deliberately created an obnoxious environment so as to divide and rule. You learnt well Robert ,you learnt well but that will be coming to an end very soon.

  • comment-avatar

    Freedom is coming tomorrow Zim is a mess even Bob doesn’t want to spend more time within, embarrassing state but by 2020 it will begin to proper as life begins at 40 viva coalition for change to replace colliding for scrums

  • comment-avatar
    Dr Jones 5 years ago

    why does the military have to get involved in local politics, their duty is to respect the sitting president elected by the people and they have to bow to that whether they like it or not. How can it be that the military and war veterans be consulted. The vets will be respected on their own right but for them to bake a cake and have it themselves does not apply, they fought the liberation for all children present and future to enjoy a democratic society not this chaos we find ourselves in. All we know is freedom in nigh