Tsvangirai appeals to #mugabe

via Tsvangirai appeals to Mugabe – DailyNews Live by Gift Phiri  19 MARCH 2014

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai says President Robert Mugabe’s government will buckle under the pressure of mounting economic woes, and a belief by many Zimbabweans that he stole the July 31 elections and must urgently open national dialogue to resolve the deepening crisis.

Tsvangirai is still disputing the election, which he lost to Mugabe by a wide margin. But as his fraud claims get nowhere, the former Prime Minister says other forces may sink the socialist leader and force him into national dialogue.

“The economic crisis is a symptom of the political crisis of legitimacy because that is the one that undermines the confidence in the economy,” Tsvangirai told the Daily News.

“You know, for the last five years, the economy was stabilised because of confidence in the economy due to political stability.

“Now, because if the crisis of legitimacy, as a result of a rigged election, already, it’s a crisis that has undermined economic confidence to the extent that all sectors have now been affected. There is a legitimacy crisis.

“If there is a political crisis you need national dialogue. You need national dialogue to resolve that national crisis. And in this case, Zanu PF must accept the responsibility that it must take the initiative to find a national consensus on the national crisis. Otherwise they are burying their head in the sand when they know the situation is not sustainable.”

Tsvangirai has abandoned his Constitutional Court challenge to Mugabe’s landslide victory in last year’s elections, saying he had been denied the polling evidence to prove his case, allowing the government to attack him as a sore loser.

Now he and other opposition leaders seem to be banking on a steady deterioration in Mugabe’s popularity and power.

One possibility hawked by Tsvangirai is for the ruling Zanu PF to acknowledge the intensity of the economic crisis hardly a year into Mugabe’s presidency, and open a “national dialogue” to fix the economic malaise.

He said he was not proposing another government of national unity.

“National dialogue, all I am putting as a premise is that the national dialogue must be a national dialogue of all stakeholders unlike the previous one which was an elite pact between two or three political parties,” he said.

“This time we need to expand to include churches, students, to include trade unions, to include other political parties because we are trying to find a national consensus as to the way forward. We cannot then define what that way forward is until that national dialogue is organised.”

The ruling Zanu PF has rejected talks with Tsvangirai, saying he misses the lucrative government perks.

Tsvangirai implored Mugabe, with whom he served as prime minister in a fractious coalition government since disputed and bloody elections in 2008, to swallow his pride and acknowledge the deepening economic crisis.

While Tsvangirai acknowledges that he does not have the leverage to force this dialogue given that the 90-year-old incumbent defeated him by 61 percent to 34, he said the leverage will come as the national crisis deepens and people search for solutions.

Some opponents, though, say Zimbabwe’s economic problems — slowing growth, deflation, and hard currency bottlenecks — may prove too much for Mugabe even forcing him to accede to national dialogue.

Tsvangirai said Zanu PF’s apparent failure to deliver on its election promises was another factor to watch.

“How then do you say I am the legitimate party in government when you cannot even solve one problem 10 months after the election?” Tsvangirai asked.

Opinion polls just before the July vote had shown Tsvangirai in a statistical dead heat with Mugabe.

Mugabe’s ruling Zanu PF says the post-election dispute has laid bare Tsvangirai’s desperation, and officials vilify the opposition leader daily as a desperate man fighting a mounting internal rebellion.

Speaking during a luncheon to celebrate his belated 90th birthday organised by the Public Service Commission, Mugabe  said his electoral victory had devastated the opposition, which has suspended a senior official who had asked Tsvangirai to step down in a move which has widened cleavages in a party recovering from a crushing election defeat last year.

“I want to thank you for that historic act,” Mugabe said last week. “It mesmerised not just masahwira edu ataimwa tea nawo (colleagues we were close to), it disorganised them as you can see, takuvanzwira tsitsi (we feel sorry for them),” Mugabe said in a mocking tone.

In a reprise of the frequent spats between the ruling Zanu PF and the opposition MDC, the ruling party says Tsvangirai was facing a rebellion after going back on his pledge to step down after losing the third presidential election to Mugabe.

MDC deputy treasurer-general Elton Mangoma has raised the ire of Tsvangirai’s supporters by penning a damning letter in January asking the opposition leader to resign, arguing that he had dismally failed to effect reforms while in the four-year power-sharing government with Mugabe.

Tsvangirai, who campaigned on a platform of introducing a mix of free-market policies and strong welfare protection, yesterday mocked Mangoma’s plethora of accusations.

“A congress is the one that bestows the mandate on any leader,” Tsvangirai told the Daily News.

“I don’t subscribe to the notion that in asking for leadership renewal you are calling for hostile takeover or a coup as it were, through memos or letters.

“You go to a congress, you put yourself up as a candidate and the people have the right to choose. You can’t then say, Tsvangirai get away, step down, because we feel you should step down. No. Two-and-half years into my mandate, you can’t then demand and you say voluntary resignation.”

While disputing claims that he was going back on his pledge to step down if he loses the presidential vote, Tsvangirai said if he had lost the election openly and freely, he would have  considered stepping down.

“I am not backtracking from anything,” he told the Daily News.

“All I am saying is that the last election was not free and fair. I did not lose the last election. I won it, it was rigged massively. So you cannot then say I should be answerable for an election that was not free and fair. So I am not backtracking from the philosophy, from the principle that losing a free and fair election, definitely I would have stepped down.  But I did not lose.”

Tsvangirai took a relatively moderate line against Mugabe during last year’s presidential election campaign, but has been consistently aggressive since the vote.

He admitted that he regretted going into the polls unprepared.

“I think, on hindsight, one would have said that going into an election without a voters’ roll was suicidal, without the necessary reforms was suicidal,” Tsvangirai admitted.

“But the popular base and the momentum built during the campaign, I think overwhelmed us to the extent that I think people were so confident that whatever rigging would be overwhelmed by the numbers.”



  • comment-avatar
    farai 8 years ago

    Morgan, in accepting that you went into the elections unprepared you imply the other side was more prepared. Yet you expect the results to reflect a win for you?? You think the economy will collapse? Dream on, the French are in Town, the Belgians have been. Watch the avalanche of investments cascade into the country. There is a lot happening behind the scenes to fix the economy, don’t be shocked to discover that your “friends with money” are now sleeping with the enemy! “It’s nothing personal, it’s strictly business” The Godfather.

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      Zimbo 8 years ago

      Really Farai?Who in their right mind is going to invest in Zimbabwe with Mugabe and company in control?Look all around you,nothing but looting.This government has no clue or the desire to repair the damage.Morgan is right,you cant rig the economy.And you are spot on,its business.Its business for Mugabe and his cabal of thieves,and nothing for the country+

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    Roving Ambassador 8 years ago

    I do agree with him on national dialogue. But does zanu has to be there? Have the dialogue with the willing and leave the chefiism with your parties. Go in as equal partners and come out with strategies and policy documents and formulate a collective leadership. Let’s get organized. When people see movement towards a broader coalition they will state having hope and believing.
    Let’s kick Zanu out.

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    @Farai. It’s also business for people to expect a return on investment.How long will the French and Belgians keep “cascading”their money into Zimbabwe only to see it disappear into the greedy mouth of Zanu corruption or watch their businesses being stolen under the guise of indigenisation?
    Didn’t we get told that money from Marange diamonds would solve our problems and we don’t need the West? Didn’t we get told that we would “Look East” and the West can bugger off?What happened to all that my friend?
    Instead here you are celebrating the arrival of money from the hated West!
    The problem is one of legitimacy and of a ruling elite only interested in power and looting.As long as Zanu mentality continues in how Zimbabwe is run,it doesn’t matter how many trillions of dollars are poured in from overseas or how many minerals we discover.It’ll all disappear into corrupt pockets of the thievocracy until countries avoid us like the plague and take their money somewhere else where they can get a decent return. 34 years of anti West slogans have failed to open any factories and produce jobs.Zanu and Mugabe have failed miserably and no amount of rigging elections will change their mentality of looting and being economically illiterate.Fundamental change is needed at the top,producing leaders of principle, strong institutions that can’t be corrupted. cascading down.

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    John Thomas 8 years ago

    Helping ZANU is not the way

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    Tsvangirayi knows that he holds the keys to unlocking Sanctions and Donor funds. That being his last tramp card, he uses it to hold the Government at ransom and try and clive some significance.

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    ZPF have never listened to anyone and sadly I think that the MDC has gone down the same road. The people backed the MDC but they didn’t listen to their own. I personally know of Zimbabweans who warned the MDC not to go into that election unprepared and without a new voters roll and did they listen? Noooooo! A wise leader surrounds himself with wise men and women and a wise leader will take cognisance of sage advice. Will they not. And by the way the French will do business with anyone. Rhodesia almost ran on French cars if my memory serves me correct!

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    Tongoona 8 years ago

    Tsvangirai is now hopeless and wants to lean on the ZANU PF shoulder. Interesting enough is the fact that Tsvangirai accepts defeat because he went to the polls extemporary and complacent. One wonders how prepared he is for the dialogue he is proposing? Has he got all the facts to dialogue intelligently with ZANU PF. In my opinion, Tsvangirai is like a cameleon which suits itself by changing to the colours of the environment around it. The environment around Tsvangirai is a ZANU PF political environment of which MDC-T is completely the opposite. I want to advise Tsvangirai not to be sympathetic to ZANU PF economic woes if he is truly an opposition cadre..

    In any case I understand him seeing that he is a ZANU PF son inlaw having married the daughter of a ZANU PF heavy weight. He has to act like a mukuwasha by all means.

    Personally, I say no to dialogue. Let ZANU PF face the music of its victory genuine or rigged. Dialogue demeans the voice of the 61 percent majority who put ZANU PF into power for the next five years and is undemocratic under the circumstances.

    ZANU PF has not called for help from MDC. They are comfortable with everything to do with their election victory. Hamenho….

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    Tozvirevakupiko 8 years ago

    Tsvangirai needs dialogue with himself…he massively let down suffering Zimbabweans by making poor,visionless decisions. I believe within MDC, some (maybe Mangoma & others)advised him not to go into elections, but he was suicidal and was only seeing ‘Statehouse’ all over in his head and went ahead. Since when has Zanu seen the sense of sitting down with anyone….the last time they were dragged by clueless Mbeki to the table when the economy was on its knees. Let the economy run its course this time, let it stop functioning – because only then will we have a lasting solution without Zanu …no GNU, no, no. Taneta veduwee

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    Tafadzwa Chigwande 8 years ago

    Tsvangirai now wants dialogue with all sectors of the Zimbabwean community. Why didnt he initiate this dialogue when he was still PM. What did he do for the people during that time. We just know of multiple women, a house, a farm and travel allowances.

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    Chara 8 years ago

    A good President protects his people not harm them. Mugabe is a disgrace to Africa his ‘kids’ are scavenging for survival all over the world.

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    Collen nyawo 8 years ago

    To hell with this national dialogue issue. Its us the povo who are suffering. It is alleged that zanu pf won freely and fairly the last elections and its us who voted,let us bear the consequences. Wait for our instruction on the way forward,we want to sink a bit lower maybe to the neck level so that we take action. No to national dialogue.

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    Sure no to dialogue as mugabe and his zanu did not request for it as others are saying,let them rule til their support turn back on them due to hunger and all