‘Change is coming’ promises Morgan

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has urged Zimbabweans to exercise restraint despite worsening abuse by President Robert Mugabe and his ruling Zanu (PF) party.
Tsvangirai said the opposition was acutely aware of the worsening hardships but said the people should avoid the temptati

on to lose hope. The MDC leader told the Mashonaland East provincial council at the weekend that Zimbabwe had entered the “final, decisive stages of our generational and political transition to a new Zimbabwe.”
“We live in trying times,” Tsvangirai said. “Our entire business sector has been criminalized and attacked for merely trying to perform an essential service and for supplying the people with the little goods and services they can still salvage from the current hyper-inflationary environment.”
Tsvangirai spoke as soldiers and police officers moved into supermarkets demanding the reversal of prices in a populist policy that critics say is likely to result in empty shelves.
Tsvangirai said change was imminent. He emphasized that the MDC did not hate President Mugabe, but his system of governance which had plunged the country into its worst economic and political crises since independence
“We are on course,” he said. “It has become clear that we are on the final stages of the dictatorship. Change is inevitable; change is coming.”
Tsvangirai said he hoped the ruling party would take the mediation being spearheaded by President Thabo Mbeki seriously. He said his party fully endorsed the sub region’s concern for Zimbabwe and hoped that something positive can emerge from the engagement.
“Given the right political will, peace is possible,” said Tsvangirai. “There are always opportunities in dialogue. What we need is principled dialogue, away from emotions, and anchored on raw facts about the situation in our country. SADC has seen the need for this and is trying to push Zanu (PF) away from the state of denial. Let us steer away from embarrassing our SADC neighbours.”
Tsvangirai did not elaborate on what form of action his party would take in the event the mediation failed, but ruled out the use of arms.
“If we deliberately allow our emotions to undermine a reasoned pacific process, a possibility exits for a serious power vacuum whose consequences could be too ghastly to contemplate. There is simply too much anxiety within the population at the moment,” he said.
Tsvangirai cautioned the government against using state institutions to carry out acts of violence against the opposition.
“Our uniformed forces and all civil servants must confine themselves to their Constitutional mandate and serve Zimbabweans across the board,” he said. “Our war veterans must realize that they were demobilized after a sterling performance against colonialism. They cannot allow a political party to de-humanise them and turn them into a militia. They cannot become a reserve force whose command structure rests with the Zanu (PF) Politburo. Genuine war veterans must refuse to be answerable to a political party. They fought for Zimbabwe, not Zanu (PF).”

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