Tsvangirai promises free and fair elections at 13th Anniversary celebrations

The MDC-T celebrated their 13th anniversary as a political party at a rally in Bulawayo on Saturday, where party President Morgan Tsvangirai, introduced his new wife Elizabeth Macheka and assured supporters that no rigging would be tolerated in the next election.

Morgan Tsvangirai
Morgan Tsvangirai

Mandhla Sibanda, the MDC-T spokesperson for Bulawayo, told SW Radio Africa the celebrations were mostly peaceful, except for a ZANU PF attack on some cars and minibuses that were bringing supporters to White City Stadium.

“At the venue it was generally peaceful but for some of our members who were travelling from areas like Gweru, there were skirmishes at Shangani where rowdy youths believed to be ZANU PF threw stones at their cars and kombis. There were some injuries but not very serious,” Sibanda said.

As for Tsvangirai’s message, Sibanda said the MDC-T leader admitted the draft constitution agreed to by the political parties was not what everyone wanted, but it had elements that would help ensure a free and fair poll is held, with the results announced immediately.

“He said the COPAC draft has better provisions that will assist us usher a free and fair poll because it deals with issues of democratic transfer of power, and immediate transfer of power after elections. He assured the people that this around we are going to protect the people’s vote and respect it,” Sibanda explained.

Tsvangirai also introduced his new wife to supporters at the rally. Sibanda said Elizabeth Macheka was received with a “rapturous applause” as she greeted party members and supporters. Sibanda said the MDC-T leader apologized for the drama caused by his former lovers and Macheka has been welcomed by the MDC-T family.

An old familiar party symbol showing a child with the open palm was re-introduced during the celebrations. Sibanda said the open palm is still the party symbol and, paired with the image of the child, will be used during elections. He explained that this was done in order to avoid the confusion that happened last time, when voters thought the open palm stood for the other MDC formation.

Senior MDC-T officials also addressed supporters in Bulawayo, including the party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora and secretary general Tendai Biti. SW Radio Africa

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