Tsvangirai offers Mugabe safe exit as he calls on ZEC to resign

The MDC-T’s presidential candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai, has called on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to resign.

Tsvangirai was addressing his final rally dubbed “The Crossover Rally” in Harare yesterday and said the credibility of the elections would be determined by the behaviour of the commission.

“It is clear that ZEC is either complicit or has abdicated its role. We appointed them to their roles as the three parties in government but it appears they are not up to the responsibility.

“Ladies and gentleman of ZEC, if you are not the ones responsible for this mess, do the honourable thing and go,” he said.

Tsvangirai said Zimbabweans had been short-changed in 2002 and 2008 by the electoral authorities.

“I respect all the national institutions including ZEC. What I don’t respect is the deliberate effort to subvert the will of the people,” he said.

The MDC president said that he still did not have a copy of the voters’ roll.

“I as a presidential candidate and still do not have a copy of the voters’ roll,” he said. Tsvangirai said the failures at ZEC were a cause of serious concern and put the elections at risk.

Meanwhile Tsvangirai told the tens of thousands of supporters at the open ground adjacent to Rainbow Towers which his party has dubbed the “Freedom Square” that it was only because of SADC and the African Union that his party joined the GNU with Zanu (PF) and Robert Mugabe.

“We entered into the GNU to rescue the desperate situation the country was in. We had said to Mugabe go it alone so he must thank us and not scold us,” he said.

Tsvangirai said, if elected, he would not pursue vengeance.

“I was beaten, incarcerated and treated like a common criminal. I am not bitter and I have forgiven my tormentors. I don’t want to become a prisoner of bitterness.

“I want Mugabe to enjoy his retirement in peace. I want him to live long so that he can see how a country is supposed to be run,” Tsvangirai said.

He urged his supporters to follow him in pursuing peace with their tormentors.

“Let bygones be bygones and allow this country to move forward and not become prisoners of the past,” he said.

He urged his supporters not to be frustrated on election day by delays in the system.

Tsvangirai’s coalition partner Simba Makoni told the same rally that he had learnt from his mistake in the last elections in 2008.

“We realised that if we had combined our votes in 2008 we would have managed to bring change to this country. We are determined not to make that mistake again,” Makoni said.

Tsvangirai’s wife, Elizabeth Macheka, also told the same rally that if her husband won she would make sure that he kept all his pledges on issues affecting women and the youth.

MDC-T’s National Organising Secretary, Nelson Chamisa, told the rally that his party had received information that in Mudzi people were being instructed to record the last three digits on the serial numbers of their ballot papers.

“They are being frog marched to meetings where they are being told that they must record those digits so that it can be verified who they voted for,” Chamisa said.

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