Tsvangirai extends olive branch to Zanu (PF)

MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai has indicated that he will not relent on his fight for democracy despite the open provocation and unbridled malice exhibited by his political opponents from Zanu (PF).

In his State of the nation address at a local hotel in Harare yesterday, Tsvangirai extended an olive branch to Zanu (PF) saying because the party was clueless on how to turn around the country’s economic fortunes, dialogue between the two parties was the only solution.

Said Tsvangirai, “Sometimes crisis provides opportunity. Zanu (PF) is totally clueless on where to start and the party knows that they need to engage.

“The current crisis is a national crisis that needs a national solution and it is up to the incumbent to engage,” he said.

Tsvangirai vowed that until change is effected in Zimbabwe, he ‘remained focused in the struggle for democracy’ describing his party as a ‘happy family of democrats’ who were united and focused.

“They may needlessly continue to humiliate me and engage in protracted press wars against my person, batter me in a police station and kill innocent civilians who believe in democratic change. All they may achieve is slacken my pace but I can assure you they will not weaken my resolve and determination for national service and sacrifice,” said Tsvangirai.

His pledge to stay at the helm of the party come amid revelations that calls for Tsvangirai to step down have intensified within the party.

There are allegations that some members within the leadership of the party are orchestrating a revolt aimed at ousting the veteran trade unionist as party president.

Reports indicate that Senior party officials went to his residence last Thursday armed with a dossier aimed at pressuring the MDC leader to step down.

According to the reports, the party’s leadership had expressed through a detailed dossier how the party had suffered at the hands of the current leadership and the reasons why there was need for leadership renewal and an early congress.

Tsvangirai however said his party acknowledged the need to re-organise and restrategise in preparation of the 2018 elections.

“As the leadership, we are aware that the party needs to re-engage with its grassroots supporters. They (Zanu) tricked us in the last elections but not anymore. We are cleverer,” he said.

The MDC leader said his party was proud of its contribution and engagement in the Government of National Unity but accused the Southern Africa Development Community of failing to fulfil on its mandate as guarantors of the power sharing agreement.

He said failure by SADC to provide the impetus for the implementation of agreed reforms under the GNU saw the MDC’s efforts in effecting agreed provisions hit a brickwall.

Said Tsvangirai, “Engaging the Zanu (PF) leadership was a futile exercise because President Robert Mugabe would refer you to Shamu for example and say he had instructed him to implement agreed provisions.

“The next time we discussed the same issue again, he would once again pledge to have the reforms implemented but this would not be effected. All this was done to frustrate our efforts,” said Tsvangirai.

He said the conduct of elections under ‘unfavourable conditions’ was further exacerbated by the SADC failure to play it role effectively and the premature endorsement of the disputed July 31 poll had landed the country in the prevailing crisis.

Said Tsvangirai, “The African Union and SADC observer mission reports noted serious irregularities that did not inform their conclusions where the serious breaches would be unacceptable in other SADC and AU countries.

“The regional bloc, the African Union and some members of the broader international community may have prematurely endorsed the July 31st election and its outcome, but it has since dawned on some of them that this election was stolen and we encourage them to support the national call for fresh, free and fair elections underpinned by comprehensive reforms."

He said because of the prevailing economic crisis, Zimbabwe could not afford to be isolated.

“We have to engage everyone because this isolation is not in the best interests of Zimbabwe. There is need for a sustained programme of global engagement,” he said arguing that the basis of the engagement rested on adherence to the constitutional and international laws that protected human rights.

“Last Maengahama and two others have been detained at Chikurubi for almost two years without trial while one of our activists died in detention before her trial. An immediate cessation of abuse of human rights and the putting of our own house in order will be the basis for global engagement if Zimbabwe is to rejoin the family of nations once again,” said Tsvangirai.

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