MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has warned that First Lady Grace Mugabe will not be allowed to succeed President Robert Mugabe through the back door.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
There is wide speculation in the country that due to Mugabe’s old age and ill health, Grace was now running the show in both Zanu PF and government. Grace spearheaded the ouster of former Vice-President Joice Mujuru.
Mugabe himself did not help matters when he said recently that neither Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa nor Phelekezela Mphoko would succeed him.
Observers said this put Grace in line to succeed Mugabe.
Addressing thousands of supporters at an MDC-T rally at Zimbabwe grounds in Highfield yesterday, Tsvangirai said it was no longer clear who was in charge of the country, between Mugabe and Grace.
He said the MDC-T would never agree to Grace taking over the leadership of the country.
He said: “If you [Mugabe] have realised that you are old and tired, do not give the powers to Grace because will not allow her to rule,” Tsvangirai said.
“There is no longer leadership in Zanu PF as we do not even know who is ruling, whether it’s the husband [Mugabe] or the wife [Grace]. We have a blind leading a blind.”
Tsvangirai said if Mugabe was too tired to rule he should do the honourable thing and resign and call for fresh elections rather than impose his wife as the country’s leader.
Tsvangirai did not specify what kind of action his party would take in the event that Grace was imposed as leader of the country.
But in October, National Constitutional Assembly leader, Lovemore Madhuku warned that there would be war if Grace was to succeed Mugabe. He said Grace risked putting herself in harm’s way if she was to take over the presidency and would require both divine and military protection to survive.
Tsvangirai yesterday said there must be an initiative to create a national convergence that would challenge Mugabe and arrest the rapid decline of the economy currently being witnessed.
Tsvangirai said that the time was now ripe to launch massive street protests to force Mugabe’s government to address the serious economic crisis in the country.
“When I talked about going into the streets way back, I later realised that I was planning it myself, but as for now I can see that people are now willing to go and march,” he said.
“We have a covenant with the people that we will liberate ourselves and will not allow anyone to define our agenda, but will have our own time to do things and liberate the people of Zimbabwe once more.”
Tsvangirai said they wanted non-partisan public institutions to serve Zimbabweans, not Zanu PF.
“Zanu PF is violating economic rules. We are saying as MDC we want to restore an economic and service delivery system that was built by the Government of National Unity,” he said.
He said the MDC-T would not participate in any elections without electoral reforms.
“They must be reforms so that when we go for elections there are no people who will have queries as the new Electoral Act must be in line with the constitution,” the MDC-T leader said.
Tsvangirai said there would be no solution to the nation’s crisis without the MDC being part of that solution.
“Zanu PF have very limited options for Mugabe to do the right thing for Zimbabwe. From a hero, he is now a villain who has destroyed people’s hopes,” he said.
“The only solution is for Zimbabweans, churches, students and political parties to come together and talk about how we will make the nation move and transform the lives of the people.”
Tsvangirai said Zanu PF had failed to honour several electoral promises they made ahead of elections in 2013.
“Zanu PF failed to fulfil their promises to the citizens. My visit to Gweru, Mbire and Chitungwiza among other places has proved that people are suffering and there is evidence of decay and despair,” he said.
“Given the confusion that is multiplying right now, which is a state of national crisis and destabilisation, Zanu PF does not have the capacity and a solution to change the economic crisis facing the nation.
“In 2008 when they failed they asked us to help them and you saw that things changed. As for now Mugabe said they have failed and if a person has failed, he must resign.”
Tsvangirai said Mugabe’s threats against judges who are going to handle the case filed by fired former secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa showed that there was no rule of law in this country.
“How can you threaten judges and expect people to invest in the country? Investors must come in for industries to become functional.”
“We are in a transition, Mugabe will not go anywhere so let’s not talk of Mugabe, but how the nation will build the economy after him.”
Tsvangirai said the MDC-T would soon launch an international campaign to expose Zanu PF and “to tell those who endorsed the elections how he has failed the nation”.