MDC-T president Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday said President Robert Mugabe’s rule is coming to an end as discontent continues to grow over his leadership, with war veterans joining calls for the 92-year-old leader’s resignation.
By Tatenda Chitagu
Addressing thousands of MDC-T supporters after the party’s fourth demonstration in Masvingo yesterday, Tsvangirai said this year’s Heroes Day was being celebrated at a time Mugabe was persecuting former freedom fighters.
“We are meeting today, two days before the Heroes Day commemorations, but we are meeting at the darkest hour of our nation,” he said.
“Zimbabwe is in a crisis. No one is without a grievance in their various facets of life — from the unemployed graduates, to vendors; we are faced with a cash crisis, no development.”
“We are supposed to be celebrating the work of the heroes who freed this country from colonial bondage,” Tsvangirai added.
“We are also supposed to be celebrating the heroes who sacrificed for the democratic struggle of Zimbabwe after the war of independence.
“But Mugabe is abusing war veterans, yet it is their holiday.
Tsvangirai, who was accompanied by his wife, Elizabeth and MDC-T deputy presidents Thokozani Khupe, Nelson Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri, among other senior officials, said there was little to celebrate on Heroes Day as the majority was now impoverished, with millions in need of food aid and surviving on less than a dollar a day.
“We are meeting when we are all poor people. We are endowed with vast resources, but a few are enjoying. Where is our $15 billion diamond money?”
Tsvangirai called for a collective fight to unseat Mugabe.
“We do not need to fight in our corners, we need a collective fight across the political divide if we are going to succeed,” he said.
“It now needs everyone’s collective effort — from war vets to everyone.
“We need to work together to finish the job we are supposed to finish. This is the time to unite and create a new Zimbabwe,” he said
“It is just a matter of time that we will succeed in our fight for democracy. The end is near.
“The centre can no longer hold. War vets, vendors, graduates, soldiers, the police, in fact everyone is saying Mugabe must go.”
The former prime minister said there was need for “a political solution” that will lead a transition to free and fair elections.
“We now need a political solution that gives a transition to an electoral system to eventually create a legitimate government,” he said.
“We are only saying Mugabe, ‘give us a chance, we do not want war or blood on the floor; we want a Zimbabwe with a smooth transition to a new political dispensation. We say no to disputed polls.”
Tsvangirai urged the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to emulate the just-ended South African local government polls
“We cannot get into an election where Mugabe rigs. That is the cause of our current problems because no one is willing to inject money and invest in Zimbabwe unless there are free and fair polls”, he said.
Tsvangirai hailed the International Monetary Fund for setting conditions before giving Harare a financial bailout. He also ruled out a future coalition with Zanu PF without set conditions.
He said his party would roll out more demos to pressure Mugabe into resigning.