Former vice-president Joice Mujuru yesterday joined hands with MDC-T president Morgan Tsvangirai in a demonstration against President Robert Mugabe’s alleged misrule, which was attended by thousands of opposition supporters in Gweru.
By Stephen Chadenga
Tsvangirai and Mujuru joined protesters at Midlands Hotel, bringing business to a standstill as people jostled to get a glimpse of the two opposition leaders.
The two led the crowd to the civic centre, where they took turns to call for unity among Zimbabweans as they fight the political and economic ruin brought about by Mugabe’s government.
Tsvangirai described yesterday’s event as historic as former freedom fighters and his party joined hands to push for the political and economic liberation of the citizens.
“This is a heart-warming moment and I would want to congratulate Dr Mujuru and all the leadership of the Zimbabwe People First who saw it necessary to join this programme,” Tsvangirai said at the MDC-T organised event.
“I know Mugabe is going to say a lot about today’s event. he [Mugabe] is afraid of the people, demonstrations; he is even afraid of leading Zimbabwe.”
The former premier said all Zimbabweans needed a collective effort to liberate themselves from Zanu PF’s misrule.
Tsvangirai said he did not hate Mugabe but his fight was for a new Zimbabwe with renewed energy and new leadership.
The MDC-T leader said Mugabe and Zanu PF had failed the nation as the majority of people continued to wallow in abject poverty.
“We are the only country facing an economic and political crisis, yet Mugabe still wants to die in office,” he said.
“What can a 90-something [year old] leader bring to Zimbabwe, we need new energy and a new agenda to build a new Zimbabwe.”
Tsvangirai thanked war veterans for “seeing the light” and being on the side of the people.
He described Mujuru and the war veterans as true revolutionaries because they were on the side of the people.
“All Zimbabweans need to come together to build a great Zimbabwe and not Zimbabwe ruins,” the MDC-T leader said.
Tsvangirai said Zimbabwe was a rich country with poor people.
He said a new government would restore the destroyed infrastructure, education and health system, as well as mend the country’s relations with the international community.
In a solidarity message, Mujuru said as freedom fighters, her party was for unity and love, with all the people of Zimbabwe working together for a common purpose.
“Today is a historic day as MDC-T and Zimbabwe People First join hands to fight for the common issues affecting the citizens of this country,” Mujuru said.
“We have common issues about bond notes, water, shortages of food, job losses closure of hospitals and unemployed graduates.”
The ZimPF leader said Zanu PF had failed the people and described the recent arrest of some former freedom fighters as a desperate move by the ruling party.
She said all Zimbabweans regardless of their backgrounds were being affected by the problems faced by the country.
“We decided to come together to talk about these issues because they affect everybody regardless of colour, or tribe,” Mujuru said.
“The problems we are facing affect everyone including soldiers, the police, nurses and teachers. We want to weed out all corruption and all the nonsensical things that are existing among ourselves. Let’s all unite for the betterment of Zimbabwe.”
Mujuru was accompanied by her party leadership and prominent among them was ZimPF founding elder, Didymus Mutasa, who got a rousing welcome from the MDC-T supporters when he was introduced.
After the address, Mujuru invited MDC-T supporters to her rally. The MDC-T leadership and their supporters proceeded to Mkoba stadium for the ZimPF rally.
Meanwhile, addressing thousands of ZimPF supporters at her maiden Midlands rally at Mkoba stadium later during the day, Mujuru said mushrooming opposition parties risked dividing support.
“If we continue to have mushrooming political parties, we give room for Zanu PF to defeat us in elections. It is up to us to join hands for the sake of the majority,” she said.
Addressing the same rally in solidarity, Tsvangirai said his party was ready to join hands with all democratic forces.