Saturday, December 01, 2012

(NEWZIMBABWE) Tsvangirai will stand down if he loses to Mugabe

Tsvangirai will stand down if he loses to Mugabe
30/11/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

MORGAN Tsvangirai will stand down as leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) if he loses elections slated for March next year, he told supporters in Gweru on Friday.

Tsvangirai, who has led the party for 13 years, stunned supporters with the shock declaration even as he predicted his party would win.

“2013 election tikaruza, zvakaoma [if we lose, it would be difficult],” Tsvangirai said.

“You [should] take others and put them forward, isn’t that so?”

The former trade unionist, who became leader of the MDC at its formation in 1999, surprised supporters further by openly admitting the MDC had been an “apprentice” of President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party since 2009 when he joined a coalition government.

Tsvangirai said the coalition government had been a blessing in disguise as the MDC was too inexperienced to rule in June 2008 when he pulled out of the presidential election, controversially, after more than 200 supporters were murdered in pre-election violence.

“For the last four years, we were in transition - being shown keys, being made apprentices, being taught how to run government,” Tsvangirai said.

“We now know the keys are here, there and there. God has a purpose. It was God’s plan to first put us in the GPA, otherwise we would have gone into the deep end without experience and ended up at each other’s throats.
“God wants a peaceful revolution, not a violent revolution.”

Tsvangirai presided over a damaging split in the party in 2005 when senior figures, including his late deputy Gibson Sibanda, chairman Isaac Matongo, secretary general Welshman Ncube, treasurer Fletcher Dulini Ncube, spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi and elections director Esaph Mdlongwa led a break-away, accusing him of failing to tackle violence within the party and undemocratic tendencies.

Tsvangirai’s latest pronouncements could encourage rising stars within the party, including the popular Finance Minister Tendai Biti and likeable Nelson Chamisa, to step up their interest in the top job.

MDC-T supporters yearn for a re-unification of the party, but most accept that this would not be possible under a Tsvangirai leadership. Tsvangirai and Ncube, according to insiders, have a mutual hatred of each other.

Meanwhile, Ncube and Biti – both lawyers – are known to be close, and are amiable to the idea of a united front against President Mugabe’s uninterrupted 32-year rule.

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