Tuesday, February 26, 2013

(NEWZIMBABWE) Tsvangirai warns of instability relapse

Tsvangirai warns of instability relapse
25/02/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

MDC-T leader and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has urged the international community to remain engaged with the country ahead of fresh polls this year warning that risks remained of a relapse to the instability of the last decade.

Addressing an international peace conference in Seoul, South Korea, at the weekend, Tsvangirai said elections expected later this year would be critical in helping the country shake off the effects of the political and economic crisis experienced between 2000 and 2009.

“Zimbabwe is today standing at the crossroad. Your solidarity with us as we pull down the years of inequity and injustice will help us to achieve real sustainable peace,” the MDC-T leader told the conference which was attended hundreds and delegates including by current and past leaders of several countries.

“The year 2013 offers us, SADC and Africa a defining moment for Zimbabwe. Having avoided a total collapse of Zimbabwe, our priorities are clear. We must build strong institutions and other political ‘firewalls’ to circumvent a relapse.

“We must accept the imperative and manage the final stretch with care and maturity in order to insulate our people from decades of political uncertainty.”

Zimbabwe will next month hold a referendum on a new constitution, a precursor to elections that will choose a substantive government to replace the coalition administration between Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe which came into office after the violent 2008 elections.

The European Union (EU) has already relaxed some of its sanctions against the country to reward progress made in the constitutional reforms.

Tsvangirai however said the international community must continue to watch developments in the country.

“As we prepare for an election, the world must continue to nudge us to be open about this transformative process; to be accountable to humanity; to embrace tolerance; and to allow the will of the people to prevail,” he said.

“What confronts us requires global attention if Zimbabwe is to move away from dinner-table discussions, where it has been dominant, clearly for wrong reasons, for the past few years.”

Tsvangirai edged Mugabe in the first round of the presidential ballot in 2008 but pulled out of the run-off, accusing the Zanu PF leader of brutalising his supporters.

And as he faces another electoral showdown with the veteran 89-year-old, the MDC-T leader could not resist a dig at his long-term rival.
“Granted, our founding fathers played a key role in setting the stage for freedom,” he said.

“But, alas, this “greying” generation must accept its inability to cope with the pace, demands and choices of today’s hyper-active and well-networked children.”

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