Wednesday, 9 November 2016


Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai says one of the options available to long-suffering Zimbabweans to force President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF out of power is to embark on peaceful mass protests.

Tsvangirai’s comments come as Zimbabwe is caught deep in the throes of a debilitating political and economic crisis that is manifested by growing citizen unrest, severe cash shortages, and high unemployment and poverty levels in the country.

And even though authorities have managed to quell most of the dissent by unleashing law enforcement agents on the populace, there is ongoing simmering anger against the government, as life for ordinary Zimbabweans becomes harder and grimmer by the day.

Speaking to South African online publication, the Daily Maverick, Tsvangirai said the country’s economy was now dead, adding that Zimbabwe had now reached what he called “rock bottom”.

“There’s no way we can go beyond where we have gone, we are at rock bottom. The only option available to us is to rise. That’s my optimistic assessment. But, of course, we have to do so in the right manner. And we can do it in a short period of time,” Tsvangirai said.
The former prime minister in the short-lived government of national unity also said Mugabe’s days in office were now numbered.

“The endgame, to me, is nearer than it has ever been. The State is fragmented. Zanu PF is fragmented. The centre is not holding.”

Tsvangirai’s sentiments come as the main two factions brawling for supremacy in Zanu PF have escalated their public fights, taking each other to court and viciously smearing each other through State media.

Despite Tsvangirai’s comments, Mugabe has shown little interest in bowing to the sustained pressure from the opposition parties and civil society for him to retire, instead unleashing police to crush all dissent and demonstrations.

On Sunday, police smashed an MDC rally that was scheduled for Zvishavane.
In his Daily Maverick interview, the MDC leader said different political parties and social movements must come together and put in place a framework that could deal with Zanu PF’s misrule.

“The opposition and social movements have been emboldened by the actions they have taken; they are in a more aggressive position, which is good.

“There is also international isolation and the continued demand by the international community to put conditions on the Mugabe government to be rescued from their own economic situation. It’s a fantastic combination. There’s a convergence,” he said.

Analysts say a united opposition fighting with one purpose will bring to an end Mugabe’s long rule, especially at this time that the country’s economy is dying and the increasingly frail nonagenarian is fighting to keep his warring Zanu PF united.

According to Tsvangirai, the 2018 elections also have to deliver change, or “there is nothing left for the people”.

“I don’t believe that any authoritarian rule has permanence against the will of the people. Yes, the old man may appear invincible, but you must understand that the democratic struggle has chipped in a slow but consistent way at his control.

“I have always said that the first thing we must agree is that Mugabe must retire. The danger of having unceremonious removal of Mugabe will create a chaos scenario.

“We must find a way of persuading him, if he can be persuaded to exit with a dignified exit. Not that I support him, but the first stage is to get him out of the way,” Tsvangirai added.


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