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Tsvangirai resigns as MDC-T leader

by Godlwayo Mahlabayithwale Filabusi
01 April 2014 | 29756 Views
Zimbabwe opposition leader and MDC President, Morgan Tsvangirai has quit as party president and also retired from active politics with immediate effect. In a surprise move announced late last night to a handful of media outlets that had to scramble journalists at the 11th hour for the surprise announcement,




Tsvangirai said he had done his part and now wanted to enjoy a peaceful and quiet life having been part of the struggle to bring democracy to Zimbabwe in a political career spanning 26 years of which 15 years of the years he was the founding and party President of the MDC.

The move by Tsvangirai will surely send shock waves not only in his MDC party but also across the continent and the world. The major surprise being the timing of the announcement and on face value whether Tsvangirai is indeed genuine in his "resignation and retirement". Tsvangirai had become the face fighting misrule, corruption and state plundering in Zimbabwe to the extent he was once nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 and 2010.

His announcement last night will surely become a talking point for the next few months if not years for party supporters who might be wondering what has made him make that hasty decision.

An emotional Tsvangirai who at times appeared close to tears, told reporters called in hastily arranged press conference at his Mount Pleasant home last night that it was time for the MDC to have a new leader who can reinvigorate the party and take it to what he termed the "final push phase" to dislodge President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF so that Zimbabwe can liberated once and for all.

"I've thought long and hard about this decision but I feel, I have done my part and the MDC needs someone young ,vibrant , energetic and fresh to breathe new ideas into the party and take it to the next level. Yes I might be retiring but I will always be there to offer advice and guidance to the party. The MDC is part of my life and I will remain a loyal party member".

"I bear scars of the struggle, I nearly died in the fight to bring change to Zimbabwe, I lost my first wife along the way, I have been imprisoned, beaten, harassed and my life has always been in danger, but I leave the political scene with my held high. I have won 3 presidential elections in my 15 years as MDC leader. I did not become Zimbabwe's president because I don't control the Army, the Police and Judiciary. Whilst I had the votes, regrettably some decided to use state institutions to cling to power. I leave with no bitterness because victory is God's and surely it will come. I have no obsession to be President of the country like others, that is why I feel, a new broom can still take the country to the Promised Land"

Asked on whether he was quitting because there was is a growing chorus of him to step down from other influential party members and that he had was realised he doesn't have the support of the full executive Tsvangirai differed. " Well what I have done is democratic, I feel have run my marathon and I am passing the button, on one hand you called me undemocratic for not tolerating divergent views , on the other hand when I tender my resignation to pave way for a new leader, you now question my sincerity. I am not like Mugabe who won't let this country have peace and keeps it firmly in his grip like his handkerchief", lambasted Tsvangirai

Tsvangirai made the announcement flanked by party officials Nelson Chamisa, Thokozani Khupe and Lovemore Moyo. It is understood the trio spent the better part of yesterday trying to persuade him to change his mind. Sources say Tsvangirai made the dramatic decision on Sunday shortly after returning from a rally in Zhombe.

Asked on who he wanted to succeed him, Tsvangirai said he will leave that to the party and its supporters. "We have a constitution and I leave the party in very credible hands of hardworking cadres who will follow that constitution and choose their own leader as they wish. I have no doubt the MDC has quality candidates to fulfil the role and take Zanu PF to the cleaners"

There was speculation last night Tsvangirai might have been bribed by Zanu PF to finally collapse the MDC as he is regarded by many as the epicentre of the party. Sources who refused to be named citing the need to "wait and see developments" claimed they see no reason why Tsvangirai can all of a sudden quit his party when the country was in the melting pot, worse amid indications he was likely to win the next elections in 2018 given the disharmony and fissures in the ruling party Zanu PF party and its leader President Robert Mugabe's advanced age. There were rumours shortly after the elections of last year that Mugabe offered Tsvangirai the post of Vice President which Tsvangirai refused to take.

Sources say Tsvangirai might have reconsidered his options and was now willing to take the post after reaching a secret deal with Mugabe given the party was being dumped by donors and Western countries.

MDC Secretary General Tendai Biti who has been at loggerheads with Tsvangirai recently over the direction of the party together with another high ranking official Elton Mangoma could not be reached for comment. Information minister and Zanu PF politburo member, Professor Jonathan Moyo mocked the move by Tsvangirai saying he had run out of ideas and it is refreshing to see he has finally woken up to reality. "Well at least he has realised he was out of depth in terms of the political wisdom and acumen to become President of this country, instead of retiring from politics as he had just said, he also needs a rope to tie himself, as Zanu PF we say good riddance, this man brought nothing but misery to the country after advocating for sanctions on this peaceful, beautiful nation. We hope he has not only retired from politics but also repented to God" quipped minister Moyo.

Remember 1 April, you have been fooled. April fools day


Tsvangirai


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Source: Godlwayo Mahlabayithwale Filabusi

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