PRIME MINISTER Morgan Tsvangirai has predicted an outright victory for himself and his formation of the MDC-T in the fortcoming elections, saying the mood in the country is “overwhelmingly anti-Zanu PF”.
REPORT BY NJABULO NCUBE/NQOBANI NDLOVU
Tsvangirai, buoyed by an appreciative crowd of red-shirted party supporters, on Friday said the MDC- T was ready for elections, adding that the polls will not produce another inclusive government because the party will post a resounding victory.
“The MDC-T is ready for the elections. Elections should come now and this time there will not be another unity government. The mood in Zimbabwe is overwhelmingly anti-Zanu PF,” he said amid applause.
“The MDC-T is confident that Zimbabweans will not vote for a dark past, but for a bright future which lies in the hands of the MDC-T.”
Bubi constituency is held by Zanu PF’s Clifford Sibanda and is adjacent to Obert Mpofu’s Umguza constituency.
Mpofu has for the past four years been crisis-crossing Matabeleland North doling out freebies to villagers as he drums up support for President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF.
But Tsvangirai charged that the sun would be setting on Mugabe and his party in the polls despite evidence of vote-buying and rigging during the on-going voter-registration exercise.
The MDC-T leader accused Zanu PF of deliberately causing confusion over the election dates in a bid to rig the polls.
“We are not against the holding of elections on July 31 or any other date. What difference does it make? How can we refuse to go for an election when we won in 2008?
“What we want are the reforms that will bring a free, fair and legal election.
“We do not want a repeat of the 2008 scenario where Zanu PF went on to steal an election,” Tsvangirai indicated.
Mugabe unilaterally set July 31 as election date only to be forced by a special summit of Sadc leaders to file a court challenge seeking a poll postponement to allow for the implementation of electoral and legislative reforms to guarantee free and fair voting.
Zanu PF accused the MDC-T of being scared of elections.
Tsvangirai repeated a call for media and security sector reforms saying he did not want Zimbabweans to be subjected to crude propaganda in the State media and ill-treatment by State security agents.
He said there was an urgent need to implement agreed reforms in the media and security sectors to avoid a situation reminiscent of the run-up to the 2008 June presidential race in which Mugabe’s administration unleashed State-sponsored violence against his supporters.
The MDC-T claims more than 200 of Tsvangirai’s supporters were murdered in cold blood by State security agents, a development which forced the then opposition leader to boycott the presidential race.
He was subsequently forced into a power-sharing pact with Mugabe who controversially won the one-man presidential race which the regional and intentional community deemed a sham victory.
Tsvangirai said this time around Zimbabweans will not allow their “will to be subverted” and advised the State security organs to respect the election outcome.
“We want our soldiers to know that at the end of the day, the people shall govern. We want them to respect the Constitution and the mandate of the people.
“If Zanu PF is ready to subvert the will of the people, we will say go ahead. . . But we are very confident that the people of Zimbabwe will not allow their will to be subverted.”
On the sidelines of the rally, Tsvangirai’s spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka, told Southern Eye that the support the MDC-T leader received during his tour of Matabeleland North dispelled the “myth” that the party was crumbling in the region particularly in the face of a resurgent Zanu PF and Welshman Ncube, the leader of MDC.
“The party is certainly not in shambles. We are the biggest political players here and the representation in Parliament for the MDC from this region speaks for itself,” he said.
Probed on whether Tsvangirai warmed up to a coalition with Ncube, Tamborinyoka said his boss was always open to work with any Zimbabwean intent on bringing real change in the country.
“He is prepared to work with all like-minded political parties for national prosperity and development.”
Tamborinyoka said the MDC-T leader was genuinely concerned about the marginalisation of Matabeleland, adding that an MDC-T government would move with speed to address the nagging issues of the region.
“The concerns of marginalisation are justified,” he said. “All things to do with development were concentrated at the centre and a full commitment to devolution, which we supported and is now in the Constitution, will begin to address the concerns.
“What we need is a new government, the MDC government, to drive it and not the same party and the same characters that marginalised certain areas, butchered people of certain regions. The MDC is the party of the future.”
Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe urged Zimbabweans to pray for peace to prevail before and after the elections.
“That Bible says if one asks, they will be given. We should therefore pray asking for peace to prevail,” she said.
“We want an election that will see Tsvangirai going to the State House without violence.”