Tsvangirai breathes fire

Morgan Tsvangirai and wife Elizabeth Macheka. Picture by Hardlife Samuwi

MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai has said he will vigorously lobby the African Union (AU) and Sadc to overturn the election results and pave way for fresh elections. Tsvangirai lost the election to long-time rival President Robert Mugabe.


Addressing a Press conference yesterday, a visibly agitated Tsvangirai said his party rejected the election results on the basis that it was fraudulent and far from being credible.

He said the elections had plunged the country into a constitutional, political and economic mess.

“We are rejecting the elections and have resolved to approach the AU and Sadc for absolution,” Tsvangirai said, adding that MDC-T would prepare a dossier, which it will present to the two bodies.

“We will also approach the courts and exhaust all legal channels in a peaceful manner.”

However, Sadc and the AU have already declared the election as free and credible and Tsvangirai has his work cut out, if he is to convince the two bodies to reverse their verdicts.

The MDC-T leader said they would also call for a forensic audit of the voters’ roll and the ballot papers.

Key among the reasons for rejecting the results, Tsvangirai said was that the elections were fraught with numerous, glaring irregularities which included special voting, a high number of assisted voters, absence of voters’ roll, bussing of people and intimidation of voters.

“I will give you an example, in Mutorashanga, of the 12 000 voters, 10 500 were assisted,” he said.

Tsvangirai also said his party would not participate in any government institutions.

“We will not participate in institutions which are formed by an illegitimate government,” he said.

“We pray that the AU and Sadc will help restore the situation once we have presented them with evidence that we have gathered.”

Responding to reports that he was going to step down after the humiliating defeat, Tsvangirai said it was only the party which could remove him from his position as leader.

“I did not lose the elections in my personal capacity, it is the party’s mandate to actually ask me to step down, but at the moment I have its full backing,” he said, adding that he did not regret paricipating in the coalition government.

“Entering into the coalition government was not a mistake. Schools had closed and hospitals too, but when we came in, things turned around,” he said.

“Most hospitals are now functioning. There is food in all shops.”

Meanwhile, the Southern Africa Trade Union Co-ordination Council (Satucc) which represents 19 national trade union federations in 13 Sadc countries, has said although the elections were peaceful, their credibility was doubtful.

“The credibility of the harmonised elections is greatly compromised by the failure of ZEC (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission) and the Registrar-General’s Office to make availaible the voters’ roll until the eve of the voting day,” it said in a statement.

“In all 87 polling stations that our team visited, many voters were turned away because either their names were not on the voters’ roll or their registration slips did not indicate the ward number.”

Satucc also said the elections had not met some of the Sadc principles, like equal participation of political parties in processes, equal opportunity to State media and also that voters had been entitled to adequate education on the voting process.

The organisation accused Sadc of not taking a hard stance against the government of Zimbabwe.

“Sadc has not provided the much-needed leadership and strongly pressure the government, but quickly U-turned to accept the stand of the government,” he said.

“It must show consistence and coherence and ensure member States uphold values and principles upon which it was established.”