Tsvangirai savages VPs

MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai

OPPOSITION MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday blasted Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko labelling them as pseudo reformists and “unrepentant hardliners”.


Addressing journalists at the party headquarters in Harare where he outlined his party’s vision for 2015, Tsvangirai said Mnangwagwa was culpable in the Gukurahundi genocide in the 1980s and more recently in the 2008 presidential election runoff.

“Attempts have been made by Mnangagwa, the acting president and some of his acolytes, to brand themselves as reformists when in fact they are unrepentant hardliners,” the MDC-T leader charged.

Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa
Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa

“In the case of the acting president, he has a tainted record that Zimbabweans will never forget both in terms of his role in Gukurahundi, repression in the presidential runoff of 2008 as Defence minister and the electoral theft of 2013.”

Mnangagwa’s history has come under a microscope in recent days. Critics say he is not the right person for the vice-presidency as he has been implicated in past cases of violence. However, government acolytes have been quick to dismiss such accusations as tribalism.

Tsvangirai said if Mnangagwa was committed to implementation of legislative reforms, he should have taken advantage of his being Justice minister and the leader of government business in Parliament to implement them without delay.

“If Mnangagwa were sincere about reform, he would have pushed for the implementation of the Constitution in his capacity as Justice minister and leader of government business in Parliament,” he said.

Tsvangirai said there had been a leadership failure which Mnangagwa and Mphoko were not able to extricate the country from.

vice-president Phelekezela Mphoko
vice-president Phelekezela Mphoko

“The signs of national leadership failure are now even more glaring for everyone to see, with the government now literally lurching from one crisis to the other,” he said.

“With paralysis everywhere, the president, insensitive to the overwhelming national crisis, has delegated his appointed green lieutenants to manage the crisis while he goes on leave, to the extent of even extending the same.

“The newly-appointed vice-presidents have their work clearly cut out for them.

“But predictably, they cannot extricate themselves from Mugabe’s ruinous and disastrous legacy.”

Tsvangirai said Mphoko and Mnangagwa were entrapped in the same policy failure that has characterised Zanu PF’s governance culture in the past 35 years.

He likened the two vice-presidents’ appointment to cosmetic change without any substantial impact on the country.

Tsvangirai also pleaded with leaders of all opposition parties and civil society organisations to bury their political differences and participate in a national convergence conference being organised by his party to resolve the national crisis.

He said the conference was tentatively scheduled for end of March this year.

“We have set up a committee to spearhead the planning of the conference that will be chaired by an independent and respected individual in the next two to three months,” the MDC-T leader said.

“It’s a big challenge to all Zimbabweans to come together and solve the national problems.

“The national convergence conference will not be an MDC platform, but a platform for all players in their diversity to agree on the national grievances and together chart the way forward for the country.”

Tsvangirai, whose party is reportedly facing financial problems, said they had already secured funding for the conference, although he declined to disclose the source.


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