Fast running out of options, the MDC-T has given the biggest hint yet that popular uprising could be the only option it is left with to unseat President Robert Mugabe, who last week won a seventh mandate to lead the country.
The Guardian/Staff Reporter
Mugabe won 61% of the poll, but MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has described the election as “null and void”.
“Revolutions are not called by leaders,” Tsvangirai, told South Africa’s e-News Channel Africa.
“Revolutions are something that is inside, and if you’ve got something inside and it drives you to do something, then nothing can stop you.
“In this case, there’s no strategy for the leadership of the MDC. We’ve told people, there’s been a subversion in 2002; there’s been a subversion in 2008; there’s a subversion now. The power is in your hands. It cannot be a revolution by the leadership.”
This comes amid reports that the party is planning to launch more than 100 court applications in an effort to have the poll results rescinded.
MDC-T has not explicitly explained what its strategies will be, but there are fears that the party has few options.
Last week Roy Bennett, the party’s treasurer-general, called for a campaign of passive resistance to bring the country to a standstill,
while Tsvangirai said his party would not participate in the government. Other officials floated the idea of a mass prayer meeting. Tsvangirai described last week’s election as one of the most discouraging in his life.
“I think this is the most frustrating event of my life because I thought that, like everyone else in the world, Mugabe (and) Zanu PF, would respect Zimbabweans,” he said. “But I have seen that they have no respect for Zimbabweans. They have respect for themselves and their power.”
Zanu PF has rejected all vote-rigging allegations, saying Tsvangirai should accept defeat.
Meanwhile, the MDC-T yesterday said it would file court applications challenging results of elections in at least 100 constituencies and the outcome of the presidential polls by Friday.
In an interview yesterday, MDC-T spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said they were disputing the results and would mount a three-pronged strategy in their electoral challenge.
“We are pursuing the legal, diplomatic and political routes,” he said. “As we speak we are compiling the dossier on the irregularities of the polls before, during and after the elections.
“On the legal route, by Friday we would have filed the main court application challenging the results of the presidential election and over 100 other applications challenging the outcome of the polls in the House of Assembly constituencies.”
MDC-T alleges voter intimidation, manipulation of voters leading to a situation where in Mashonaland Central, for instance, there were reportedly 10 000 people in one constituency, who were assisted to vote, use of fake voter registration slips and double voting, among a litany of electoral fraud allegations.
Mwonzora said in terms of the new Constitution, the President can only be sworn in after the electoral challenges have been cleared and this has to be completed within 14 days.
MDC-T says on the diplomatic front, it will appeal to Sadc over the alleged poll irregularities.