MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday said Wednesday’s elections will send President Robert Mugabe into his long overdue retirement, vowing this time around no one was going to stop him from assuming power.
BY PATRICE MAKOVA AND NUNURAI JENA
Addressing thousands of MDC-T supporters at an open space in Chegutu, Tsvangirai said he was already looking forward to his inauguration as the new President in a few days’ time, as he was confident people will overwhelmingly vote for him.
“This time around we must tell him [Mugabe] to go and rest. Come August 1, Mugabe will be history,” he said. “This is the only opportunity we have to change the direction of the country. To beat all the shenanigans, people must go out and vote in their masses and our polling agents must also be vigilant.”
Tsvangirai said he won the 2008 elections in the first round, but the result was rigged, to reflect that no candidate had garnered an outright victory.
“This time we will not allow them to subvert the will of the people. We are not going to allow a daylight robbery of our victory. You have a responsibility, not only to vote but to peacefully defend our vote,” he told his supporters.
Tsvangirai said Zanu PF was already behaving like the “proverbial” opposition, countering whatever MDC-T was doing.
He said while the Chegutu rally had been earmarked for Pfupajena stadium, Zanu PF at the 11th hour bulldozed its way to hold its own meeting at the already booked venue.
“Instead of telling people where the party will take the people in the next five years, they are busy either disrupting our rallies or organising counter meetings,” said the MDC-T leader.
He said on Wednesday, Zimbabweans have a choice between the old ways of doing things, characterised by poverty and despair or a new beginning, full of hope for prosperity.
“What will Zanu PF do in the next five years, which it did not do in the past 33 years? This is why Mugabe’s campaign speeches are focussing on history. He is the one who caused all our problems,” said the Prime Minister.
Tsvangirai said if elected, one of his first challenges would be to end the culture of violence and impunity. He said an MDC-T government would differentiate between party and government business. Tsvangirai said an MDC-T government would curb corruption, create jobs and reopen industries.
“When government implements programmes it should be for everyone and not only for those connected to the party. We do not want a government whose pre-occupation is to consolidate its grip on power by intimidating and scaring people,” he said. “In three days’ time you will have the opportunity to get out of poverty.”
At another rally in Chinhoyi, Tsvangirai alleged that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) was trying to steal the elections for Zanu PF and Mugabe.
The MDC-T leader said he was giving ZEC up to tomorrow to provide him information regarding how many ballot papers were printed for the presidential poll.
He said up to yesterday, ZEC had not provided him with a copy of the voters’ roll, despite concerted efforts to get one.
Tsvangirai said there were plans to disenfranchise those who were previously regarded as aliens until the recent enactment of a new constitution.
“ZEC, we are giving you up to Monday to prove your integrity and exonerate yourselves from these shenanigans”. You have denied people the right to register, mainly those in MDC-T strongholds like Harare,” he said.
“You messed up the special vote of 70 000 in two days. How are you going to handle more than six million [people] in one day? Prove your integrity. The time to steal elections is over.”
Tsvangirai revealed that they have information to the effect that ZEC printed eight million ballot papers for the president poll and another eight million for the parliamentary one.
Efforts to get a comment from ZEC were fruitless yesterday.
Tsvangirai said the country was in a “sorry” state because of lack of leadership, conflict of policy and no clear vision of where the country is going.
Tsvangirai said the record of MDC-T was there for all to see as the economy improved with food on the shelves, children going back to classrooms and the health sector improving.