GWERU, MIDLANDS PROVINCE —
Movement for Democratic Founding president Morgan Tsvangirai and Zimbabwe People First acting president, former vice president Joice Mujuru, say it is important for all democratic forces in Zimbabwe to work together in order to help end the ongoing economic crisis in the country.
In a move that caught many by surprise, Mujuru and Tsvangirai led protesters in a joint public protest on Saturday in Gweru against the deteriorating economic situation in Zimbabwe and other pressing issues.
Tsvangirai said he was touched by Mujuru’s gesture to agree to join the march.
He said though the move had been unexpected, it was in line with the wishes of many Zimbabweans who want all political parties fighting for democratic change to come together in order to help stem the unending socio-economic crisis in the country.
The former prime minister said opposition parties run the risk of becoming irrelevant if they do not follow the people’s expectations.
“I want you to congratulate Dr. Mujuru and her leadership for seeing it necessary for us to have this joint programme. We now need a collective consensus of all Zimbabweans to make sure that Mugabe listens to the voice of the people. We are for the rule of law. We are for the removal of government through the rule of law,” he said.
Tsvangirai said 92 year-old President Robert Mugabe cannot be expected to have any credible plans to get the country out of the current problems.
He reiterated that his party seeks to gain power through legitimate means but warned that if things don’t change soon, people’s anger over their continued suffering will one day explode.
“Mugabe and Zanu PF have no solution to the problems that this country is facing. I don’t hate Mugabe but I disagree with him over the fact that at 92 he still wants to hold on to power. It’s clear that he wants to die in office, but to what end? What will be the kind of legacy he leaves behind? I have told him to his face that it’s time he made way for younger leaders because I believe that what we need is a new energy and a new agenda to make sure that this country can be saved,” Tsvangirai said.
In her address, Mujuru said part of the reason why she was expelled from Zanu PF was that she was always against the vilificationof Tsvangirai and other opposition leaders.
The former vice president said she had seen it fit to join the MDCT demonstration as the problems that the party is seeking to address are common to all Zimbabweans.
Mujuru stressed the need for a united front to tackle the country’s problems and urged Zimbabweans not to resort to violence over political differences.
“Zimbabwe is for us all, let’s not fight. We want to weed out corruption and all other nonsensical things that are currently happening in this country. Let’s all unite for the betterment of Zimbabwe,” she said.
Although both Tsvangirai and Mujuru did not openly declare a formal coalition, sources told Studio 7 that Saturday’s move was the laying of a foundation of an alliance between the two parties.
Observers have noted that divisions in Zimbabwe’s opposition have worked to the advantage of Zanu PF enabling the ruling party to continue its stranglehold on power.