Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai says President Robert Mugabe’s exit from Zimbabwe’s political arena is now inevitable, especially as internal fissures in his ruling Zanu PF party continue to worsen.
Commenting for the first time on-goings on in Zanu PF, the pinnacle of which has been First Lady Grace Mugabe’s call for the ouster of Vice President Mujuru, opposition Tsvangirai on Wednesday said Mr. Mugabe’s days in office are now numbered.
The former prime minister told reporters at his party’s Harvest House headquarters that although the internal squabbles in the ruling party are a Zanu PF affair, he was worried that Zimbabweans were being abused as the country’s economy continues to nosedive.
He added that credible elections are the only answer to country’s mounting economic problems.
At the same time, Tsvangirai took a swipe at former South African President Thabo Mbeki accusing him of working in cahoots with Mr. Mugabe to rig the 2002 elections resulting in the suppression of the people’s will.
Mr. Tsvangirai said Mr. Mbeki was interested more in political stability than democracy. This comes at a time when the Mail and Guardian newspaper has successfully sought, through the courts, the release of a report of South Africa’s Judicial Observer Mission that observed the 2002 elections in Zimbabwe.
Pretoria has been blocking the release of that report for the past 12 years. The judges ruled that the elections were neither free nor fair.
Mr. Tsvangirai said the former president of South Africa’s bias was also exhibited during a summit of the Southern African Development Community held in the Zambian capital of Lusaka in April 2008 when he suggested that a presidential runoff vote was going to be held in Zimbabwe before even the results of that year’s election were announced.
Authorities took more than a month to release the results which were disputed by the MDC, leading to the formation of the unity government that ended last year.
Meanwhile, Tawanda Chimhini, director of the Election Resource Centre, called on the South African government to apologize to the people of Zimbabwe following South Africa’s Judicial Observer Mission’s damning report on the credibility of the 2002 polls.
The report said the polls were marred by several irregularities such as the arrest of opposition leaders ahead of the elections, violence against MDC supporters and the failure by authorities to avail the voters’ roll on time for the polls.
The issue of the voters’ roll remains a thorn in the flesh for the opposition as every election year they complain that the Registrar General’s Office always fails to provide them with the roll.
Even up to this day, the MDC is still complaining that it is yet to get sight of the voters’ roll used in last year’s disputed elections.
Mr. Tsvangirai said Zimbabwe is yet to hold credible elections since 2000.