HARARE – MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday called for mass action to push President Robert Mugabe to address the deepening economic hardships in Zimbabwe.
Tsvangirai told his party supporters at the City Sports Centre in Harare during the official opening of the opposition party’s fourth elective congress that he was ready to lead the protest from the front.
Tsvangirai, who was in a buoyant mood, and accompanied by his wife Elizabeth, said his party supporters had to sacrifice themselves
“The solution to the national crisis lies in none but ourselves,” he said.
“Fellow democrats, I am making an urgent call today for a shift to action. We cannot allow ourselves to be victims of illusions and phantoms of hope alone. We have to be brave, we have to take action.
“It means rejecting the economic misery brought upon us by Zanu PF and reclaiming our share in the wealth of this country which has been a preserve of a parasitic clique in Zanu PF.
“It means demanding to see what is not working fixed: from the economy, our democracy, Constitution, rule of law, service delivery, infrastructure, electricity, water, sanitation. Our destiny is in our hands.”
The MDC leader said he is prepared to lead the protests.
“For my part, as I stand before you today, I’m forever ready to lead from the front these very democratic troops gathered here today and all those across our nation,” he said.
Tsvangirai spoke about the split in his party, saying it was retrogressive in the fight for democracy in Zimbabwe.
“Unfortunately, some of our colleagues were too lily-livered to come and face the people even though we agreed together to bring forward this congress,” Tsvangirai said.
“They lacked the conviction of their ambition and they walked out of the party before we all came here not only to seek a new mandate from you, but to chart together the way forward for the party and the country We, however, wish our former colleagues well in their new political endeavours after they expressed what they called their freedom of dissociation.
“We hear former colleagues are launching their party next year. As I said, we wish them good luck. They are not our foes but partners in the struggle. They have attempted to give an impression that we are in competition with them hence the persistent negative campaign, especially against the person of Morgan Tsvangirai.
“We are even ready to assist them grow. At the end of the day, it is the people of Zimbabwe who will judge, for they know the difference between fact and fiction, real and fake leaders. The people are not gullible.”
Meanwhile, the breakaway Sekai Holland-led MDC and Welshman Ncube’s MDC held a joint national executive committee meeting in Harare yesterday and briefed the media that they were working on modalities of forming a united MDC.