Struggle reaching ‘fruition’ — PM

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HARARE – PrimeMinister Morgan Tsvangirai says Zimbabwe’s “struggle for change has reached a point of no return”, although military generals remain a threat.

He told a bumper crowd estimated at more than 20 000 in Bulawayo yesterday that President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party would fall in a few months.

Smarting from damaging personal love scandals and reports of his MDC party being rocked by internal fighting, corruption and declining support, Tsvangirai appeared buoyant at the MDC’s 13th anniversary celebrations yesterday.

“Despite these setbacks, I must say I am proud of what we have achieved so far. I stated upon entering into this transition that the MDC was far from retreating and abandoning the struggle; instead we were advancing in another direction,” Tsvangirai said.

“We are a few months from our destination, despite our daily humiliation and public vilification. Our struggle has reached a point of no return,” he said.

The former trade unionist however, admitted that threats from a heavily politicised security sector — the real power behind Mugabe — remained real.

“Our officials, including Cabinet ministers and senior party leaders, were routinely victimised by a hopelessly partisan cabal inside the security sector. To complicate an already muddied situation, pockets of lawlessness still roam the countryside,” he said.

Tsvangirai reminded supporters how the MDC forced Mugabe to enter negotiations despite the former guerilla leader previously stating he would never negotiate with “puppets”.

The MDC in a roadmap adopted in 2006 stated that forcing Mugabe into a transitional government would be the final step in ousting the 88-year-old career politician.

Tsvangirai said the roadmap was on course.

“As a reminder and in particular, our 2006 contract with the people, demanded a clear roadmap to political legitimacy and to a new Zimbabwe.

“Through that covenant, we publicly pronounced our plan to push Zanu PF and Robert Mugabe to talk to us; and to form a transitional arrangement in order to soft-land the national crisis,” said Tsvangirai, promising a government that would treat economic development, good governance infrastructural development and food security as top priorities.

“Unlike our detractors and opponents, the MDC pledges never to burn down Zimbabwe, for political survival, with millions of its citizens still trapped inside,” he said.

Tsvangirai said the MDC’s vision was constrained by discord in the coalition government.

“The transformation we want will not come through a coalition government because a coalition by its nature can never define a path for national prosperity,” he said.

Tsvangirai promised to reverse the industrial decay facing Bulawayo, which he blamed on years of a deliberate policy to marginalise and disenfranchise people of Matabeleland by the previous Zanu PF government.

His MDC party has controlled the Bulawayo council for a decade though. – Staff Writers

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