HARARE – Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says attempts by President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF to create a wedge between him and his deputy Thokhozani Khupe were aimed at destroying his party but warned the MDC will not fall into the trap.
In the past few weeks, there have been reports that Tsvangirai and Khupe were at war over attempts to pull the Deputy prime minister to a hearing on allegations of inciting violence.
Tsvangirai dismissed as false reports that he was fighting Khupe saying the reported friction was a creation of Zanu PF which wanted to “kill” his party ahead of elections next year.
“They have come up with a new conspiracy of trying to destroy our party from inside. They want to cause divisions among us. I don’t see the reason why I should put my own deputy under a disciplinary hearing. She is my deputy and if I have problems with her, I will just call her, then we sit down and talk,” Tsvangirai told the party’s Bulawayo provincial council meeting in the city on Saturday.
Reports had indicated that Khupe was facing a hearing for her alleged role in the violence that rocked MDC ahead of its congress held in Bulawayo in April 2011.
The MDC national disciplinary committee is chaired by party chairperson Lovemore Moyo. Tsvangirai is on a nationwide tour holding meetings with his party structures.
Meanwhile, Tsvangirai yesterday declared he is ready to govern and was now going around the country laying the grand strategy of how his MDC will take Zimbabwe out of the current economic tragedy.
With unemployment standing at over 80 percent, the MDC leader told party leadership in Lupane that he has keys to unlock the problems bedevilling country’s rundown economy through job creation. He said he will also create a fair environment for foreign direct investment.
Secretary in the PM’s office responsible for political affairs, Alex Magaisa, told the Daily News from Lupane yesterday that Tsvangirai spoke of an economic recovery strategy which included massive job creation.
“For the past years, Mugabe has proved to be a failure, He is a legend in failure and the PM was taking a new vision for Zimbabwe to grassroots.
“The MDC leader unveiled a strategy which includes preparation to govern. He is ready to rule. This country will come to life a minute after his victory. He is ready to turn over the unemployment rates prevailing in the country by affording an opportunity to serious investors to revamp our industries,” said Magaisa.
Tsvangirai formed a coalition government with his arch rival, Mugabe four years ago which has stabilised the economy and brought back a social service which had disappeared.
In Lupane, the MDC leader said when he takes over as leader of the country, infrastructural development will begin to take place a day after taking over.
According to Magaisa, the former trade unionist bemoaned the state of industries in Bulawayo which he described as “museums of manufacturing”.
“He is worried about the number of closed companies in Bulawayo. The once industrial town has now become a museum, and in his address, he told the provincial party leadership that all this will be changed once he assumes governance of the country,” Magaisa said.
The MDC leader was accompanied by his deputy, Khupe, party vice chairperson Morgan Komichi, and senior officials from his office.
Before the Lupane meeting, Tsvangirai met party leadership in Bulawayo and Gwanda and before that he was in Kwekwe taking his “new government strategy to grassroots structures saying he was rolling out his plan for a new Zimbabwe.”
The country is expected to go for elections next year and Tsvangirai says he will triumph over his long time enemy now turned coalition partner, Mugabe, who is also seeking to extend his 32-year rule.
The former ruling party is also campaigning on job creation through the controversial indigenisation programme.
The MDC says indigenisation is a “smart robbery” programme which seeks to empower a few elite individuals leaving the masses wallowing poverty.
Other contenders for the country’s top job include Welshman Ncube and Simba Makoni but Tsvangirai says the experience he got in the coalition government has provided him with an “insight of how to govern as well as how not to govern”
“The president told the structures here that the decision to join the inclusive government has helped the party to prepare itself on how best to govern.
“The party is using experiences from the dysfunctional inclusive government to get the best of its ability and he assured the nation that social services and infrastructure development will becomes the hallmark of his government,” Magaisa added. – Pindai Dube and Xolisani Ncube