MDC leader shocked by election ‘rigging’ tales

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HARARE – Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai says he is shocked at horror stories on “how Zanu PF rigged the elections”, as he tours the country to hear the views of the people.

Tsvangirai last week descended on Masvingo — where he suffered the heaviest electoral loss — addressing two separate meetings with representatives of eight districts.

Luke Tamborinyoka, Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, told the Daily News yesterday that the former premier was told of “chilling” accounts on how Zanu PF allegedly stole the election.

“We were told that known Zanu PF members were used as polling agents. The people also said village headmen cast ballots on their behalf. But, it was inspiring to note that despite the shenanigans, people are still committed to change,” Tamborinyoka said.

Tsvangirai dismally lost to President Robert Mugabe, who claimed a landslide victory in the July elections.

Mugabe won 61 percent of the presidential vote with his Zanu PF gaining a two thirds majority in Parliament.

Tamborinyoka said Tsvangirai was also inspired by people’s confidence in his leadership.

“The people expressed their confidence in Tsvangirai’s leadership. The people are confident that we will reclaim our stolen victory in 2018. The people said Tsvangirai should continue at the helm because he is the best foot forward,” Tamborinyoka said.

Tsvangirai has been warding off increasing calls within his party to pass the baton in the wake of his defeat, but his spokesperson says he has the full backing of all the organs of the party, and his mandate runs until 2016.

Tamborinyoka said the former trade unionist returns to Masvingo this week to attend to the districts that he had not visited.

“This is a listening tour. We want to visit all the districts in Masvingo. We will be back there this week and from there on, we will visit other provinces."

“Our strategy is clear; we will pursue, recover and overtake. We remain inspired by the story of David, after the devil had taken everything away from him, he soldiered on. We remain focused and we know we shall overcome,” he said.

The MDC leader will meet people from villages, mines, towns and resettlement areas around the country, as he moves to invigorate the party.

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