Tsvangirai’s nine days with Harare

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HARARE – Four months after the disputed election, the country is engulfed in a legitimacy crisis and a crisis of expectation as Zanu PF dismally fails to inspire and poise the nation for growth while the economy is sending disappointing signals that point to an early return to the unmitigated disaster of 2008.

The MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai, with a natural and in-born chemistry with the people, spent nine days until Thursday last week engaging ordinary people in all the districts of Harare.

From Glen View to Mabvuku, from Highfield to Epworth, the people sent a loud message that despite the monumental electoral theft of July 31, they were solidly behind Tsvangirai and the MDC.

The people said they were disappointed by the many signals which pointed to a Zanu PF that would dismally fail to meet its electoral pledge; to poise the economy for growth and to inspire confidence in the people.

This is the same party that brought the economy to a virtual standstill in 2008 and they certainly cannot be expected to have a solution to the problems they caused. The people of Harare said it is like expecting a mosquito to cure malaria.

It has always been Tsvangirai's principle that the people are greater and more supreme than power and influence. That is why, despite overwhelming evidence we have that is now contained in our dossier that this vote was stolen, Tsvangirai has simply said Zanu PF must fulfill its electoral pledge to the people.

In all the districts of Harare that he visited in nine days in the past fortnight, the message from the people was very clear.

The people were clear that the 2013 election was stolen and they even gave chilling testimonies of how it was done in their respective areas.

The country is being governed by an illegitimate government, the liquidity crunch spawned by the lack of confidence in the regime in Harare was grossly affecting the ordinary person while the broke Zanu PF does not stand a snowball's chance in a hell of meeting even a quarter of their mammoth election promises, the people of Harare told president Tsvangirai.

Even Nathaniel Manheru on Saturday agreed that Zanu PF's victory was a victory without a party as the reality begins to sink in after the poll.

"The fastest casualty of electoral victory is the happy world of campaigning where everything is possible. After that world goes, in comes an imperfect and dismal one, a world where it can't," Manheru opined at the weekend.

Only the people of Zimbabwe are not expecting an "It can't" response from those who promised so much and stole their vote.

Accompanied at most of the outreach meetings to the Harare districts by his deputy Thokozani Khupe, secretary-general Tendai Biti, organising secretary Nelson Chamisa, deputy secretary-general Tapiwa Mashakada and later by Morgan Komichi the deputy national chairperson, president Tsvangirai  had a great time with the people of Harare in all the provinces and 24 districts who pledged to maintain their unstinting support for the MDC and the true and legitimate people's leader, Morgan Richard Tsvangirai.

From Budiriro to Epworth, Morgan Tsvangirai was told how known Zanu PF leaders in the communities became Zec officials and presiding officers, the rampant abuse of the voter registration slips that resulted in multiple voting and how, in the case of Mount Pleasant, the same Zec, supposedly a neutral institution in the election, announced two different results for the same constituency.

Tsvangirai was told of the absence of ink detectors and how thousands of buses brought voters into Harare from the rural areas. These were mainly brought into targeted constituencies such as Harare North, Mount Pleasant, Mbare and Harare South, among many others across the country. 

President Tsvangirai heard how Harare South, with a deliberately choreographed geography and its astounding July 31 election statistics, could have been an outpost of rigging.

In between his meetings with ordinary Zimbabweans in the high and low density suburbs of Harare, Tsvangirai took time to visit those whose properties were demolished by Zanu PF in Ruwa, in contravention of section of 74 of the new Constitution which explicitly says people have a right to shelter which cannot be demolished in the absence of a court order.

Yet others, especially among the young people in the party were keen on showing people power, especially soon after the grand theft of July 31.

Tsvangirai spoke throughout the nine meetings in Harare with the measured response of a statesman and a true democrat.

"We formed this party with the major value that we would fight dictatorship with our bare hands and nothing will detract us from that undertaking," president Tsvangirai told the party structures from Sunningdale, Mbare and Southerton last Thursday.

"We chose the ballot and not the bullet because ours is a struggle for democracy and not for power. If we wanted power we would have gone for guns but the difference is we simply want democracy in the country of our birth," he said to thunderous applause from the delegates.

"We will continue to fight not with violence but with the power of the people. The change we seek will come through democratic means. That defines the MDC and we shall continue to use our bare hands to fight this illegitimate government."

On the issue of media renewal, which has created a media feast in Zimbabwe, Tsvangirai told his supporters that our difference with other political outfits is that it is not criminal for anyone to express his ambition for any post in the MDC.

The MDC and its president will not go wrong with the people.

Imi tongai isu tiri  kuvanhu!! (You as a party must govern while we continue to converse with and engage the people!!). Hezvoko.

*Tamborinyoka is the spokesperson of the MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai. He writes in his personal capacity.

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