HARARE – Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who has been ill, has told his enemies, some of whom have been scripting epitaphs — that he will soon be back to take on Zanu PF and its leader President Robert Mugabe and cause “pain”.
The veteran opposition leader, a thorn in the flesh for Zanu PF for almost two decades now, was recently flown to South Africa after falling sick.
His illness, though mild, left many of his loyalists pensive but they were some who took it as a sign that the indefatigable Tsvangirai was worn out for wear.
In a statement, the veteran opposition leader — who recently led a march in Harare that jolted Zanu PF from its slumber — said he is on the mend and will soon start the task to demand answers from Mugabe and his “hangers on”.
“I am equally aware, however, of the morbid wishes of some of my fellow countrymen. But I want to assure them that … Tsvangirai will soon be back to be the usual pain to those at the helm of mis-governance; those who oppress the people and who are turning a blind eye to all this sickening poverty around us.
“I remain fully aware of and concerned with what we are all going through collectively as a people and as a country,” said Tsvangirai.
The former prime minister, the only man to ever defeat Mugabe in an election, also had kind words for those who wished him well, expressing his “heartfelt thanks to you all for the overwhelming support you continue to give me in my temporary period of indisposition”.
Yesterday, thousands of Zimbabweans, who cobble a life in the informal sector, were commandeered to the so-called Robert Mugabe Square (which the MDC calls Freedom Square) for a solidarity rally with the 92-year-old Mugabe.
While Mugabe’s trips to faraway foreign lands for medical care have always been covered in a thick veil of secrecy, the MDC last week released a statement of their leader’s sickness.
“I am told that they have closed the country down today. All the suffering and struggling vendors have been asked to close shop and join a march to prop up the ego of … Mugabe. It is lost on them that it is the country — and not the people — that must be on a brave march to stability and progress,” said Tsvangirai.
While other African countries commemorated Africa Day yesterday with cultural programmes, celebrating being an African, Zimbabweans were forced to watch a so-called one million-man march that failed to live to its hype.
“To friends and foe alike, I want to assure you that I am recovering. I assure you that I must not be the cause of any national uncertainty.
“The irony is that yes, I may be indisposed, but I am more worried about my country and its economy that seems to be in a far much worse state than my personal state of health. It is the country that we all love that needs urgent healing.
“It is our country that must be the biggest worry for all of us, not only for our personal sake but for the sake of the legacy we must leave behind for future generations,” said Tsvangirai.
But as the nation hurtles towards the critical 2018 elections —there is a growing sense of despair among the have nots — who watch helplessly as dreams of brighter days fade into oblivion.
“Rest assured, I am on the path to full recovery and I will be joining you soon to continue with the struggle for freedom, peace, democracy and national prosperity,” said Tsvangirai.