MDC-T leader Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Sunday disclosed he had survived several attempts on his life, but equated himself to a main actor in a movie who dies at the end of the script because he has not yet achieved his party’s goal to unseat President Robert Mugabe.
Addressing mourners at the burial of slain MDC-T activist Cephas Magura at Botso village in Mudzi North, Tsvangirai said he would not die until his goal to restore democracy had been achieved.
In apparent reference to numerous past attempts on his life by Mugabe’s Zanu PF party, Tsvangirai said “God loved me and ensured that I would not die until the time comes”.
“Some of us could have died long ago, but God loves us and has a plan for us. And if that plan is
not achieved, the main actor will not die and the film will not end,” Tsvangirai said.
Tsvangirai has survived several near-fatal attacks, chief among them his brutal attack by suspected State security agents during his last days at the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions in the late 1990s and in March 2007 when he was assaulted together with other party leaders by police in Highfield, Harare.
He also survived a road crash that killed his wife Susan, along the Harare-Masvingo Road in March 2009.
Tsvangirai challenged “securocrats” aligned to Zanu PF to stop making political utterances or remove their uniforms, turn themselves into civilians and join him in the ring.
“I heard a lot of army officers saying a lot of things. I have said it and will say it again. There are some people who masquerade as army and police officers. Real people want to develop this country. You see someone being stoned while you are in uniform and you run away. Remove that uniform and we will deal with you. That is the legitimate way,” Tsvangirai said.
Tsvangirai said some soldiers confided in him that they were against the practice by some of their bosses whom they accused of fuelling human rights abuses across the country.
“A lot of soldiers come to me and say, ‘Prime Minister, what others are doing is not professional’ (referring to soldiers who meddle in politics),” he said.
Top army and state security agents have publicly declared their allegiance to Zanu PF and vowed not to salute leaders without liberation war credentials.
Recently, Zimbabwe National Army Chief of Staff Major-General Martin Chedondo told solders to rally behind Zanu PF and shun what he termed “foreign-sponsored parties”.
Tsvangirai said Zanu PF should desist from a culture of violence and any election called before electoral forms would be a repeat of the 2008 scenario where he pulled out of a presidential re-run that was marred by state-sponsored violence.
“We went across the country calling for peace. That is what Zimbabweans are praying for. We have to move away from this culture. Never again should violence be in Zimbabwe. What has gone amiss in the covenant of peace? Stop this, Zanu PF,” he said.
He said Mugabe, whose early election push was thwarted by Sadc last week returned home “with his tail between his legs,” because Sadc made it clear it would not endorse polls held on an uneven playing field.
“We were at the Sadc summit recently. Others said elections this year with or without a new constitution. I want to tell you that those who wanted elections returned home with their tails between their legs,” Tsvangirai said.
Sadc has demanded an array of reforms before elections.