Matabeleland North MDC-T provincial chairman Sengezo Tshabangu told party members at a campaign rally in Lupane East on Saturday the forthcoming elections would usher in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai into State House.
Tshabangu said the previous election had proved Tsvangirai had the capacity to unseat Zanu PF leader President Robert Mugabe in a free and fair election.
“Tsvangirai has got Mugabe in a tight corner and he cannot escape now,” said Tshabangu amid wild cheers.
“Let us allow him to finish the old man off.
“We saw in the last election that he has a real chance of doing that.
“As people from Matabeleland, we are voting Tsvangirai because he has agreed to represent our interests.
“In the draft for the new constitution, there is devolution of power, which we have been crying for and there is also recognition of different tribes that is why we now have so many official languages.
“We will no longer have our children being taught at elementary stages in languages foreign to them but in their mother tongue.”
In the first round of the 2008 presidential election, which was considered to be largely free and fair, Tsvangirai beat Mugabe but did not garner enough votes to reach the threshold to claim an outright majority.
A runoff poll was called, but the MDC-T leader later pulled out citing persecution of his supporters. Results of the rerun where Mugabe won uncontested were internationally condemned as the run-up to the bloody poll was characterised by violence.
“You must remember that we had the Lancaster House Constitution,which was a transitional blueprint after the war of liberation and Mugabe altered it to give himself a lot of powers so much that he became like the Constitution himself.
“This time we have a different constitution.
“We have different electoral provisions.
“Voting will be ward-based and those who want to be assisted to vote will be accompanied to the polling station by people of their choice as opposed to polling agents and the police, because this was intimidating.
“Mugabe will no longer enjoy the advantage of incumbency during an election,” Tshabangu said.
The MDC-T provincial chairman was addressing the rally at Daluka to celebrate the Supreme Court decision ordering Mugabe to proclaim the dates for by-elections in the constituency as well as Bulilima East and Nkayi South.
The seats fell vacant after the incumbents, Njabuliso Mguni, Norman Mpofu and Abedneco Bhebhe, respectively, were fired from the MDC formation led by Welshman Ncube for working with the MDC-T.
Speaking at the same occasion, Mguni, who together with Mpofu and Bhebhe recently won a Supreme Court order to force Mugabe to proclaim by-elections dates for the three constituencies, described the ruling as “a victory for democracy”.
“It’s a victory for you people of Lupane East. It says you have the right to be represented in Parliament. In fact, because of what you did, we are now going to have by-elections in all those areas that have vacant seats throughout the country,” he said amid applause.
Last week, Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa said by-elections would be held in all the 38 vacant seats following the court ruling.