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Tsvangirai blocks Mugabe

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PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has disclosed that during negotiations leading to the signing of the Global Political Agreement in 2008, President Robert Mugabe unsuccessfully attempted to sneak in a clause granting a general amnesty to perpetrators of the 2008 election violence to avoid prosecution of his Zanu PF party militia.

Report by Everson Mushava

Addressing MDC-T supporters at Chaona business centre in Chiweshe on Saturday during commemorations for 13 party members killed by suspected Zanu PF militia at the height of the June 2008 violent presidential runoff campaign, Tsvangirai said he stood up to Mugabe and blocked his intentions, insisting that the culprits be brought to trial.

“I told him we will see when we get there,” Tsvangirai said.

Tsvangirai eventually pulled out of the presidential runoff election citing State-sponsored violence against his supporters, which he claims killed about 200 and displaced thousands others.

The international community condemned the results of the run- off election and declined to recognise Mugabe’s victory, leading to the formation of the inclusive government between Zanu PF and the two MDCs in February 2009.

Zanu PF has spiritedly opposed investigations into past human rights violations particularly the 2008 bloodbath, 2005’s Operation Murambatsvina/Clean-Up and the 1980s Gukurahundi massacres, with the newly-established Human Rights Commission restricted to probe violations that occurred only after February 23 2009.

Impeccable sources recently told NewsDay that Tsvangirai was, however, now prepared to offer amnesty to army generals to allow a smooth transfer of power in the event he wins the next presidential race.

As part of the weekend commemorations, Tsvangirai donated various goodies to victims and surviving family members of the 13 Chiweshe villagers, six of whom were allegedly fatally tortured in a single day in May 2008 at a Zanu PF base, ironically located opposite a church building.

Seven others — four being members of one family — later succumbed to injuries.

In his address, Tsvangirai said the commemorations symbolised the MDC-T’s commitment to a peaceful election and sending a message that such a phase should never again be allowed to repeat itself in future elections.

“We would want Sadc observers, the African Union and European Union because we have nothing to fear. We are going to make sure that the next election is free and fair and we are going to win it,” he said.

“Zanu PF is a party of the past and MDC a party of the future. Zanu PF will never win a free and fair election. What new things can the party promise to do which they failed to do in the 32 years the party has been in power?”

He said although the MDC-T had not done enough to address the plight of victimised supporters, the fighting spirit to remove Zanu PF should spur them to soldier on until the MDC-T has mastered full control of levers of government.

“The struggle is for Zimbabwe to free ourselves from the Zanu PF bondage. The oppressed continue fighting until the oppressor loses grip. This country has suffered enough. People fought for freedom during the liberation struggle, but in Zimbabwe, only to be oppressed by our black brothers,” he said.

He urged Mugabe and his top party officials to commit themselves to a peaceful election.

“Don’t preach peace and act violence,” he said.

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