MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has said President Robert Mugabe’s backers, among the generals, are in a Catch-22 situation as they were unwilling to be led by either him or Mugabe’s heir apparent, Vice-President Joice Mujuru.
REPORT BY JOHN NYASHANU
Addressing an estimated 10 000 crowd at Chibuku Stadium in Chitungwiza yesterday, Tsvangirai said Mugabe was “no longer his own man”.
He told supporters he would trounce the 89-year-old Zanu PF leader in presidential elections come Wednesday.
“Mugabe is no longer his own man. He is now a puppet of the military and he knows what I am talking about. They (the military) are saying they won’t back Mujuru and at the same time they will not support me since I am from the MDC. They want to subvert the will of the people, but let me tell them that no one will stand in the way of the people,” he said to thunderous applause.
Tsvangirai also alleged that Mugabe had opted out after the 2008 harmonised elections, but was forced to soldier on by security chiefs, culminating in the unity government that has run the country since 2009.
He also accused the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) of planning to have ballot papers counted at the provincial command centres in contravention of the Electoral Act which states that counting will be done at polling stations.
“We understand Zec now wants to take uncounted ballot papers to a different station. This will not be tolerated and we will contest it,” he said, adding that he had since given the electoral body up to today to prove that it was an impartial organ.
Tsvangirai, however, did not reveal what course of action he would take in the event that he remained unsatisfied with Zec’s conduct of the polls.
“Up until now, I do not even have the voters’ roll to be used on Wednesday. I will brief all observers on this. They (Zec) must come out in the open and tell us if they do not have powers vested in them. We are tired of having our voices muzzled by people we have put in office,” he said.
The Zec secretariat has come under the spotlight with parties opposed to Zanu PF accusing it of being dominated by State security agents. The body has inexplicably failed to provide the voters’ roll to contesting parties and the public for inspection.
Tsvangirai also accused Zanu PF of lack of transparency, saying he was shocked to hear that Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa had availed $96 million for elections whose origins the Ministry of Finance was not aware of.
He warned that all corrupt officials would be made to account for their deeds in a new dispensation.
The Premier said his party would deliver on its promises to create jobs, eradicate poverty and improve on social services once elected into office.
The rally was punctuated by popular religious songs like Mathias Mhere’s chart-topping hit Favour, which has been remixed to become the party’s campaign theme.