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Tsvangirai rallies troops


MDC-T leader Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has embarked on a mission to rally his provincial executive “troops” around the country for yet another battle to dislodge President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF.

Report by Dumisani Sibanda/Obey Manayiti

Tsvangirai yesterday held a closed-door meeting with the party’s provincial executive council in Manicaland.

This was the third meetingwith provincial executive councils in as many weeks following similar meetings with Harare and Chitungwiza executives where he urged members to “guard zones of autonomy” jealously.

At yesterday’s meeting, the MDC-T leader called upon his supporters to remain resilient and continue mobilising supporters.

Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka yesterday said: “So far he has met three provincial councils and is going around the country.

“This is part of a process of normal engagement with his troops. People are angry, they know their victory was stolen and he is engaging them, which is a sign of good leadership. Today (yesterday), he was in Manicaland, the crime scene, the scene of brazen (electoral) theft.”

Zanu PF got 22 out of the possible 26 House of Assembly seats in Manicaland in the just-ended polls, a shocking reversal of what happened in2008.

Provincial chairperson Julias Magarangoma told NewsDay that after the meeting they were going to continue mobilising their grassroots support in anticipation of a re-run.

“The sole purpose of the meeting was about mapping out the way forward as a party in light of the rigged election. We wanted to tell the people what is expected of them by the party so that we avoid the unexpected,” said Magarangoma.

“The president (Tsvangirai) said we are going back to the people, to our respective constituencies and tell people to continue mobilising and doing what they have been doing because we know that elections were stolen from us. As a party we don’t recognise the election results and the regime that is going to take place.”

According to members who attended the meeting, the issues raised included the bussing of people, partisan conduct of traditional leaders, intimidation and illegal distribution of voter registration slips by Zanu PF during the July 31 elections.

“We are going back to the people to continue with the struggle in view of the party’s position that we will be going back to the elections,” Magarangoma said.
Tsvangirai was accompanied by the party’s national organising secretary Nelson Chamisa and deputy treasurer-general Elton Mangoma and members of the national youth executive.

Addressing mourners on Wednesday at the burial of the late party supporter Rebecca Mafukeni, Tsvangirai vowed to fight for “change in our lifetime” and rejected alleged overtures from Zanu PF for another government of national unity.

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