MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has accused President Robert Mugabe of working hard to destroy him so that the opposition party will sponsor a weak candidate that will face Zanu PF in the 2018 elections.
The former Premier yesterday claimed the 90-year-old leader was working with the MDC-T renewal team which is calling for his resignation as party leader.
Addressing party supporters and mourners at the funeral of MDC-T founding member Freggy “Mutambu” Dhungwa in Mbare, Tsvangirai said Mugabe and State security agents were plotting his downfall.
He said this was confirmed by the Zanu PF leader’s Independence Day speech on Friday.
“I heard Mugabe speak on Independence Day saying we should leave rebels alone. I asked myself why he is so kind to them. We got
you, now you have come out in the open for sending them,” said Tsvangirai.
Tsvangirai said Mugabe, at his advanced age, was now history and the MDC-T was focusing on forming the next government after gaining experience as an opposition party and as a party in government.
MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora had earlier told NewsDay that Mugabe and his party had co-opted State security agents in their “project” to destroy the opposition party and the Tsvangirai brand.
“From the comments of President Mugabe, we now know who is behind the destabilisation of the MDC,” Mwonzora said. “Fortunately, neither he nor his junta will be able to destroy the MDC. For us in the MDC, freedom of expression does not mean violating resolutions of the national standing committee, national executive and national council for leaders not to discuss important party matters through the Press.”
Mwonzora added: “It appears that Mugabe is too old to remember what has been happening in his own party. A few years ago he and his party fired Dzikamai Mavhaire (now Energy minister) for suggesting that Mugabe must resign. Not so long ago, he was furious and ruthlessly punished most of his provincial chairpersons for a meeting in Tsholotsho.”
He said “rebels” in a MDC-T should not rely on Mugabe for protection.
Former MDC-T deputy treasurer Elton Mangoma, who is said to be working with the party’s secretary-general Tendai Biti, has called for Tsvangirai to step down, saying he had become a liability to the MDC-T brand.
Tsvangirai said those who were calling for his resignation were not founding members of the party. He said Mutambu was one of the founding members of the MDC-T who were resolute on sticking to the founding values of the party.
“In terms of how the party started up to now, these are the founders, they are not stakeholders, and they are shareholders,” said Tsvangirai. “Nothing can be done in the absence of shareholders. If you are a stakeholder, you will just come like Mangoma and say I am here.”
But Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said Tsvangirai was out of his mind and was a dictator who should give the people what they want.
“Who takes him seriously? He has reached a level of, for lack of a better word, madness. I don’t think he is himself. The reality is the MDC is in disarray and they should accept that. Why not give the MDC people reform as they want because they claim to be democratic? They are dictatorial and authoritarian,” Gumbo said.
MDC renewal team spokesperson Jacob Mafume said Tsvangirai was the one working with Zanu PF by his continued stay in a government house for free and having married “a Zanu PF woman”, referring to Tsvangirai’s estranged wife Elizabeth Macheka, the daughter of senior Zanu PF official Joseph Macheka.
“These are immature statements we don’t expect from the president of a party. It’s easy to see who is working with Zanu PF by looking at who is staying in a Zanu PF house for free, who is married to a Zanu PF woman and who has worked closely with Zanu PF during the inclusive government,” said Mafume.
“We are not working with Zanu PF, far from it. We need a radical strategy, we can’t lose an election and call for a Press conference or rallies. We need a solution to redistribute the wealth in Zanu PF hands through corruption. He is part of the corruption by staying in a $3 million house,” Mafume said.
Tsvangirai told the mourners that he used to assist Mutambu, but he was also now broke.
“I would help him here and there, but it happened that I got broke and he also got broke, but we will one day get there,” said Tsvangirai.
“We will get to Canaan, but these people born in the wilderness have a problem, they don’t know how this started. No one is against change here, even Zanu PF people miss us because of what we offered in the government of national unity.”