ACTING MDC-T president Elias Mudzuri was yesterday optimistic that party leader Morgan Tsvangirai will fully recover and come back to represent a strong opposition coalition in the forthcoming elections, while ruling out the possibility of a power vacuum in the party.
by OBEY MANAYITI
In an interview with journalists soon after touring banks and industries in Southerton, Mudzuri said in the “unlikely” event of Tsvangirai leaving his post, any one of the leaders in the opposition party, including himself, were capable of taking over.
“In the unlikely event that he (Tsvangirai) fails (to fully recover), I think you can see that we have able-bodied people in the MDC. It’s an organisation and one of us must be able to take over. One of us must be able to take over and I am one of them,” he said in response to a question.
Mudzuri said as acting president, he was doing exactly what Tsvangirai would have been doing now as the country prepares for elections.
He also dispelled rumours of rifts over Tsvangirai’s succession, describing them as a mere fabrication.
“By being asked to act in the capacity of acting president, I felt in his absence we should do exactly what he would have done, that is keeping people encouraged,” Mudzuri said.
The MDC-T is currently mired in succession wars with one faction reportedly supporting Mudzuri while another one was pushing for Nelson Chamisa and Thokozani Khupe to take over from Tsvangirai, who has hinted at quitting in order to recover from cancer of the colon.
Mudzuri blasted the President Emmerson Mnangagwa-led government for failing to inspire confidence and lacking ideas to deal with the ever-mounting economic woes.
Mudzuri expressed concern at the dire state of the financial sector and the worsening economic crisis that has forced many industries to close shop.
According to the MDC-T, Mudzuri’s tour showed that the country remained mired in serious economic challenges with a few months before the next elections, despite the new administration’s promise that it was making the economy its main priority and was tackling the problems facing the people.
“Since the new government came into place, prices have gone up, the liquidity crisis continues to deepen and now that schools have opened, parents are struggling to send their children to school,” Mudzuri said.
“We expected Mnangagwa’s government to hit the ground running and we are still holding him to account on delivery of the economy.”
The former Energy minister said his party had strategies to revive the economy.
He expressed confidence that his party would romp to victory in this year’s elections ahead of their long-term rival, Zanu PF, which he accused of trying to sow intimidation through its commissariat department.
The former Harare mayor accused Zanu PF of being heavily disorganised and seeking to use the military to organise it.
“MDC is still alive and we will make sure that we will execute the expectations of the people in terms of delivering the economy and the expectations of the social safety networks,” Mudzuri said.
“The MDC is the best party in the country and it has all its structures intact and it has got an acting president and a president who has a vison, who knows exactly how to sort out this economy and he has inculcated that into all his top hierarchy and we are ready. There is no any other party better than the MDC-T if you want to assess.”
Mudzuri also implored the government to quickly facilitate the appointment of a substantive Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairperson to replace Justice Rita Makarau, who unexpectedly quit last month.
During the tour, Mudzuri talked to vendors selling different wares and heard first-hand information on their plight. In turn, the vendors pinned hope on the MDC-T to help in turning around the economy.
Mudzuri, who was accompanied by deputy national chairman Morgen Komichi and youth assembly secretary-general Lovemore Chinoputsa, urged the people to register to vote in the next elections as it was only their vote that could bring positive change in their lives.
Tsvangirai is currently in South Africa for a medical check-up.