Tsvangirai ‘stepping down’

MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai could announce his retirement from politics, when he returns from South Africa, where he has gone for cancer treatment, amid indications that the opposition party has started consultations on who should succeed the former trade unionist.

BY OBEY MANAYITI

Tsvangirai yesterday issued a statement on handing over power to a “younger generation” fuelling speculation that his retirement was imminent.

The MDC-T leader, who is battling cancer of the colon, made the disclosure in his New Year’s message released shortly after he left for South Africa for medical check-ups, amid concerns he may not be able to withstand the pressure of an election campaign.

“I am looking at the imminent prospects of us as the older generation leaving the levers of leadership to allow the younger generation to take forward this huge task that we started together so many years ago with our full blessing and support,” he said.

This comes as Tsvangirai has been endorsed as the party and MDC Alliance’s presidential candidate for this year’s elections and his statement could trigger a new contest for power.

“It was, therefore, not by accident, but by design that when I disclosed to you my health status, I also took a bold step to appoint an additional two vice-presidents to assist me.

“As I have said before, while politicians only think about the next election, true statesmen think about the next generation, for current leaders are only but caretakers for future generations.

“We do not have any entitlement to lead, but we have a duty to serve,” the former trade unionist, who has been at the helm of the MDC-T since its formation 18 years ago, said.

In June last year, Tsvangirai appointed Nelson Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri as his deputies to join Thokozani Khupe as vice-presidents.

“We ought to leave a lasting legacy, where the baton can be changed peacefully, in a tranquil and cordial atmosphere of unity and togetherness.


“At a personal level, I am using this New Year, not only to reflect on the onerous journey that we have travelled together, but also to peer with renewed hope into a bright future,” he said.

Although Tsvangirai did not reveal when he intends to step down and how his successor will be selected, he emphasised on the need for people’s blessings.

This comes amid calls for an extraordinary congress next month to elect the party’s new leader.

“We must recognise the imperative that new hands, with the full blessing of the people, must take this struggle and this country forward with the destination remaining the same – a society that prides itself for not leaving anyone behind in their pursuit of freedom, prosperity and happiness.

“That is the only lasting legacy and precedence that we must leave to future generations,” he said, adding he was in the middle of writing a book on his long and “torturous journey” from his days in trade unionism to opposition politics.

Last week, President Emmerson Mnangagwa visited Tsvangirai at his residence in Harare and pictures of the frail-looking MDC-T leader went viral on social media platforms, triggering debate on whether he had the stamina to continue in active politics and contest in this year’s elections.

The MDC-T is already divided over Tsvangirai’s candidature, with some top party officials canvassing for Chamisa to take over the party’s leadership, although another camp is backing Mudzuri, describing him as more politically mature and stable.

Party supporters, particularly in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces, are pushing for Khupe to succeed Tsvangirai, as she is the only popularly elected MDC-T vice-president.

Turning to elections, Tsvangirai urged his supporters not to be blinded by former President Robert Mugabe’s ouster, claiming the journey to rebuild Zimbabwe was still long.

He said the new administration led by Mnangagwa should articulate a clear and comprehensive roadmap to legitimacy that includes implementation of the much-needed reforms to ensure free, fair and credible elections.

Tsvangirai said he raised concerns of a clear roadmap to elections with Mnangagwa last week, when he made an impromptu gesture to check on him.

He described Mnangagwa’s visit to his residence as the beginning of politics of tolerance in Zimbabwe.­

30 Comments

  1. Very important for you PresidentTsvangirai to retire but not at a time like this. To be sick doesn’t mean death. Anyone can become sick, the young and healthy can also die even being fit. My advice is that you need one term or at least half term as President of the republic of Zimbabwe. ; leaving mdc T at such a time like this will coz chaos amongst your 3 deputies. One was elected by the party and 2 were appointed by you. They will start subbortaging each other basing on this. I think contest for the elections, let your deputies campaign for you especially Chamisa because of your health. After winning elections, put your party in order; officially appoint your deputies. If u have strength finish your term of office but if your health can’t allow you hand over power to your deputy. Above all God heals even through using Medical Doctors. Don’t plan through fear of death and uncertainties. Mugabe out lived 4 of his deputies i.e. Muzenda, Joshua nkomo, msika and john nkomo. Who knows? Get well soon Mr president

    1. Finish! Woda kuti tsvangirai wacho afe akamira. Let the man go in peace. He can play a role on the outside

  2. Sekuru Chaminuka

    Comment…@fishers of men, surely you love your leader but you have to accept that he is sick, and going to hospital is not pleasant and noone would volunteer to go and stay in them. Tsvangirai has done his bit and its time someone tookover and move forward just as zpf has done despite being painful to see Mugabe go.

      1. Biti hatidi kumuona he dont even know how to calculate his political career instead too much blunders on his side.

  3. Tsvangirai’s cancer can be healed by Prophet Bushiri in Pretoria. Please listen and try him

  4. The beautiful ones are not yet born!

    There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.

    Well done for beginning this process and setting an example for future generations.

  5. chamisa get ready for the first time time to have a 40year president in our beautiful nation of zimbabwe

  6. Your courage to dare the Zim government then in 1999 is overwhelming emotionally to me I salute you Mr Morgan, I feared, people in Zanu PF also feared Mugabe but you stood up to challenge him and you won as many elections as well, that alone for me is enough to call you my hero. No active politcis though for you based on health grounds but get well soon and live long to see your legacy living with us and future generations.

    1. well said there AK, the man has initiated change & i think it will be great for him to watch his legacy continuing with the younger generation.Its a win win situation, he has nothing to lose, you have done your party & we salute you for that Mr President. Get well soon and may God remember you

  7. Do the right move at the right time, i feel sorry for Khupe who may lose out on the big one as it appears the youngest will be in charge sooner or later unless the Doctors pull a miraculous act.

  8. Eagle's eye & baboon's ears

    Tsvangirai is a caliber of leaders we need.I have always supported him from his ideologies(though some were bad) but i don’t believe the cancer he is suffering came as natural as it does , possibly someone’s hand is at play.
    the struggle continues , we want free , fair and credible elections .
    a diluted August and Upper house is the only conducive thing for the better of this country.
    Wish you will recover and live longer , our hero who beat Mugabe with his rigging cabal many times.
    Viva MDC Alliance

    1. so you Baboon Eyes where were you when stories about your Tsvangy that Mucheki mukuru aifarira kuitira muwater boat? manje wava kuti akaroiwa nani wacho? akarumwa nechekuchera uyo. iwe ndiwe muroyi

  9. Sekuru Chaminuka

    Comment…@eagle eye & baboon’s ears, Tsvangirai is SHONA, in another article you mentioned your hatred of this tribe. Be constitent.

  10. Much as we want him to continue the man is frail guys! Let him rest. He is the only one who had a realistic chance of dislodging the croc! I see ZPF ruling for ever now!

  11. I salute Mr Tsvangirai for fighting for democracy in our great country ,he will be forever remembered in the history of this country.

  12. All said and done, the bottomline is that we are all mortal and should thus keep our houses in order. We skirted around this subject for the better part of last year unaware that the reality is imminent. We should not shy away from striking when the metal is hot to avert possible crisis. Get well soon Sir!

  13. The only person with balls in Zimbabwe is Tsvangirai. he didn’t need the help of tanks to challenge Mugabe. Well done Morgan!!! You can now peacefully step down and help the younger generation from the terraces. Asante Sana.

  14. WELL DONE SAVE WE SHALL EVER REMEMBER YOU NDIMI MAKASVINUDZA VANA JOICE, MUNANGAGWA THE LIST IS ENDLESS. VIVA MDC ALLIANCE.

  15. It’s funny how Zimbabweans think General Constantinho exchanged his regalia to be in government for only less that a year. Time will tell!

    1. the message was clear when operation restore legacy started. stop the rot being caused by criminals surrounding Bob so that they do not destabilize ZPF. the soldiers were on the street to protect ZPF. no way they are letting the leadership move to MDC so easily.

  16. Kugarakunzwananahamandishe Garanewako

    Save munenge magona zvikuru. Nekuti, “handigone kuita zvandinoda ini. Zvose zvandinenge
    ndakaronga. Kusvikira zuva rasvika. Zvimwe ndotosiya zvakadaro. Haugone kuita zvauda iwe. Zvose zvaunenge wakaronga. Kusvikira zuva rasvika. Zvimwe unotosiya zvakadaro. Hatigone kuita zvatinoda isu. Zvose zvatinenge takaronga. Kusvikira zuva rasvika. Zvimwe tinotosiya zvakadaro. Akasiya ayimba Leonard Musorowenyoka Dembo. Endayi pazororo Save. Pwere dzinozouya kumba dzoona musharukwa dzichipangwa mazano.

  17. Thats a good step. Time to handover the button stick to the young blood. Well done Mr

  18. I’m Supporting Morgan Tsvangirai as MDC Presidential Candidate come 2018. It’s very painful to see him in such a condition. In case he becomes incapacitated to contest 2018 elections, l will support a cantidate of his choice

  19. We thank you for the gallant fight Save. May God restore your health. We need your input in the new dispensation and hopefully you will continue to do so from the sidelines. New blood will certainly bring new ideas that can help chart a new discourse.#ChangeIsNotEnough. “Munhu wese kubasa” kuti Zimbabwe ibudirire. Adios.

  20. why not have Innocent Gonese THE CHIEF WHIP AS SUCCESSOR. THINK THE GUY IS VERY MATURE AND LEVEL HEADED

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