By Kelvin Mupungu
Birmingham, UK (Newsafrica) –MDC-T President Dr Morgan Richard Tsvangirai concluded his speech on a United Kingdom tour to meet party faithfuls and Zimbabweans in general by declaring that the,
“struggle to liberate Zimbabwe from autocracy is in the last phase. Victory is certain and we will cry tears of joy soon”.
He addressed a sizeable audience in Midlands region of England in the second largest city of Birmingham, a few yards from Ascot Football Stadium, home to Premier League outfit, Aston Villa FC. This was preceded by a lengthy meeting with the Lord Mayor for the City of Birmingham where they discussed twinning possibilities with cities and towns in Zimbabwe.
Compared to reports emanating from state media in Harare, Dr Tsvangirai who was flanked by a slim delegation that included his wife Elizabeth, Spokesman Luke Tambarinyoka and Chief of Staff , looked very well,healthy and happy .
Marriage problems between the couple also seemed a distant reality from what people observed on the day. To the contrary , Mrs Tsvangirai appeared to be a close confident of her husband as from time to time, she checked on his script and would pass notes to him while adjusting the microphone to make sure his voice is projected well.
Elizabeth appears to be the rock behind Dr Tsvangirai and the pair coordinate so well. In the Press Conference that followed his address, Elizabeth prepared her husband who appeared sweating from the English summer heatwave currently engulfing UK, by refreshing his face .
The media present could notice a natural flow of companionship between the two. A journalist from ZimEye asked a question which appeared silly even in the ears of other media houses present, “are you having marriage problems?” to which Tsvangirai responded jokingly saying ,” would i tell you of our marriage problems in the presence of my wife?”
After brief meetings with UK Provincial Executives, the general waiting public were invited to first floor meeting room.
The former Zimbabwe Prime Minister who is on week long tour, had the gracious occasion to address the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), London to a full house audience on 25th July 2014 where his address was beamed live in internet to multitudes worldwide.
Listening to Dr Tsvangirai speak , one would be forced to wonder where he gets such confidence , faith and courage. There is no doubt that the previous 12 months have been a nightmare for him. Troubles with love life, failure to wrestle power from Mugabe in july 2013, reported marriage problems with Elizabeth and now the split of the party. His energy resembles one who has been born again, implying that Biti and crew walking away woke him up and he has nothing to lose now. He is a man on a mission now to reinvigorate the masses who believe in him through thick and thin. No wonder why President Mugabe appears worried so much about him. Some analysts in Harare believe that Tsvangirai is the reason why Mugabe will not retire.He is aware that because Tsvangirai defeated him in 2008, it is certain that there is no one in Zanu PF strong enough to stand and win and win against the former trade union leader in an open national poll.
Dr Tsvangirai pointed that the party has had two rebellions all coming from the same office (Secretary General’s Office).He was referring to both Professor Welshman Ncube and Tendai Biti who led rebellions in 2005 and 2014 respectively. Also pointed by members of the public in the meeting,was the close relationship between Secretary General’s Office and Treasure General’s Office leading to coffers being emptied before rebellion on both occasions. The Congress coming up in October 2014 should be able to adopt restructuring measures aimed at addressing these issues, he promised. Tsvangirai admitted the fact that Bit/ Mangoma led Renewal Team has escaped with party assets. He warned Biti (who he accused of hiding financial reports of the company MDC-T had set up )that MDC-T would recover the assets. He scoffed at Renewal for being able to choose colour symbol -Orange before leadership or constitution. Tsvangirai declared that he does not lose sleep over Biti and crew because MDC-T has, ”
not split but a clique of misguided power hungry individuals decided to start their own party and its democratic. Look at ANC who have carried on even after Malema walked away. Mangoma knew grievance procedures in the party and should have followed that. I have a succession plan but its for me to know for now.I will never stay as President beyond necessary. The party is rejuvenated and we will emerge stronger. The democratic fight to liberate Zimbabwe from autocracy is in the last phase. Victory is certain and we will cry tears of joy soon”.
Tsvangirai once again refused to be drawn into the temptation to allow political differences to go personal by warning party faithfuls to shun scoffing Biti over his health worries. Tsvangirai who was quoted implying that he would rather do business with Mnangagwa Zanu PF faction , apart from denying those media reports,even refused to focus on factionalism rife in Zanu PF in his speech. He admitted though that MDC-T are worried that economic problems might incite civil strife in Zimbabwe.
Regards to coalition talks, Tsvangirai pointed that talks with pre-conditions are a non starter. Rugare Gumbo (Zanu PF Publicity ) recently indicated that Tsvangirai needed to concede defeat in the 2013 disputed poll first before talks. MDC-T notes that Zanu PF is stuck with economy and even though they rigged 2013 polls, they will not do so with economy and,”
Zimbabwe faces economic implosion now and with no international lenders willing to chip in, Zanu PF will be forced to call for all Stakeholder Tripartite talks soon but MDC-T would never make same mistake to be in government with Zanu PF again.