What's Tsvangirai up to?

Author:Gotora, Tawengwa
Position::Morgan Tsvangirai

As the nation slowly recovers from the traumatic June elections, Morgan Tavangirai, the opposition leader whose MDC party nearly won at the polls after only nine months in existence, has somehow managed to disturb the honet's nest, allowing his opponents the pleasure of accusing him of "playing funny games with the future of the country".

A man of supposedly democratic inclinations, Tsvangirai threw all democratic principles out the window on 20 September when addressing a rally in Harare marking the first anniversary of the founding of his party.

He railed against President Mugabe -- a right of every opposition leader - but Tsvangirai did not stop there; he went on to advocate violence as a way of bringing change to the number one office of the country.

Mugabe's current term ends in two years time, but Tsvangirai says he cannot wait that long.

"It should be known that we don't intend to impose MDC rule by dismissing Mugabe," he told the adoring crowd of about 20,000 MDC supporters inside the Rufaro Stadium. But he immediately contradicted himself by adding: "The issue is to remove Mugabe... The person we don't want is Mugabe. This time we will not stop until he goes. If we call off the action before the objective is achieved, then you should boot us [MDC] out instead. The days for one-day staysways are gone.

He continued: "What we want to tell Mugabe today is that please go peacefully. Time has come for action. We can't wait until 2002 [to vote him out] because the rate at which this man is destroying this nation is dangerous. Time for decisive action is now and if he doesn't listen to the voice of the people, then [the] people have a right to force him to recognise their voice."

Tsvangirai did not immediately specify what "action" he was talking about, except by saying the MDC would "be consulting" before coming back to the people. "We will decide what action to take. We are already suffering anyway," he said. "The action will this time be spread to rural and farming areas."

His supporters roared their approval all right, but it did not take long for his senior advisers to see that their man was attempting to commit political suicide.

They quickly called a press conference where Tsvangirai tried to undo the damage. He said he was "merely advising [Mugabe] as a friend that he must read the mood out there". But nobody was fooled, not least the ruling Zanu-PF party whose senior members immediately latched onto the country's Law and Order...

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