MDC pushes reluctant Tsvangirai on demos : lead from the front

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ZIMBABWE – The opposition MDC-T has reportedly asked its leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, to stop playing “smart politics” and lead from the front, in a series of demonstrations aimed at forcing the Zanu PF regime to “deliver on its election promises or ship out”.

The decision to engage in “wildcat demonstrations” came after the party’s national council and executive meetings held at the MDC-T headquarters in Harare on Friday. The party’s spokesperson Obert Gutu confirmed that the party had drawn a “to-do” list and that Tsvangirai and the entire party leadership were obliged to be involved in the activities including demonstrations.

“They [Zanu PF] should look forward to enhanced demonstrations. The year, 2015 was a soul-searching one for us and they will see a new-look party,” he said without divulging more details. “We [as the leaders] will be in the trenches and in the streets. We are not a boardroom party, we were born out of the ZCTU (Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions), a proactive organisation and everyone will now be involved from the party’s number one man [Tsvangirai] to the last.” Tsvangirai has been under pressure from critics for playing “smart armchair politics”, sacrificing party youth to demonstrate, while his entire leadership remained in the comfort of their homes and/or offices. It was not clear whether Tsvangirai would be involved in demonstrations planned to take place in Harare tomorrow.

Yesterday, party members used various social media platforms to circulate the message about the planned demonstration. Part of the message read: “Special notice to all comrades and friends, 2015 has come to an end with most of us having nothing to show for it. Zimbabweans continue to suffer in their motherland and outside.

“It is against this background and many that the MDC-T Harare province has organised a peaceful demonstration that is aimed at forcing the government to look into our plight and provide solutions in the possible time.”

The last time Tsvangirai participated in a public protest was in the 2007 Save Zimbabwe campaign, where he and several other party leaders were severely battered by State security agents.

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