ZIMBABWE – MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Saturday said President Robert Mugabe blundered by firing a younger leader in former Vice-President Joice Mujuru, as he continued his charm offensive to entice the frozen Zanu PF veteran into a coalition ahead of the 2018 elections.
Tsvangirai told mourners in Wedza during the burial of Harare deputy mayor councillor Thomas Muzuva that Mugabe no longer had the capacity to lead the country.
He said Mugabe and Zanu PF had failed and given the current crisis, the country could implode by December. He said Mujuru could have done a better job than Mugabe.
“There are people who are 90-something but they fire someone who is 60 years old, that is a serious contradiction. The young must fight, while the old take a rest,” the MDC-T leader said in a pointed jibe at Mugabe.
Ninety-one-year-old Mugabe fired Mujuru (60), last December after First Lady, Grace led a vicious campaign against Zimbabwe’s first female Vice-President accusing her of corruption, gossip and plotting to kill her husband.
Mugabe accused Mujuru of using Nigerian witchdoctors in the alleged bid to topple him but his former deputy described the claims as ‘presidential fancy.’
Mujuru this month published her vision for Zimbabwe, which was described as a manifesto that signaled her return to active politics by observers.
A group of Zanu PF officials fired for allegedly supporting her faction are regrouping under an outfit known as People First and claim she is their leader.
Tsvangirai’s conciliatory tone towards Mujuru came a few days after reports that coalition talks between MDC-T and People First were stalling because of mistrust.
The former Prime Minister praised Mujuru after the publication of her manifesto describing her as bold.
Yesterday he said since Zanu PF had failed to deliver, “it is time for the opposition to give the country a fresh direction in terms of policy”.
“Those who are good go first, it is a pity for the country that only murderers and thieves remain behind,” he said.
“It is sad to loose future leaders of this movement. Our problem is we face a serious crisis that if the ruling party cannot move the country out of this crisis it is incumbent upon the opposition to act.
“We should find a way because at this rate the country is likely to implode by December let alone 2018 (the year Zimbabwe is expected to hold the next elections)”.
He ruled out another inclusive government with Zanu PF saying the ruling party was insincere as shown by its behaviour in 2013.
“What we want to tell Zanu PF is you failed and called us for unity, now you are comfortable after we helped you,” he said.
“Life was miserable for the people. Instead of helping the people we helped Zanu PF. After 2013, they thought they would get away with it but look, we are in a crisis again.”
The MDC formations and Zanu PF last week dismissed reports that they were holding secret talks in an attempt to halt the economic crisis in the country.
Meanwhile, Tsvangirai described Muzuva as a true national hero who fought for people adding that “genuine heroes did not need Mugabe to pronounce them.”
“We are burying a hero; real heroes do not need a President to say there is a hero. He advanced the interests of the people before his own interests,” Tsvangirai said.
Muzuva died of colon cancer last week. He was 43.
Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni led his councillors while the MDC-T leadership, acting town clerk Josephine Ncube, Chief Svosve and several other mourners attended the funeral.