Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was rallying supporters on Tuesday (July 23) as he again tries to unseat arch rival President Robert Mugabe in upcoming elections.
Tsvangirai held a rally in Murehwa, about 65 miles north of the capital Harare.
The area is a stronghold for Mugabe’s ZANU-PF and was one of the most volatile areas in the 2008 presidential election.
[Morgan Tsvangiri, MDC Leader]:
“We going for the elections, the choice is very, very clear, between old and young, between sunset-sunshine and darkness, between what is right and what is wrong, between violence and peace, between progress and despair, that’s the choice, it is very clear.”
Zimbabwe’s sole television station, state-owned and tightly controlled by Mugabe, has run adverts where three former lovers reveal how they were dumped by Tsvangirai.
That message is rubbing off on even die-hard Tsvangirai supporters.
The sex scandals, along with his failure to deliver on key promises while in government, have steadily eroded the strong support he once had.
Critics say Tsvangirai is woolly on policy and weak on principles.
They’re pointing to how readily he dropped opposition to Mugabe’s seizure of white-owned farms and how he took up the fight for media and security reform only weeks before the election.
His lieutenants argue Tsvangirai has taken the strategic view of pushing through a new constitution that balances power between the president and parliament.
The elections will be held on July 31.