Tsvangirai Should Have Seized Power From Robert Mugabe – Sikhala
HARARE – The new President of MDC-S, Job Sikhala says Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai should have seized power from President Robert Mugabe soon after last year’s elections.
Sikhala, who himself claims he has toppled his own party president, Mutambara, says Tsvangirai should have declared himself President without opting for a unity arrangement that has subordinated him to Mugabe, whom he says is "a legitimate election thief”.
“If I were Morgan Tsvangirai, I was going to do exactly what I have done to Mutambara today,” Sikhala said Tuesday evening.
He was addressing journalists at the Quill Club, Harare’s press club.
“I was going to declare myself President and was going to ask everyone including international diplomats to come and pay homage to me, " he said. " I was also going to ask the entire international community to recognise my government to say that I have won the elections, I am now the commander-in-chief of the armed forces."
Tsvangirai won the inconclusive March 29 elections but withdrew his candidature a week before the run-off election marred with massive State sponsored volence which claimed the lives of an estimated 200 MDC supporters.
He is now part of the transitional government that has left Mugabe as Head of State while he became Prime Minister with executive powers.
The former St Mary’s legislator said he has ousted Mutambara, now Deputy Prime Minister, whom he accuses of joining hands with Tsvangirai to surrender power to Mugabe through the unity arrangement.
“The verdict of the election was supposed to be respected. When we formed the MDC we did not form it because we wanted to one day go and share power with Robert Mugabe. We wanted total power,” said Sikhala, who moves around with dozens of followers who accompany most of his comments with bursts of applause.
Sikhala said he was on 13 January, 2003, tortured by the police CID Law and Order division for challenging Mugabe’s rule.
“I was not fighting for him to sit on table and enjoy chocolates with Mugabe,” he said.
He said his assumed status as leader of the smaller MDC is anchored on the support of 90 percent of the beleaguered party’s national executive council members and provinces.
“The revolution has been betrayed,” said Sikhala. “I have taken over the reigns of power in the MDC. I am going to continue with the struggle alongside the majority of the members in my party. Arthur Mutambara is no longer the proper commander-in-chief of my party. He is no longer fighting for the cause of the people. He is now enjoying the crumbs that are falling from the table of King Robert Mugabe.”
Sikhala said those who doubt his actions should do so at their own peril.
“I am a man who says something and follows up on it. I am prepared to die for it and mean it that I have overthrown Mutambara. The total control of power is now in my hands.”
Sikhala said he will call for an extra ordinary congress at the Chitungwiza Aquatic Complex in April next year that will bring in 6000 delegates to choose a new MDC leadership.
In between, he says, he would organise for “massive demonstrations” both as “a show of strength” and to denounce the leadership of Mutambara and his secretary general Welshman Ncube, whom he says were being assisted by the state machinery cling to power.
Sikhala claims the two MDC formations have connived to abandon the founding values of the MDC at the formation of the inclusive government and joined Mugabe’s way of thinking.
He said Mugabe has stuck to his guns by remained uncompromising on his position on land, his one party state ideology, and his strong condemnation of the West and their sanctions.
He said the two MDC formations have taken Mugabe’s positions of forgiving all perpetrators of political violence without any justice and have also taken Mugabe’s position of having government dominating the current constitution making process.
“To some of us who have suffered so severely under Robert Mugabe’s dictatorship for the past 10 years, we say this is not the solution," said Sikhala. “There must be truth and justice where those who tortured and killed must confess to the people of Zimbabwe and if they are given clemency, it must be on the basis of their repentance. We are moving away from the act of Mugabe who who thinks that Zanu PF should be the beginning and end of politics in Zimbabwe."
He said he has written to Lovemore Moyo, the Speaker of Parliament and the Clerk of Parliament ask them to ignore the expulsion of three rebel MPs from the MDC.
They are Nkayi South MP, Abednico Bhebhe, Njabuliso Mguni (Lupane East) and Norman Mpofu (Bulilima East).
Sikhala says the three were being victimed by Mutambara and Ncube as they were among the three quarters of the MDC national executive council members who have passed a vote of no confidence in the two.
“The revolution is now being betrayed by political pretenders. So we saw it that it was better for us to snatch.”