Addressing multitudes of his supporters at Sakubva Hall in Mutare at the week end,Tsvangirai, who is also the country’s Prime Minister said: “We will go for the elections but we dont want the elections to be like a war; the elections must be non violent. We want the elections to be free, fair and credible.
“After the elections, the will of the people must be respected by allowing the winner to take charge,” said Tsvangirai.
The MDC leader was apparently making reference to the last elections in 2008 when his party beat Zanu PF but was never allowed to take charge of the national affairs.
President Mugabe retained the presidency after a controversial re-run in which he stood alone and beat no one. Tsvangirai pulled out of the race at the last minute citing gross violence against his supporters by Zanu PF elements.
Tsvangirai appealed to war veterans fingered in violence in the rural and farming areas to desist from acts of violence and have self respect.
He said before the elections, a new voters’ roll should be in place while foreign election observers should be allowed into the country prior to the plebiscite.
“We must have Sadc and African Union election observers before we can hold the elections. A proper voters’ roll should also be available to ensure all those that are above 18 years can go and vote. An independent electoral commission should be in place before that election," he said.
He said Zimbabweans should shun violence ahead of the elections and urged his supporters to register as voters.
“You must not just support the party, you have to go further than that by registering as voters so that you vote overwhelmingly for your party,” Tsvangirai told his party’s cheering crowd.
The MDC leader said Mugabe had failed to comply with the country’s constitution and the GPA through his unilateral appointments of provincial governors and ambassadors without consulting the other principals in the inclusive government.
He said the failure by Mugabe to appoint MDC national treasurer Roy Bennet as Deputy Minister for Agriculture and consult the premier on some of the appointments was annoying and made the oprations of government difficult.
Tsvangirai’s meeting in Mutare was aimed at meeting with his supporters to get their views on the challenges the party is facing.
He was accompanied to the eastern border city by some of his top party members,including secretary general Tendai Biti, organizing secretary Elias Mudzuri, party spokesperson, Nelson Chamisa, youth chairperson Thamsanga Mahlangu and women’s assembly chairperson Theresa Makone. -Daily News