- Published on 22 July 2014
- Written by New Zim
MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has assured supporters he will not be conned again by President Robert Mugabe as he presses for new talks to help right the country's failing economy.
The former premier has told Mugabe to organise a new round of negotiations on the way forward, accusing the veteran leader and his party of failing to take the country out of its seemingly unending economic mire.
Tsvangirai blames the economic woe on what he describes as a legitimacy crisis arising from the July 2013 elections.
"Mugabe should be pushed out of power not to wait for a miracle to happen. He should know that he has no legitimacy. Zanu PF has already reached the dead end. Where will they go?," Tsvangirai told supporters at a weekend rally in Bulawayo.
Zanu PF has not refused to talk, seeing in the proposed dialogue an opportunity. The ruling party said it was open to talks on condition Tsvangirai accepts he was defeated fair and square in the 2013 vote which the MDC-T has dismissed as a monumental fraud.
Tsvangirai was handed an ineffectual prime minister's position when he agreed to form a coalition government with Mugabe and his Zanu PF party after the violent but inconclusive 2008 elections.
The MDC-T leader soon realised he had been fooled. He was readily told to stop imagining or pretending that he was the head of government while ministers from Zanu PF side of the coalition pretty much gave him little regard throughout the tenure of the fractious administration.
And to drive the point home, the vast State media apparatus was instructed to every day remind Tsvangirai of his reduced situation by prefacing any reference to Mugabe with the title ‘Head of state and government as well as commander in chief of the Zimbabwe defence forces'.
So burdened with minimal responsibilities and virtually no authority, Tsvangirai was also unable to push through reforms he needed to ensure credible future elections.
Even so, critics say he also took his eye of the ball, sated to distraction by the spoils of being in government.
Never again, the MDC-T leader however, assured supporters in Bulawayo at the weekend.
"They (Zanu PF) are now saying let's talk. If they come now, we are a little bit cleverer; we will start by dismantling their hegemony and then form a government," he said.
"Last time I think we were a bit foolish by going into a GNU (government of nation unity) without destroying this hegemony. However we have learnt from our mistakes."
Meanwhile, the opposition leader, battling to keep a firm hold on power following another damaging split in the MDC, travels to the UK this week to meet supporters as well as raise funds for a congress scheduled for October.
He will also try to reassure allies in the West that he remains the leading opposition voice in Zimbabwe at an event organised by the Royal Institute of International Affairs, commonly known as Chatham House.
The former premier is expected to "reflect on recent developments within MDC-T, the importance of strengthening opposition politics for Zimbabwe's future and the role that international partners can play in Zimbabwe's democratic progress."
Former financial supporters in the West, frustrated with Tsvangirai's failure to topple Mugabe over the last 15 years, have reportedly switched their backing to the rival MDC Renewal Team.