President Robert Mugabe has rejected opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s call for an early return to the polls, rubbishing the demand as “ridiculous.”
George Charamba, Mugabe’s official spokesperson, yesterday said Tsvangirai’s letter to Southern African Development Community (Sadc) leaders calling for fresh polls because last year’s poll was allegedly rigged by the 90-year-old Zanu PF leader was a “joke.”
“Who is the chair of the Sadc?” Charamba asked, referring to Mugabe’s assumption of the rotating chairmanship of the 15-nation regional grouping.
“It’s ridiculous and that’s what it is. It is a good joke.”
Mugabe’s spokesperson said the president will not lose sleep over the MDC youths’ threats to stage demonstrations weekly to press for fresh polls.
“This is not a serious issue to worry about. This is nothing,” Charamba said.
Rugare Gumbo, Zanu PF spokesperson, said Tsvangirai’s letter exposed the opposition leader as “a hopeless” leader.
“That’s nonsense,” Gumbo said. “It is a waste of time by a hopeless person.
“The police are there to ensure there is peace and they will deal with anyone hell-bent on creating mayhem and despondency,” Gumbo said in response to MDC threats to unfurl demonstrations.
Tsvangirai, 62, wrote to Sadc demanding fresh elections, claiming that last year’s polls were rigged by Mugabe.
In a damning letter to the Sadc Troika of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security, Tsvangirai said a compromise to produce a government that might save Zimbabwe from further financial calamity was proving elusive.
The MDC leader’s emissaries handed the letter to the regional leaders at the two-day summit in Victoria Falls last weekend, as hundreds of anti-government MDC protesters began a jobs march in the capital yesterday, raising fears of political instability.
“As we write to you, we are aware that Mr Mugabe, the man at the centre of the illegitimate government in Harare, is the incoming chairperson of Sadc,” Tsvangirai’s letter says.
“It is in this respect that we hope that the Sadc Troika, to which we have addressed this letter, will take seriously our position on the developments in the country, which developments are slowly gravitating towards an inevitable implosion.
“We in the MDC have waited long enough for truly free and fair elections. We have faith in Sadc as an institution and the dedication of its member states to ensure peace and good, democratic governance in our region.”
The MDC also said it would be unfurling weekly protests until their demands are met.
“We in the MDC are drawing a line in the sand and we hereby inform our colleagues in Sadc, well in advance, that the people of Zimbabwe shall be writing their own script for an endgame to the struggle for freedom and democracy in Zimbabwe,” Tsvangirai warned.