The family of the late MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday challenged President Emmerson Mnangagwa and opposition leader Nelson Chamisa to swallow their pride and urgently settle their political differences to end the country’s economic meltdown.
In an interview with NewsDay ahead of commemorations to mark the death of the late former Premier two years ago, Tsvangirai’s younger brother, Manase, said his elder brother agreed to enter into a unity government with the later former President Robert Mugabe in 2009 after defeating him in March 2008 to save the nation from sinking into the abyss.
“The people are suffering. The current situation should bring everybody on board,” Manase said.
“It was not the dream of Morgan Tsvangirai to see the people suffering. That is why after defeating Mugabe in March 2018, he accepted to enter into a unity government with him to save people from suffering. He was a selfless leader who put people first in all his decisions.
“I am challenging President Mnangagwa and MDC leader Nelson Chamisa to put people first and swallow their pride and enter into dialogue.”
Tsvangirai died on February 14, 2018 in South Africa, where he was undergoing treatment for colon cancer.
He was succeeded by Chamisa, who represented the party in a watershed poll in July 2018, but refused to accept defeat to Mnangagwa.
Pressure has been mounting on Mnangagwa and Chamisa to engage in talks that could end the country’s economic challenges characterised by hyperinflation, shortage of goods like fuel, mealie-meal among others, and extortionate prices against sub-economic salaries.
Former South African leader Thabo Mbeki was in the country in December last year to try and cajole the two into dialogue, which is expected to arrest the country’s political and economic downfall.
“The two (Mnangagwa and Chamisa) should swallow their pride and enter into dialogue to stop people’s suffering. This does not even need a foreign envoy. The dialogue should simply be anchored on sincerity. Zimbabweans problems can be resolved internally,” Manase said.
He said Tsvangirai could have outrightly won the 2018 elections against Mnangagwa and urged Zimbabweans to redefine their destiny.
“Zimbabwe is not a private property, it does not belong to Zanu PF, and neither does it belong to MDC. It belongs to everybody. Once we understand that, the bickering will stop. Zimbabwe will be there forever. We had Mugabe, he is gone, so was Tsvangirai, but Zimbabwe is still there. We should think deeply about what we want to leave for our children,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chamisa has said today should be declared Tsvangirai day to commemorate the life of the former Prime Minister.
In an interview yesterday, Chamisa, who was in Bulawayo to meet party structures, said the day could not go unnoticed in the eyes of the MDC.
He said the opposition party had lined up provincial in-house activities to celebrate and commemorate the life of the founding party president.
“Tsvangirai is the founder, an icon of the democratic movement in Zimbabwe and our honour and respect is to do with his accomplishments, his contributions but more importantly the values that he set. February 14 is a day of love,” Chamisa said.
“His love for humanity is what caused him to dedicate his whole adulthood to the struggle. We will celebrate him in style and so we have lined up a number of activities because, for us, February 14 is the Morgan Tsvangirai Day.”