How President Mugabe challenged Tswangirai for form MDC
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has no decent power to address individuals on how awful the MDC-T and its pioneer Morgan Tsvangirai are on account of he set up the restriction party, a war veterans pioneer has said.
The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association representative Douglas Mahiya said Mugabe constrained Tsvangirai, then secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, out of Zanu PF before testing the exchange unionist to a political battle.
“Tsvangirai was Zanu PF and was, as has happened with numerous others including war veterans, constrained out of the gathering. Mugabe in the late 90s additionally tested Tsvangirai to a political battle and by and by requesting that he form a political party,” Mahiya
Morgan Tswangira with Mugabe
“So, Mugabe cannot tell anyone about how good or bad the MDC-T is to the country’s politics because it’s his baby. If he had not pushed Tsvangirai out and challenged him to a political fight there would not have been an MDC-T to talk about,” he added Mahiya.
Tsvangirai, then leader of the ZCTU, led popular protests against Mugabe’s government demanding better working conditions for workers. An irate Mugabe then challenged the labour leader to join full-time politics.
The then united MDC was formed in September 1999 and almost dislodged Mugabe from power. Ahead of the 2000 elections Mugabe triggered violent farm invasions and land expropriations as well as general chaos across the country’s democratic institutions including the courts to retain power.
War veterans, led by the late Chenjerai Hunzvi at the time, were used as shock-troopers after government doled out $50 000 in the then local currency to each of the thousands of former freedom fighters as a token of appreciation for their role in the bush war that brought independence.
The military was also roped in with the generals, in 2002, issuing a chilling statement now infamously called the “straight-jacket” declaration in which they warned that only those who had fought in the liberation struggle had a right to rule Zimbabwe.
Tsvangirai went on to defeat Mugabe in the first round of 2008 polls before the Zanu PF leader again resorted to blood-letting in a one man run-off election.
The MDC-T leader has since been joined by Mugabe’s former deputy Joice Mujuru who was forced out of Zanu PF in December 2014 before she formed the Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) party. Leading figures in the war veterans movement have also been shown the door and the relations between Mugabe and the former freedom fighters has continued on a down-ward spiral since the ZNLWVA issued a damning statement urging the Zanu PF leader to leave office.