By Dylan Murambgi
Harare, July 16, 2016 – MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has dismissed claims by South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) secretary general Gwede Mantashe Zimbabwe’s recent protests were being sponsored by the west.
Zimbabwe recently experienced a wave of protests spearheaded by activist groups, top among them #ThisFlag campaign and #Tajamuka which are demanding President Robert Mugabe’s retirement for failed leadership.
The protests led to a successful business and work shutdown countrywide two weeks ago.
Government claims the protests were being sponsored by western countries relentlessly pursuing regime change in the country.
Similarly, Mantashe recently chose to read from the Zanu PF hymn book, telling the world that the ANC believed there was a “programme” targeted at the region adding it was concerned “about the recent upsurge of destabilisation activities in Zimbabwe and Mozambique”.
He said long-standing economic problems in Zimbabwe should “never give a license to regime change elements to revive restlessness in Zimbabwe”.
Asked to comment, Tsvangirai said on Friday Mantashe was lost in his assessment of the Zimbabwean situation, adding that the main opposition will soon engage ANC to enlighten it on the real situation in Zimbabwe.
“My friend Gwede is totally a square peg in a round hole,” Tsvangirai said at a press briefing in Harare.
“He is totally out of touch with what is happening to Zimbabweans. He cannot say when the ANC fought for their liberation…the people of Zimbabwe have no right to express themselves for their freedom.
“It’s not out of context; we have not been influenced by anyone. When people express themselves, governments and leaders must listen.”
Tsvangirai said Zimbabweans knew better what they wanted and would not wait for foreigners to sponsor them to express them.
“The people of this country have expressed themselves in a number of ways including the fact that they voted an MDC government in 2008 which was then denied,” he said.
“We will be engaging the ANC we will not avoid them we will be engaging Comrade Gwede Mantashe and try to put him into picture about how the people of this country actually feel and that what’s he has to listen to.”