Tsvangirai Calls For International Support Ahead Of Polls In Zimbabwe

Tsvangirai was speaking at the World Justice Forum in Barcelona, Spain. He said the country has been facing stumbling blocks to credible polls in the country as security chiefs are still making statements that they will not support any democratically elected leader who is not President Robert Mugabe or someone who does not have liberation war credentials.

Tsvangirai said over 500 people were murdered in the deadly political violence after he won the first round of the presidential vote in 2008. The violence was mainly blamed on Zanu PF militia. Tsvangirai pulled out of the presidential run-off citing the violence.

“I urge you all to be global citizens; to be responsible citizens of the world who will fight injustice and violence anywhere in the world, including Zimbabwe. I call upon you to support the people of Zimbabwe as they navigate through this delicate transition into a new country, with new values and a new ethos,” Tsvangirai said.

“I may be standing before you as leader of Zimbabwe’s biggest political party.  But the struggle facing the country goes beyond the person of Morgan Tsvangirai or the party I lead.  The challenge before us is to make sure that this does not happen again. We must avoid the circus that began in Kenya, was perfected in Zimbabwe and backfired in the Ivory Coast. It is indeed a disturbing trend which must be discouraged where incumbents who lose an election are smuggled back through dubious power-sharing arrangements.”

 Tsvangirai said the date for the next elections is going to be defined by a process after all key areas of the election roadmap which include the contentious security sector reforms are done. The Global Political Agreement political parties in the country meet early next month to finish the roadmap to be submitted before the full SADC summit in August.
“A roadmap characterized by security sector realignment, a credible and neutral secretariat of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, a biometric voters’ roll, extensive  reforms and a new Constitution coupled with foolproof mechanisms to ensure security of the person and security of the vote. Yes, join us in a global campaign for a peaceful election in our country because true democracy is possible in Zimbabwe. The world must stand by us as we try to agree and implement a roadmap to a free and fair poll,” Tsvangirai said.