By Staff Reporter
Harare, February 06, 2016 – Opposition MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has extended an olive branch to his erstwhile comrades within the country’s divided opposition, insisting this was the only way the opposition could upstage Zanu PF in the 2018 national polls.
He was however quick to say he will not be arm-twisted by some politicians who want to use their big political profiles to make unrealistic demands as conditions to a possible merger.
“Petty squabbles and hatred of fellow opposition personalities must not cloud us from the patriotic responsibility to confront Zanu PF and to chart a new Zimbabwe together,” Tsvangirai told journalists in Harare on Friday.
The MDC founding President has twice broken ranks with some of his comrades during the party’s 16 year long history.
Following the splits, the former allies have used public fora to verbally attack and accuse each other of being pseudo democrats.
It is widely believed the first split in October 2005 weakened the once strong opposition and cost it victory in 2008, when Tsvangirai fell within a three per cent vote to land the presidency.
Tsvangirai, in his address on Friday, said the opposition “must outgrow the selfish mindset of thinking that we can go it alone”.
“We all need each other as a broad family of united, patriotic Zimbabweans if we are to bring a new democratic dispensation whose hour has come!” he said.
“We definitely need each other and that is why the party I lead took a resolution at the last Congress that we will work with other like-minded institutions to confront the beast.”
The MDC-T last year joined forces with few opposition parties to craft the so-christened National Electoral Reform Agenda, a document filled with demands for the democratisation of the country’s electoral playing field.
“As the broad democratic movement, we have many points of convergence and it behoves upon us to harp on those areas we agree on so that we work together for the sake of our country,” Tsvangirai said.
Tsvangirai said any merger with fellow opposition forces would be the “only game changer” ahead of the country’s next elections.
He urged the country’s opposition to unite and “re-ignite the floundering confidence of Zimbabweans”.
The former Premier urged the international community not to engage the Zimbabwean government if the latter was not prepared to abandon its undemocratic practices which have seen the country continously hold disputed polls and further being reduced into economic ruin and a pariah state.
This comes after the hostile West has in the recent past shown interest to mend long broken ties with President Mugabe’s administration.
In his address, Tsvangirai also warned Zanu PF against the continued politicisation of food aid which has seen party followers being denied hand outs for supporting the opposition.
He cautioned this could lead to angry opposition supporters to invade centres where food aid is stored to demand their shares.