Tsvangirai told delegates to the launch of a panel of elders on Friday in Harare that SADC and Zuma have remained patient despite provocations by Zanu-PF spin doctors and other hardliners intent on torpedoing the inclusive government.
Zuma and SADC have since the March Troika summit in Livingstone, Zambia, come under fire from Zanu-PF functionaries, after it was recommended that the Global Political Agreement should be fully implemented.
The meeting also called for an end to state-sponsored political violence and creation of an election road map, demands the Zanu-PF has refused to meet.
The party’s officials have cast aspersions on Zuma’s adviser, Lindiwe Zulu, in the state media, with calls for her to be removed from Zuma’s facilitation team as she is seen to be “parroting” MDC views after she said Zimbabwe was not ready for elections this year.
But despite the attacks on Zuma and SADC’s role, Tsvangirai said he was grateful for their intervention. “I wish to thank SADC and the facilitator, President Jacob Zuma, for their patience and hard work.
“Despite unnecessary provocation, they have retained their firm and unwavering commitment to the crafting of a road map to ensure a peaceful electoral environment that will not breed another contested outcome.”
Zanu-PF has been pushing for harmonised polls with or without a new constitution, against the advice of SADC and the other two partners in the inclusive government.
Tsvangirai also took a swipe at top military officials said to be demanding elections this year. He said Zimbabwe’s situation was being compounded by the war psychosis – the constant reference to Chimurenga and the war talk associated with it.
“It puts the country in an unnecessary war mode because any war environment necessitates the suspension of the constitution and the undermining of the civilian authority. We cannot have peace unless all these issues have been dealt with. Statements by service chiefs that they will not respect the people’s will only serve to confirm the uniqueness of our situation and the importance of vaccinating state organs from acting like political entities,” he said.