Tsvangirai Urges Mugabe To Step Down

Zimbabwe’s Premier urged the country’s only president since independence to consider stepping down over age and health reasons.

Tsvangirai made the comments at a press conference in the capital after being asked by journalists, if indeed it was true that Mugabe had confided with the Premier that he wanted to resign from his job on
age and medical grounds.

Tsvangirai said nothing like that happened but urged the 87 year old leader to step down.

“I was saying that the question of age is catching up, the question of health is catching up and I am sure that advisably he would be in a position for the sake of the country, for the sake of his legacy and
for the sake of his children to consider stepping down that is all I said. I did not say categorically he assured me that he wanted to leave but was being held at ransom, surely that was an exaggeration by the media,” Tsvangirai said.

Tsvangirai could not be drawn into revealing the ailment that Mugabe is suffering from but hinted that it was not something simple.

“What you trying to draw me to say is what kind of ailment he is suffering from, maybe the attention of that is outside the country where he may get that kind of expertise and we don’t have that local expertise and what do you want him to do. He is not certainly suffering from Malaria as you would understand which we can obtain (the medicine) at the nearest hospital, there might be complications,” Tsvangirai said.

Tsvangirai also welcomed the decision by the Kimberley Process to allow Zimbabwe to sell diamonds from the controversial vast Marange fields. He said diamonds must be mined and sold in a transparent manner after reports that mines operating in Chiadzwa area are underestimating the values and thousands of carats being mined.