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Tsvangirai vows to lead MDC until 2016

By Tichaona Sibanda

The MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Wednesday categorically made it clear he will not be forced to step down before his term comes to an end in 2016. 

Tsvangirai vows to lead MDC until 2016
Tsvangirai vows to lead MDC until 2016

“I am not going to step aside because newspapers say you should step aside…because ZANU PF says you should step aside. Where is that mandate?” asked Tsvangirai during a press conference.

He added: “If you believe in democratic principles, you use democratic means, which means they’re forums and programs where you put yourself up for election.”

Tsvangirai, who announced his new shadow cabinet during the press conference in Harare, said he cannot ‘abandon’ people in the middle of a struggle just “to satisfy ZANU PF, newspapers and certain individuals with a grudge against me.”

“I don’t intend to stay any day longer beyond my mandate. We are discussing this in the MDC openly unlike in other parties where its almost like taboo, even when one is almost 90 years old…it cannot be discussed,” he said.

He explained that the reason why he’s staying put is the fact the July election was stolen by ZANU PF. He also questioned the integrity of those asking for leadership renewal barely two years after being re-elected party leader.

“I was elected by congress of party delegates in 2006 and 2011. Next is 2016 and for somebody to ask me to abandon the responsibility and mandate I was given two years ago is not only irresponsible on my part, it is a betrayal of the people’s expectations and aspirations,” the MDC-T leader added.

Since the elections, the party has held two council meetings at which the issue of leadership renewal was discussed. But none of the party officials put up a motion asking him to step down. In between congresses, council has the responsibility of making resolutions to change its leadership.

‘”There is no sacred issue to debate in the MDC. If there is need for leadership renewal, don’t suppress it, we actually encourage it. But you don’t just walk up in the street and say ‘Tsvangirai must go’. There are processes that should be instituted and there are forums that will make that decision, and one of them is the congress,” emphasized Tsvangirai.

The party leader announced his shadow cabinet amid intense speculation over who will scoop the top jobs. Nelson Chamisa and Tendai Biti bounced back as shadow ministers of Communications and Media and Finance and Economic Development respectively.

Other senior figures successfully appointed include former Cabinet ministers Gordon Moyo, Lucia Matibenga, sam Sipepa Nkomo, Tapiwa Mashakada, Joel Gabbuza and Paurina Mpariwa. New comers in the cabinet include Youth Assembly chairman Solomon and Lilian Timveos, the only women provincial chairperson in the MDC-T and elected senator for Zvishavane. SW Radio Africa