Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai described the 2002 presidential elections which he lost to Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front leader Robert Mugabe by 427 000 votes as the “biggest fraud he has ever witnessed”.
This was Tsvangirai’s second election after he had lost a parliamentary seat in 2000 when his party almost upset ZANU-Pf by winning 57 of the 120 co0ntested seats.
Tsvangirai had taken the risk of running in a rural seat when he could have easily won an urban seat because he wanted to prove his popularity.
Tsvangirai said the 2002 election results did not reflect the will of the people and were illegitimate but ZANU-PF never backed down despite regional and international pressure.
Zimbabwe instead pulled out of the Commonwealth and has not rejoined since.
Tsvangirai polled 1 258 401 and has never managed to get so many votes after that even in 2008 when he beat Mugabe in the March elections.
In fact, the number of people voting for Tsvangirai has dwindled with every election since but he has always won more votes than all the legislators of the MDC combined.
This in effect means that less and less people have been voting for Tsvangirai as well as the MDC, something the party, or the alliance they have formed, must quickly address.
The latest poll this year showed that Tsvangirai had lost even more support and people would vote for Mugabe if elections were held today.
Though the MDC has rubbished the poll, a similar poll in 2012 showed that the MDC has lost almost half its support since joining the inclusive government.
The opposition party ignored this at its peril and lost dismally in 2013, though it claims the election was stolen.
Below are the first 100 of 726 Wikileaks cables on Tsvangirai.
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