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Tsvangirai says Mugabe should not use the ethnic card to propel his wife

Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai today blasted tribalism saying ethnicity breeds nepotism, regionalism, racism and xenophobia.

He said President Robert Mugabe should not use “the ethnic card to propel his wife, or anyone else for that matter, to succeed him in national leadership based solely on  selfishness and on tribal grounds”.

In a statement which also seemed to be targeted at his deputy Thokozani Khupe, who has refused to endorse the MDC Alliance, Tsvangirai said every Zimbabwean should have an opportunity to lead this nation regardless of his or her ethnic background.

He cited the example of the late Joshua Nkomo whom he said had been dubbed Father Zimbabwe and led the nation as a united people despite coming from a minority group.

“We cannot accept a situation where the country is subject of dynastic rule and tribal hegemony, which can only deprive other citizens of their rights,” Tsvangirai said.

 “We have condemned Mugabe and his tired nationalism. We will condemn him for using the ethnic card to propel his wife, or anyone else for that matter, to succeed him in national leadership based solely on selfishness and on tribal grounds.

“It is in this context that at the launch of the MDC Alliance in Bulawayo, President Tsvangirai bemoaned the current political discourse where we now hear about the 'Zezuru unconquerables, the Karanga  Invincibles, Ndebele hegemony and so forth.

“This for us means using ethnicity as a basis for dominating others and depriving them of their right to equal opportunity.

“It is on this basis that Mugabe has refused to resolve the national question, preferring instead to blackmail the nation while masterfully playing the ethnic card.”

Tsvangirai said Zimbabwe had suffered because of this needless evocation of ethnicity, which led to the Gukurahundi genocide in the 1980s.

It was therefore regrettable that in this digital age Zimbabwe would sink into the plumbing depths of ethnicity instead of building a prosperous nation underpinned by growth, unity and inclusivity.

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