Tsvangirai hints at stepping down


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Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who has been in and out of hospital of late, has hinted at stepping down but did not say whether this would be before or after this year’s elections.

In his New Year message today, Tsvangirai said he was using the new year “not only to reflect on the onerous journey that we have travelled together but also to peer with renewed hope into a bright future.

“I am looking at the imminent prospects of us as the older generation leaving the levers of leadership to allow the younger generation to take forward this huge task that we started together so many years ago with our full blessing and support.”

In the New Year message which read more like a valedictory, Tsvangirai said: “It was therefore not by accident but by design that when I disclosed to you my health status, I also took a bold step to appoint an additional two Vice Presidents to assist me.

“As I have said before, while politicians only think about the next election, true statesmen think about the next generation, for current leaders are only but caretakers for future generations. We do not have any entitlement to lead but we have a duty to serve.

“We must recognize the imperative that new hands, with the full blessing of the people, must take this struggle and this country forward with the destination remaining the same – a society that prides itself for not leaving anyone behind in their pursuit of freedom, prosperity and happiness. That is the only lasting legacy and precedence that we must leave to future generations.”

Tsvangirai who left for South Africa for a medical check-up on Friday left Elias Mudzuri in charge of the party.

But there has been speculation that he is grooming Nelson Chamisa for the top post.

Tsvangirai also welcomed President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s visit to his Highlands home just before he left for South Africa.

“For me, that visit to my residence by the new President was significant not only in terms of the content of what we discussed but in the import of its overall relevance,” he said.

“The visit signaled what must be the bane of the new politics of our time that an opposition party, especially one represented in our national Parliament, does not in any way constitute an enemy of the State. The opposition is just as patriotic and aspires and wishes for the best for our people.

“Indeed, my engagement with President Mnangagwa must herald a new page in our politics—-a page in which the opposition is considered a partner and not an enemy of the State. The visit can be built upon by truly well-meaning Zimbabweans to herald a new politics of engagement in our country.”

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The Insider

The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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