By Phil Tejane|
Embattled Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) president Morgan Tsvangirai has launched his ‘election campaign’ amid claims by his closest advisers that Robert Mugabe’s regime was bankrupt and about to collapse.
The campaign has already taken Tsvangirai to impoverished townships in Harare, including Epworth and Hopley, in search of votes.
Senior party sources confirmed that Tsvangirai had secret information that Mugabe’s government was penniless and could be forced to give up power ‘soon’, leading to fresh elections.
“The Zanu PF regime is totally broke. It won’t last the next 180 days. Trust me,” said MDC-T spokesman Obert Gutu, without elaborating.
Tsvangirai is under pressure within his party to do something to depose Mugabe as the economy goes into tailspin and the democratic gains of the GNU coalition government period are lost. Supporters and party sponsors are angry that the opposition leader failed to organise street protests which he promised in 2014.
Government sources said Tsvangirai did not stage the mass protests after Mugabe threatened to throw him out of the plush Highlands state mansion where he lives and also cut his pension if he led the riots.
Although large crowds still follow Tsvangirai to rallies, analysts say the party’s best brains and key sponsors are gone, hence the party is broke and ‘directionless’.
“Tsvangirai has talked about leading street protests since August 2013 when he lost the election but they never happen. This has dented his credibility as an opposition leader and its only a matter of time before someone takes the initiative from him,” political analyst Chris Mitchell said. “When Tsvangirai abandoned the court challenge to Mugabe’s rigging in 2013 and pulled MDC-T out of all future elections, the logical next step would have been to go onto the streets. The protests never happened as promised, lending credence to reports that Tsvangirai was bought with the Highlands house and state pension.”
Tsvangirai has led the MDC-T since it was formed in 1999 but has repeatedly failed to remove Mugabe through elections or to make way for another leader. This led to a major split in 2014, with some of the party’s senior officials and major sponsors crossing over to the MDC Renewal Team led by former secretary-general Tendai Biti.
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