New Zimbabwe (London)

13 June 2014

Zimbabwe: Scandal-Hit Tsvangirai Must Quit, Zinasu

THE Zimbabwe National Students Union (Zinasu) has called on MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai to voluntarily step-down and make way for a new visionary leader for the fracturing opposition party.

The MDC-T has split into two after Tsvangirai rejected calls to retire by a group now calling itself the MDC Renewal Team which is led by former finance minister Tendai Biti and Elton Mangoma who headed the energy portfolio in the last coalition government.

In a statement released this week by Zinasu president Gilbert Mutubuki, the group backed the MDC Renewal Team's calls for leadership and organisation rejuvenation in the MDC-T.

They also urged Zimbabweans to unite and form a grand coalition to defeat Zanu PF in the 2018 polls.

"Zinasu urges the citizens to form a grand coalition that will champion their causes," the students organisation said.

"Zinasu is a serious organisation which does not follow individuals but ideas and therefore it is more than ready to unite with any progressive institutions that are prepared to continue with the democratic struggle.

"Morgan Tsvangirai (the suspended MDC President) can no longer inspire."

Zinasu said students were among the progressive groups which decided to form the MDC in 1999 with the objective of bringing democracy to the country and ending serious economic hardships facing ordinary Zimbabweans.

"This led to the formation of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) (and) the main aim was to have a democratic party which can fight for democracy and a better life for all Zimbabweans," the group said.

"The party was supposed to be guided by democratic principles and a people driven ideology. However, in the long run, the party of the people was hijacked by selfish individuals for selfish reasons who masqueraded as godfathers of the (democratic) revolution.

"Zinasu worked tirelessly for the MDC to win the 2008 harmonised elections. However, Morgan Tsvangirai failed to grab power and later on agreed to enter into the Government of National Unity (GNU), where he was more of a ceremonial Prime Minister than a leader. "During the GNU, Morgan Tsvangirai worked hard to divide the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and the student movement (Zinasu) by taking sides in the labour and student movements' (disputes)."

Zinasu also hit out at the former prime minister over scandals in his private life.

"The ceremonial Prime Minister started to chase after city ladies like a post puberty boy instead of fighting the democratic struggle," the union said in its statement.

"This drove the MDC to contest in July 31 2013 elections without the necessary reforms which were proposed before the formation of the GNU in 2009.

"Zinasu agreed that the electoral defeat in 2013 was caused by a philosophy of poverty if not poverty of philosophy of Morgan Tsvangirai who relaxed in the comfort of the GNU forgetting the mandate which was upon him.

"It's time to part ways and start a fresh political ground for the students. Now there are unconstitutional and undemocratic suspensions in the MDC by Tsvangirai for anyone who differs with the party leader.

"Violence is taking place at each and every rally; and some party leaders aligned to Tsvangirai are unleashing youths to assault other party leaders who differ with them. "Is this democracy? Is Tsvangirai still fighting for democracy? Or it's now personal struggle?"

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