PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe should have stepped down after the Government of National Unity (GNU) as the country was on course for peace and development after years of strife and misrule, opposition MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangairai has said.
"Mugabe lost an opportunity to rest at the end of the five years of GNU," the former premier said on Saturday.
"I used to ask him 'ko Mudhara hamufunge kuti yasvikawo nguva yekuti munozorora?' (don't you think it's high time for you to step down).
"He would say you are right but 'zvino ndinosiira ani' (who do I hand over power to), there is chaos in my party Zanu-PF.
"But nhai mudhara munofunga kuti pamunofa muchamedza Zanu-PF kuenda nayo here (do you think you will be buried with your party)?
"Leave your party supporters to (choose) their next leader. Go and rest and they will come and consult you on some of the things because you have been here and there for a very long time."
The MDC-T leader was addressing hundreds of party supporters who were gathered at the Mufakose home of the late Harare province Senator Ronia Bunjira who passed on Saturday after a long battle with cancer.
Tsvangirai was appointed prime minister after the inconclusive and violent 2008 elections, sharing power in a coalition administration with Mugabe for five years until the 2013 vote which was won by the Zanu PF leader.
"Think of it; after the GNU if Mugabe had said, now that you have been working together for the last five years very well, why not go for another five years as GNU and then you go for elections.
"What a better country will this nation would have been," said the MDC-T leader.
Tsvangirai also revealed that he had a discussion with one of the top Generals in the Zimbabwe National Army on the way the security services handled the 2008 election crisis.
"I was talking to an army general and I said to him, 'the bad thing about it now is that in 2008 you refused to hand over power to MDCT and me. But look at it now, the messy you have created for yourself, your children and everyone around us'.
"We are all losers. In your own family, you have a degreed child, unemployed, some of them will soon get to retirement age without having worked or seen a payslip.
"Allow the people's voice to be respected."
Tsvangirai also saluted Zanu-PF legislators Monica Mutsvangwa and Beatrice Nyamupinga who were among the mourners for paying their respects to the late Bunjira saying, as politicians they may differ in principle and ideology on how to run the country, "But, at the end of the day, we are all Zimbabweans".
The late MDC-T Harare province chairlady will be buried in her rural home at Mandeya Senga village in Honde Valley, Manicaland province on Tuesday.