MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai says President Robert Mugabe must step down immediately to pave way for a transitional mechanism to take Zimbabwe to a new dispensation.
He was speaking during a press conference held in Harare Thursday, a day after he returned from South Africa where he was being treated for cancer.
Tsvangirai condemned President Mugabe for refusing to relinquish power after having presided over violent and rigged elections for almost four decades saying regional bodies have tolerated him for too long.
He emphasized the need for a negotiated transitional mechanism in which all the stakeholders would be involved in solving the Zimbabwe crisis.
"In the interest of the people, Mugabe must resign and step down immediately in line with national expectations and sentiments, taking full regard of his legacy and contribution to Zimbabwe pre and post-independence.
"Noting that the end game, the destination point to the resolution of the crisis in Zimbabwe a total return to legitimacy and fully civilian rule through a credible, free and fair election under a truly independent and international supervision.
"There will be a negotiated all inclusive transitional mechanism process and all national stakeholders should be involved in that process," said Tsvangirai.
His remarks come days after the army took over control of the country on Tuesday morning and put Mugabe under house arrest.
In his message, Tsvangirai urged parties involved in the crisis to agree to a total return to full democracy, credible, free and fair elections.
"Reforms should be implemented before any elections are held. There should be an agreed post- election framework to guaranteed stability, peace and national prosperity but SADC, AU and all international bodies should be underwriters and guarantors to the road map to the free and free election.
"We need free and fair elections in order to return to civilian rule. Zimbabweans can solve their own problems with the solidarity of the international community."
He then applauded war veterans and the army for the work done in their respective responsibilities.
"We acknowledge the work done by war veterans for liberating the country and the army for respecting the citizens' fundamental rights at this moment."