MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, has dismissed claims that he and his party ignored advice from SADC leaders sympathetic to their cause, not to take part in the July 2013 elections which the opposition claims were rigged.
The MDC-T took part in the harmonised polls which saw Zanu PF restore its yesteryear two thirds majority while President Robert Mugabe emerged a runaway victor in the presidential election.
Following continued haggling by Zanu PF and the opposition on the levelling on elusive electoral reforms, the MDC-T nonetheless plunged into the poll.
The party went on to lose extensively in the process with diplomatic sources saying Tsvangirai and the other MDC faction led by Welshman Ncube defied advice by SADC leaders to boycott the process.
Probably speaking publicly for the first time over the MDC-T’s participation, Tsvangirai said at a press briefing Friday no such advice came to his party.
“…I understand there are people who have been saying that the MDC-T participated in the 2013 elections against the advice of SADC, against the advice of some of the people in the country. Far from it,” said the former Prime Minister.
“SADC did not advise us in any manor or form not to participate. In fact, they acquiesced with a push by Mugabe to have an election in spite of the absence of reforms.”
Until the 2013 polls, SADC had mandated South Africa to see through negotiations for a transitional government and electoral reforms in the troubled country.
Meanwhile, the MDC-T leader has insisted his party will not go back on its decision to boycott future polls in the country held under the current electoral conditions he said favoured a Zanu PF victory.
“We have made an assessment that for as long as there is a conduct of elections the way election management is being carried out in this country, it will neither create democratic space nor will it liberate the people of Zimbabwe,” he said.
“My understanding is that an election is a contestation that the contest must be equal to all players.
“In this case, we have actually recognised that we are legitimising the fraud and the fraudulent activities of Zanu PF.”