Tsvangirai to lead Masvingo demo today

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By Blessings Mashaya

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai will lead MDC’s demonstration against President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF’s misrule in Masvingo today.

Leading from the front: Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and his wife Elizabeth
Leading from the front: Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and his wife Elizabeth during an MDC protest in Harare this year

Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka, told the Daily News that the former prime minister — recently diagnosed with colon cancer — “was ready to carry on with the struggle”.

“Tsvangirai will definitely be in Masvingo. He himself has said he is actually more worried about the country’s political economy, which is in a dire state, rather than his health,” Tamborinyoka said.

“As Tsvangirai said, misgovernance and just plain cluelessness at the national level have become a more dangerous cancer, even more dangerous than cancer of the colon,” he said, adding that Tsvangirai “is more worried about people who are struggling to get food”.

Tsvangirai and the MDC — credited with steadying the country’s shaky economy between 2009 and 2013 after agreeing to share power with long-serving Mugabe under a coalition government — have staged three mega demonstrations in Harare, Bulawayo and Mutare over the past three months.

MDC spokesperson, Obert Gutu, said the Masvingo protest is to register displeasure with Zanu PF’s continuing misrule, the party’s failure to fulfil its 2013 election promises to create 2, 2 million new jobs, as well as demand answers and transparency on Mugabe’s recent claim that $15 billion in diamond money was stolen, among other things.

“The Masvingo demo is one of several marches that the MDC will be rolling out as part of our road map to a new and democratic Zimbabwe,” Gutu said.

“The MDC has always advocated for peaceful resistance to the Zanu PF dictatorship. We will be demonstrating against the Zanu PF regime’s failure to provide jobs for the people, contrary to their election promises.”

According to Gutu, the MDC will also be demonstrating against lack of adequate government support for the starving.

“As you know, Masvingo is one of the hardest hit provinces when it comes to issues to do with food security. Thousands of villagers are on the verge of starvation in Masvingo province and the government hasn’t been providing adequate food aid.

“The little food that comes is distributed on partisan lines only to Zanu PF supporters. The people of Masvingo province are hungry and angry. In addition, the MDC is also very concerned about the humanitarian disaster that is currently affecting villagers who were resettled to make way for the construction of the Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam.”

Since Mugabe and Zanu PF won the hotly-disputed 2013 elections, the economy has been on a downward spiral, with thousands of companies shutting down and hundreds of thousands of people losing their jobs — worsening poverty levels in the troubled country.

In recent months, economists have said Zimbabwe has once again hit the depths of humanitarian and economic crisis that were last experienced in 2008, when the country’s seemingly unending political crisis precipitated an economic meltdown of monumental proportions. Daily News