MORGAN Tsvangirai has said he does not have any immediate plans to step down as MDC-T leader despite woefully fluffing his latest attempt to dislodge President Robert Mugabe from power.
Tsvangirai, who insists he won Wednesday's poll, told a media briefing at his Highlands residence Saturday that calls for him to relinquish the MDC leadership were misplaced as he still enjoyed the support of both his party and ordinary Zimbabweans.
“We did not lose this election. It is in the imaginary of Zanu PF that they have won it and yet they know the truth we have not lost the election,” Tsvangirai said.
“This is not a personal issue, this is a national issue. If the MDC lost this election then it is not Tsvangirai who has lost and actually l get my mandate from my party, from my followers that - that is where the mandate lies.
And so far, l have the full backing of the national council, l have the full backing of the people of Zimbabwe, until such a time that they can express it then we can talk about that.”
Tsvangirai, who has rejected Wednesday’s poll outcome citing gross irregularities accompanying the process, thanked his followers and urged them to remain calm amid a tense environment.
“My message to Zimbabweans is that thank you very much for participating courageously and winning,” he said.
“Unfortunately this election has been subverted. We will come back to you … we will come and engage them, tell them how they have been robbed of this victory and from then on, we work with the people of Zimbabwe to find the necessary resolution of this crisis.”
The MDC-T leader said he was not going to divulge his next move “because it would be unstrategic” but vowed to continue with his fight against Mugabe’s regime.
“If l had anything up my sleeve, l would not tell you because it would definitely be unstrategic but we will go back to our people, our people are the ones who have made this sacrifice, they are hurting and we know it is our people who will continue with this fight until a resolution has been found,” he said.
Asked about the lack of a popular revolt to back his claim that the election was fraudulent, the MDC-T leader said: Our people are disciplined people. You don’t solve people’s problems by creating violence. In fact, we are at this stage because of the discipline of our people.
“If it was any other country they would burn down buildings. They have not chosen to do that because they know at the end of the day we don’t want any violent resolution of this crisis.”
Tsvangirai said he did not regret leading his party into a coalition with President Mugabe’s Zanu PF 2008 insisting it was the best decision at the time.
“I think for the sake of the people we were very right. This country was looking at the precipice. Our participation rescued this country. Schools had closed, hospitals had closed, we were using the Zimbabwe dollar which was worthless in this country, there were no goods in the shops, everyone was desperate, it was our motivation,” he said.
He however warned Mugabe that he would be committing political suicide he insists on ruling the country based on the outcome of Wednesday’s poll.
“There is mourning … there is national mourning in this country,” he said.
“Surprisingly the mourning is not only in the MDC, the mourning is actually national including in Zanu PF because can you imagine from now on going forward. What is the future of my children, what is the future of every household, what is the economic, social and political future of this country?”