PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has said President Robert Mugabe is ready to give up power if he loses the next elections which are now expected to be held within the 12 months
Tsvangirai, who is in New Zealand as part of a tour to ask numerous countries to end sanctions against Zimbabwe, said Mugabe "will accept the result," noting he didn't "see any reason why he should plunge the country again into another dispute."
He said the Zanu PF leader was "committed for his own legacy and for the legacy of the country to move forward in a stable way."
Tsvangirai formed a coalition government with long-term leader President Robert Mugabe after violent but inconclusive elections in 2008. The MDC-T leader won the first round of the Presidential ballot but pulled out of the second round, accusing his rival of unleashing violence against his supporters.
He maintains the violence was orchestrated by security service chiefs in a bid to help Mugabe remain in power. Senior army chiefs have publicly vowed to prevent the MDC-T leader from taking over power even if he wins the next elections.
But the MDC-T leader insisted he was ''confident'' that a smooth transition would happen if he wins the new elections. ''If you want to go back and emphasise what happened, you can never move forward,'' he said.
Tsvangirai met his New Zealand counterpart John Key Wednesday and pressed for the lifting of sanctions imposed against Zimbabwe about a decade ago.
''We would like Zimbabwe to be part of the global community once more,'' Tsvangirai said.
The sanctions ''are no longer are making an impact'' and it was ''very important'' they were lifted, he added. ''No country can progress with such measures against it.''
Key told reporters Tsvangirai made a ''compelling case'' and he would discuss lifting the sanctions with Foreign Minister Murray McCully.
''If there are free and fair elections held in Zimbabwe ... why wouldn't the global community respond in kind and support that new regime? It's for the people of Zimbabwe to decide who their president and their government is,” he said.
“New Zealand just wants to make sure that is fair.''
Tsvangirai said key reforms that include a new constitution were on course adding new elections could be held within 12 months.
He said Zimbabwe has dealt with the hyper-inflation problems which once dogged the country and is one of the biggest economies in Africa.
''We want to ride on the afro-optimism that is now growing and also take advantage of the investment money that is targeted at Africa ... it is our hope that we can move away from politics and concentrate on economic development,” he said.
“Any investment will help.''