MDC-T leader and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai claimed Tuesday that the country’s relative economic recovery and the revival of virtually collapsed health and social services was down to his party’s involvement in the coalition administration.
Tsvangirai told the MDC-T’s Mashonaland East provincial executive that despite its lack of experience in government, the party had managed to engineer the stabilisation of the country’s economy from the hyperinflationary mayhem of the last decade.
“We had no experience in government but we had a plan. We introduced Sterp, and the economy began to stabilize,” Tsvangirai said.
The MDC-T leader joined bitter rival President Robert Mugabe in a coalition government after violent but inconclusive elections in 2008. Facilitated by the regional SADC grouping, the coalition is credit with helping stabilise the country’s economy and easing political temperatures.
Tsvangirai, who has been meeting provincial executives of the MDC-T as he readies the party for next year’s elections, said health and social services had practically collapsed when he joined government.
“There was nothing functional in government. Even toilets at Munhumutapa (government offices) were not working,” he said.
“All referral hospitals were not functional, but after three months of the MDC in government, hospitals roared into life. At Harare Hospital, they had no functional operating theatres but as soon as the MDC got into government six operating theatres became functional.
“Schools did not have books and we printed 13 million textbooks so that each child had 4 text books and a further 4 million textbooks for high schools. These are just but a few of the MDC’s contribution in the inclusive government.”
The MDC-T leader also said the party had managed to break the resistance of security services chiefs to the new political dispensation in the country.
He said: “We had to break the barriers that were placed between the military and the people.
“We asked them why certain actions were taken. They would not respond at first, but Mugabe would simply throw the questions back to them to get the questions answered.”
The MDC-T leader said the coalition government had helped the party gain experience in government, adding he was ready to run the country after winning elections scheduled for March.
Last Friday Tsvangirai told a meeting with the Midlands executive of the party that he was ready to step down as MDC-T leader if he fails to defeat President Robert Mugabe in the elections which will end their coalition arrangement.