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Tsvangirai quits active politics

by Staff reporter
29 Jul 2023 at 07:26hrs | Views
GLEN VIEW South MDC legislator Vincent Tsvangirai, who is the son of the founding Movement for Democratic Change leader, Morgan, says he is stepping away from politics because of its toxicity.

Vincent also said he was no longer happy being a member of MDC.

His announcement is a major blow to MDC leader Douglas Mwonzora, who has seen senior officials and sitting legislators quit the party in recent weeks. They defected to Zanu-PF.

Among the defectors who joined Zanu-PF was key ally, Witness Dube, who was Mwonzora's personal spokesperson.

Speaking to NewsDay Weekender on a number of issues, Vincent said he had realised that he could no longer enjoy freedom to air his political views without upsetting authorities in the party.

"It's more like taking a retreat from representative politics," Vincent said.

"I think this term has made me see that this is not the arena that I really want to participate in.

"The reason why I think so is because it does not give me enough room to say what's in my mind or to give perspectives that may not lean towards a certain narrative that I am expected to lean towards."

He added: "I am interested in saying what is on my mind without repercussions, that is why I want to direct my attention, energies and mind towards other things, not representative politics."

Vincent was sworn in as MP in 2019.

He could not hide his disappointment on the state of the MDC, a party that came close to snatching power from the ruling Zanu-PF party.

Mwonzora's MDC is a pale shadow of the MDC formed in 1999, which provided the toughest test to Zanu-PF's rule.

Led by former trade unionists Tsvangirai and the late Gibson Sibanda, the opposition party came close to sweeping Zanu-PF away from power in 2008 after the MDC leader won the first round of voting.

A run-off characterised by intimidation, harassment and violence against Tsvangirai's supporters followed.

The late Zanu-PF leader, Robert Mugabe, ended up being the sole candidate in that run-off after Tsvangirai boycotted.

Tsvangirai eventually formed a unity government with Mugabe in 2009 and served as prime minister.

The firebrand former trade unionist passed away in February 2018 after succumbing to colon cancer, and Mwonzora emerged victorious from the fight for control of the party, aided by the police and the military.

His erstwhile comrade, Nelson Chamisa, now leads the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), with former MDC interim leader also a member of the opposition party.

Last year, the MDC suffered its worst electoral defeat since its formation in 1999 after failing to win a single seat in by-elections held in March last year.

"There are divisions and there is erosion of unity in the MDC," Vincent said.

"The reason why I want to move away from representative politics is also because of the current opposition and I am not apologetic about that.

"What I mean is that we have started moving away from democratic systems within our own political organisations."

He added: "We owe ourselves as politicians and as leaders of the country a duty to find how best we can drive the national development strategy and find common ground.

"I think it's in line with what my late father was trying to pursue in his last few years, to try and bring people together despite political differences."

Source - newsday