Former Prime Minister and MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai is reportedly moving around the country telling civil servants and parastatal heads that 150 000 Government workers will soon be retrenched as he tries to cause alarm and despondency to abet his party’s cause to unconstitutionally unseat Zanu-PF. The opposition leader — whose star has been on a downward spiral since being thrust to the helm of the fractious opposition by the Westminster Foundation — is said to be on a mission to misinform civil servants on the ongoing audit of the civil service aimed at ridding the public service of ghost workers.
Mr Tsvangirai was in Hwange and Binga in Matabeleland North over the weekend where he addressed a series of poorly attended rallies. He was accompanied by his deputy Thokozani Khupe and national chairman Lovemore Moyo, among other party officials. Mr Tsvangirai sought to instil fear among civil servants during the rallies.
“Government is going to retrench 100 000 workers from civil service. Another 50 000 will be dismissed from parastatals. Why do you continue to support such a Government?” he asked. Ghost workers are costing Government millions and the audit seeks to rectify the anomaly. The audit has since unearthed a number of anomalies, especially in the education sector. Mr Tsvangirai went on to claim that Western sanctions were not to blame for the current economic challenges facing the country blaming it all on President Mugabe’s age.
He said China and Russia, the country’s closest allies, were isolating the President. “Haasi masanctions. Ndoda kukuudzai hapana munhu anoita invest when there is a 90-year old in charge,” Mr Tsvangirai said even though he was party to the Global Political Agreement that acknowledged the existence and ruinous nature of the West’s economic sanctions regime.
His claims that no investor was interested in Zimbabwe rang hollow in the face of the mega deals China has started implementing in Zimbabwe, and the recent visit by Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote of Nigeria who announced a number of investments he had earmarked in Zimbabwe. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also visited Zimbabwe late last year to scan investment opportunities.
The Russians are set to invest $3 billion into platinum mining in Darwendale. Mr Tsvangirai then pleaded with other opposition parties to consider forming a coalition under his party if they entertained any hope of dislodging Zanu-PF. “All the progressive forces must come together and remove the Mugabe regime. Tinozviziva kuti kune vanoumbimbindoga who want to be presidents of small political parties. I will rather be president of the whole movement poised to remove Zanu-PF than of a small party,” he said.
The remarks appear targeted at the Tendai Biti led Renewal Team, the MDC led by Professor Welshman Ncube and Elton Mangoma’s Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe, all offshoots from the original MDC. Previous efforts at forming a grand coalition of opposition parties have failed dismally with some political outfits questioning Mr Tsvangirai’s leadership credentials.
Mr Tsvangirai went on to assure his supporters that the MDC was going to participate in the 2018 elections, a deviation from the party’s congressional resolution that “No Reforms, No Elections”. He said the MDC-T would not boycott the 2018 elections as he was certain that Government would have instituted ‘’all the reforms’’. In all the national elections his party has contested since its formation in 1999, the MDC has lost to Zanu-PF and successive surveys by Afrobarometer have pointed to waning support and trust for the MDC-T and increasing trust and support for President Mugabe and Zanu-PF.