Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Tsvangirai hints at retirement

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AILING MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai has hinted on retiring from politics, paving way for a younger generation of politicians within his party.

The opposition leader, battling cancer of the colon, gave the hint in his "New Year's statement" yesterday insinuating that his appointment of two additional deputies was in anticipation to his retirement plans.

In 2016 Mr Tsvangirai appointed Mr Nelson Chamisa and Engineer Elias Mudzuri as additional vice presidents, with Dr Thokozani Khupe already one of the party's deputies.

The party is fiercely divided along two factions angling to succeed Mr Tsvangirai, one led by Dr Khupe and another fronted by Mr Chamisa.

In his statement, Mr Tsvangirai said he was reflecting on his time as a leader and the future of the party.

"At a personal level, I am using this New Year not only to reflect on the onerous journey that we have travelled together but also to peer with renewed hope into a bright future.

"I am looking at the imminent prospects of us as the older generation leaving the levers of leadership to allow the younger generation to take forward this huge task that we started together so many years ago with our full blessing and support,"he said.

Mr Tsvangirai has, following his diagnosis, been in and out of the country for medical treatment.

"It was therefore not by accident but by design that when I disclosed to you my health status, I also took a bold step to appoint additional two vice presidents to assist me.

"As I have said before, while politicians only think about the next election, true statesmen think about the next generation, for leaders are only but caretakers for future generations. We do not have any entitlement to lead but we have a duty to serve," he said.

MDC-T national executive member Mr Eddie Cross last year expressed fears that Mr Tsvangirai would not be able to contest the 2018 elections as his illness was taking a toll on him.

Mr Tsvangirai paid tribute to President Emmerson Mnangagwa for visiting him at his Highlands suburb home last Friday saying the visit was ushering a political discourse of tolerance in the country.

"Indeed, my engagement with President Mnangagwa must herald a new page in our politics, a page in which the opposition is considered a partner and not an enemy of the State.

"The visit can be built upon by truly well-meaning Zimbabweans to herald a new politics of engagement in our country. Political differences must be celebrated and the people must be allowed to express themselves," he said.

Mr Tsvangirai said it was encouraging that the Government was committing towards eradicating corruption in the country.

President Mnangagwa together with Vice President, General Dr Constantine Chiwenga (Retired) last Friday visited Mr Tsvangirai at his house.