Zimbabwe Prime Minister says he may quit politics
Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says he will quit politics if he loses next year’s elections to President Robert Mugabe.
Mr Tsvangirai who has been at the helm of the main Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) for 13 years told supporters at the weekend the forthcoming polls were crucial for his party.
“If we lose the 2013 elections, it would be difficult,” he said in the second city of Gweru. “You should take others and put them forward.”
The MDC leader helped form the MDC in 1999 after spending years as secretary general of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions.
A year after its formation the party almost defeated President Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party in the 2000 parliamentary elections.
Two years later he lost the presidential polls to the veteran ruler under controversial circumstances that led to Western countries imposing sanctions against the Zanu-PF elite as punishment for alleged electoral fraud.
In 2008, Mr Tsvangirai won the first round of the presidential elections against President Mugabe but did not garner enough votes to claim the presidency.
He was prevented from standing in the run-off poll following massive political violence targeted at his supporters and blamed on security forces.
The main MDC and a smaller faction joined Zanu-PF in an inclusive government a year later following talks supervised by the Southern African Development Community.
Mr Tsvangirai said his stint in the coalition government had prepared him for the higher office and believes the MDC will win the elections set for March.
“For the last four years, we were in transition – being shown keys, being made apprentices, being taught how to run government,” he said.
“We now know the keys are here, there and there. God has a purpose. It was God’s plan to first put us in the Global Political Agreement (power sharing pact), otherwise we would have gone into the deep end without experience and ended up at each other’s throats.
“God wants a peaceful revolution, not a violent revolution.”
Several army commanders have on many occasions warned that Mr Tsvangirai will not be allowed to lead Zimbabwe even if he won elections because he does not have a liberation war background.