Morgan Tsvangirai is not stepping down now and remains the Movement for Democratic Change leader and its presidential candidate for the coming elections, the party said today.
Tsvangirai issued a statement yesterday which implied that he would be stepping down to give way to the younger generation.
But after a meeting of the party’s organising and elections directorate today, spokesman Obert Gutu said: “Contrary to recent press reports that suggested that President Tsvangirai will soon be stepping down from the leadership of the party, the fact of the matter is that President Tsvangirai remains the leader of the MDC and he is the MDC Presidential candidate for the 2018 elections.”
Gutu said Tsvangirai “continues to recover very well whilst resting at home and that he was due to leave the country for South Africa later on Tuesday afternoon for his routine medical check-up…..”
Tsvangirai was supposed to fly to South Africa last week after meeting President Emmerson Mnangagwa, so it is not clear whether this is another trip.
“We continue to pray for President Morgan Tsvangirai for his complete recovery and healing,” the party said.
“He is an indefatigable fighter for democratic change in Zimbabwe and his leadership and guidance continues to make the party stronger and stronger.”
MDC gears for 2018 elections
On Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at Harvest House, Acting President Elias Mudzuri chaired the MDC national organising and elections directorate meeting.
The meeting discussed various important matters including, but not limited to, the ZEC BVR extension blitz and the party’s preparations for the harmonised elections that will be held in the next few months.
Acting President Mudzuri advised the meeting that he had met with President Morgan Tsvangirai at his Highlands residence earlier on in the morning and that the two leaders had compared notes on various issues pertaining to the forthcoming general elections and other pertinent party matters.
We are pleased to note that President Morgan Tsvangirai continues to recover very well whilst resting at home and that he was due to leave the country for South Africa later on Tuesday afternoon for his routine medical check-up.
Contrary to recent press reports that suggested that President Tsvangirai will soon be stepping down from the leadership of the party, the fact of the matter is that President Tsvangirai remains the leader of the MDC and he is the MDC Presidential candidate for the 2018 elections.
The meeting also received reports from various departmental heads and President Mudzuri expressed his satisfaction with the party’s level of preparedness for the forthcoming elections. He emphasised the need for unity and focus amongst all the ranks of the party as we approach the general elections that the MDC and its Alliance partners are poised to win resoundingly.
Going forward, the party will be rolling out a program of action that includes rallies and other public meetings throughout the length and breadth of the country. All members of the national standing committee and other senior party leaders will be deployed to various provinces in order to spearhead the party’s election campaign. The MDC will continue to lobby ZEC and other relevant stakeholders to make sure that conditions for a free and fair election are put in place as a matter of extreme urgency.
The MDC candidate selection process will be completed within the next few weeks and all party cadres are being urged to remain united as we enter the homestretch in our democratic struggle to establish a new and progressive nation state in Zimbabwe. It is also heartening to note that party leaders are already on the ground mobilising the structures to participate in the last phase of the BVR exercise. At the end of the day, it is our intention to ensure that every eligible Zimbabwean is registered to vote before the BVR exercise is concluded.
The issue of the Diaspora vote was also thoroughly discussed and debated and we remain confident that ZEC will be able to make the necessary arrangements in time for the elections to be held later in the year.
We continue to pray for President Morgan Tsvangirai for his complete recovery and healing. He is an indefatigable fighter for democratic change in Zimbabwe and his leadership and guidance continues to make the party stronger and stronger.
MDC: Equal Opportunities for All
Obert Chaurura Gutu
MDC National Spokesperson