The Movement for Democratic change says it is the only opposition party to reckon with in Zimbabwe because its leader Morgan Tsvangirai beat Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front candidate Robert Mugabe hands down in 2008 winning “more than 73 percent” of the vote.
The official election results gave Tsvangirai 47.9 percent with Mugabe getting 43.2 percent.
Mugabe told party supporters at the 2014 ZANU-PF congress that Tsvangirai had won 73 percent of the vote in 2008 before he was corrected to say 47 percent but most people felt that this was not a slip of the tongue but the actual result.
The MDC-T, in its statement today, did not elaborate on how the party won more than 73 percent but failed to form a government.
Though Tsvangirai might not have polled more than 73 percent of the vote, he definitely beat Mugabe in 2008 and according to Wikileaks Mugabe conceded defeat and sent emissaries to Tsvangirai on 1 April 2008 to negotiate his exit.
According to a cable sent by James McGee, then United States ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mugabe advised Tsvangirai that he would be stepping down on 2 April 2008 but wanted an additional six months in office. Tsvangirai rejected the idea.
Mugabe’s emissaries said he would meet Tsvangirai the following day to announce his stepping down but did not pitch up. Instead, Tsvangirai was told that the country would be going for a run-off.
Emmerson Mnangagwa who was Mugabe’s election agent also told party supporters that Tsvangirai had indeed beaten Mugabe and some of Mugabe’s lieutenants at the time had conceded defeat.
“Let me tell you this, Mutasa is a close friend of mine from way back during the days of the liberation struggle. He joined us in detention after he was arrested at Cold Comfort. He later went to England, but came to Mozambique at the invitation of the late Cde Edgar Tekere. He never joined other cadres in camps or in the battle front as he always stayed with his wife in Maputo,” Mnangagwa said.
“In 2008 when Tsvangirai almost ruled this country, I was the chief election agent for the President and Mutasa was the Secretary for Administration. Surprisingly, when the results were announced, Mutasa had already packed all his belongings from the office. When I phoned him he told me that he was already in Rusape.
“We wondered how the Secretary for Administration would run away at such a critical moment. I phoned Goche. He also said he was already in Bindura. How could a man in charge of our security at the time desert us at that critical moment? This is the kind of people we were dealing with. They thought MDC was going to rule this country,” he said.
Continued next page