News / Africa

Zimbabwe's Tsvangirai Vows to Stay as Opposition Leader

Zimbabwe's opposition Movement For Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai speaks at a news conference in Harare September 18, 2013.
Zimbabwe's opposition Movement For Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai speaks at a news conference in Harare September 18, 2013.
Reuters
Zimbabwe's opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said on Wednesday he would remain leader of his MDC party despite an internal call for him to quit after an overwhelming defeat in July's presidential election against Robert Mugabe.

Tsvangirai has dismissed his third consecutive defeat by Mugabe as fraud, but it has fuelled speculation he might step down as leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the party he has led since its formation in 1999 when Zimbabwe's economy began to crumble.

Mugabe, 89, took more than 60 percent of the vote against 34 percent for Tsvangirai.

But Tsvangirai, who served as prime minister in a unity government with Mugabe's ZANU-PF party until last month, said no one had challenged him for the leadership and he would continue as MDC president until the next party congress in 2016.

“You don't just wake up in the streets and say Tsvangirai must go. There are forums that should make this decision,” Tsvangirai, 61, said at a news briefing.

“I cannot, in the middle of a struggle, just abandon people. To what objective? To satisfy who? To satisfy ZANU-PF? To satisfy people with individual grudges against me?” he said.

MDC treasurer-general Roy Bennett, the party's only white senior official, has so far been a lone voice in publicly calling for Tsvangirai to be replaced by a new leader.

Bennett, a former commercial farmer, told South Africa's Business Day newspaper last week Tsvangirai's continued leadership did not reflect the will of the party's grassroots supporters.

Bennett has lived in exile in South Africa since September 2010 after an arrest warrant for contempt of court was issued against him for saying a judge trying him was not impartial. He was later acquitted of terrorism charges, which he said were part of political persecution by Mugabe and ZANU-PF.

Tsvangirai, a former trade union leader, has traveled the country in the aftermath of the election, reassuring demoralized supporters and looking ahead to the next presidential and parliamentary vote in 2018.

Pointing to flaws in the vote cited by domestic observers, Western governments, especially the United States, have questioned the credibility of the election result.

But Mugabe, Africa's oldest and one of its longest-serving leaders who has ruled Zimbabwe since 1980, has dismissed the criticism.

The election was endorsed as “free, peaceful and largely credible” by the regional Southern African Development Community, while the African Union raised concerns over the registration of voters.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More