Published On: Tue, Nov 29th, 2016

Tsvangirai to Mugabe: “Give us Xmas Cheer and resign during SoNA on Thursday”

Share the article below

By A Correspondent

Zimbabwe’s opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai has implored President Robert Mugabe to use his Thursday State of the Nation Address (SoNA) to announce his retirement, adding “he has our assurance that no one will pursue him”.

Mugabe, 92, is expected to deliver his SoNA on Thursday amid mass hunger, poverty and public anger over his government’s move to introduce bond notes, a surrogate currency frowned upon by the majority.

 Tsvangirai said Mugabe’s announcement of retirement during his SoNA will be a worthwhile Christmas present to long suffering Zimbabweans.

“As he prepares to address the nation on Thursday, the only worthwhile Christmas present he could give the nation is an announcement that he is retiring. There comes a time when leaders must make bold but popular decisions.

“For President Mugabe, this is the time and Thursday provides him with the perfect opportunity to do so,” Tsvangirai said in a special public message to Mugabe on Tuesday.

Mugabe has shot down calls to step down despite failing health, while his Zanu PF has announced him as the ruling party’s 2018 presidential candidate.

First Lady, Grace, has said Mugabe is not going anywhere, going further to make bizarre claims that he will even rule Zimbabwe from his grave.

Some analysts argue Mugabe ‘longs to die in power’ to avoid prosecution over past human rights abuses, but Tsvangirai said Africa’s oldest President should have no reason to fear as Zimbabweans only want to rebuild the country.

“He is a man who has done much for the country. He has built a legacy which he had also proceeded to destroy. However, we have a lot to do as a nation to restore the national pride and no one has any time to waste hounding an old man.

“We are proud Africans and in our culture, we value and respect old people. He has no reason to fear. He can safely announce his retirement and he has our assurance no one will pursue him. Retiring now can only enhance his legacy,” Tsvangirai added.