By Thamsanqa Zhou and Innocent Ndibali
THE Zimbabwe Unemployed People's Association (ZUPA) which represents the interests of millions of economically disadvantaged people, is saddened and shocked to hear of allegations that three women so far are claiming to be married or engaged to be married to you Mr Morgan Tsvangirai.
A fourth woman, aged 23 years, is alleged to have a child fathered by you while the other 2 women allege to have been intimate with you without protection. There are unsubstantiated rumours that more women are considering approaching the courts with similar stories.
It is not our place to judge whether the allegations, claims and court affidavits are true, but for you as our Prime Minister and leader of a democratic movement to be at the centre of such a serious error of marital judgement in a country where HIV/AIDS is killing thousands a week, is threatening to derail Zimbabwe’s democratic train.
Mr Prime Minister, in 1999, you volunteered your service to Zimbabwe’s democratic efforts. You have been the face of hope that Zimbabweans had of a democratic, moral and accountable future. You won international awards and dined with the most powerful leaders in the world, all because you were a symbol of what Zimbabwe should be.
Just last week, during your visit to the United States of America, in reference to your party the MDC firing councillors without giving them an opportunity to appear before a disciplinary or giving them a chance to be heard, you said: “It’s not a question of a disciplinary hearing; … You cannot have a disciplinary hearing in the face of evidence that is overwhelming. … We need action and we need to send a clear message that the party will not tolerate that.”
You will recall Mr Prime Minister that you pledged to uphold the democratic principles and the moral high ground. Since 2002, you asked the Zimbabwean people to make you their President. Thousands of innocent Zimbabweans have died supporting you. Others have lost limb and soul. The journey cannot stop now.
You are fully aware that our democratic struggle seeks to ensure that we bring back dignity and morality to the office of the President where no-one is above the law or is treated differently from others. No more “Animal Farm” leadership.
Our women members view some of the allegations as abuse to women’s convention rights. If proven, the allegations are of a serious nature. As long as they are in public arena, those opposed to the democratic train, may exploit your “tarnished image” and use these issues to discredit the entire struggle of democratising Zimbabwe. Our international partners may not respect us as a nation if our own Prime Minister fails to uphold the values that make us who we are. The head torch must shine brightest.
The democratic struggle is a collective effort. No-one is the alpha and the omega of it. We appreciate that you have just moved into a US$2.5 Million house and you have enough to live on. The millions of people we represent are living in poverty. The only way out for them is for the democratic train to reach its final destination where we can all have access to economic opportunities, human rights and respect.
Following what is now in the public domain about your alleged affairs, we believe your continued occupation of the driving seat will compromise the efficacy of our democratic struggle.
If you love Zimbabwe, you will not need anyone to let you know that your position as Prime Minister and leader of the MDC is now untenable.
As the organisation that represents the interest of the millions that stand to lose the most, we now kindly ask you to consider your position and resign with immediate effect to allow us as Zimbabweans to look for others who can take this struggle forward. Zimbabwe has them in abundance, the willing, the brave and the able.
That is what others in your position would do, if only to clear their name and seek reconsideration in later years. We shall never forget your role in the struggle.
You are a father who may benefit from undivided time to clear you name and minimise distress to your children who lost their mother in 3 years ago. Zimbabwe is facing elections, a new constitution and a huge programme that can only be done by one with no other side issues to address.
Good bye Sir and thank you for your service. Heroes are those who do what is right for the countries of their birth.
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