Verbatim: Tsvangirai's Full Speech Announcing Cabinet Pull-Out

Morgan Tsvangirai addresses the press conference earlier today when he announced that he is "disengaging" from ZANU PF, Cabinet and Council of Ministers. The full verbatim text of his speech is below

Harare, Zimbabwe, 16 October 2009

(After introductions and giving background to the Inclusive Government and the SADC Summit of January 26 2009)

264 days later, outstanding and non-compliance and toxic issues continue to impede the progress of the Transitional Government.

Despite countless meetings among the Principals, despite countless press conferences, despite numerous correspondences with SADC and SADC leaders and despite SADC summits, the above issues remain outstanding to date.

It is regrettable to note that provincial governors have not been appointed to date, despite agreements on every item.

Equally it is unacceptable that the issue of RBZ Governor and the AG has not been resolved despite the self-evident illegality of their appointments.

More indecently (sic) is the fact that even government itself has not been fully constituted due to the failure to swear in the Deputy Minister of Agriculture. Perhaps more embarrassingly (sic) is the fact that there has been no review of the GPZ nor of the ministerial positions six months after 26 January 2009.

In this period, we have seen a complete lack of paradigm shift on the part of ZANU PF. We have seen total abuse and impunity and disrespect of the GPA and in particular of the MDC.

Ministerial mandates have been changed unilaterally, government internal rules have not been changed to recognise the new reality.

Over and above this, some government agencies, in particular a few components in the National Security forces still behave as if the old order exists.

National Security Council itself has met only once in nine months and the Joint Operations Command is still meeting as regularly as it has done over the years.

We are also aware of the extensive militarisation of the countryside through deployment of military and setting up of bases of violence (sic) that we saw after March 2008.

Over and above this, we are aware of 16 000 ZANU PF youths, so-called coordinators, who have been imposed on a government payroll.

In addition, we have seen the continuous selective and unequal application of the rule of law. Seven MDC MPs have been persecuted and convicted on shadowy charges while several others are on bail.

In spite of the fact that Clause 18 of the GPA actually says that all politically-motivated cases have to be reviewed.

Public media, in particular the Herald and ZBC (I am glad if they are here), continue to treat the MDC and our leaders in government as if they were a third-rate, treasonous and sell-out element, instead of genuine equal partners in the government.

The slow rate of movement and execution of positions agreed in the GPA is also as worrying as it is unacceptable.

Indeed, the lack of real movement on key issues of democratisation of the media, constitutional reform process, land audit, rule of law, issues in the GPA, re key issues that stick out like a sore thumb.

On our part, we have papered over the cracks and have sought to persuade the whole world in the last 8 months that everything is well.

We have sought to persuade our constituency that the Transitional government was on course and was the only business in town. In this process, we have put at stake the reputation, the credibility and the trust of our movement and to ourselves as leaders (sic).

There is no one in this government who has defended this transitional government, even to the extent of saying this is an irreversible process, other than me. President Mugabe knows that, all leaders, the Principals, know that, s I can not be accused of undermining and subverting the very same government I have defended at my own personal reputation (sic).

We have done everything in order to make this government work. We have done so purely for one reason: the need to restore hope and dignity to our people, the need to give our people a new start and a new beginning. This overwhelming obligation remains as factual and as fundamental today.

The present arrest and detention of our party Treasurer, Roy Bennett, has brought home the fiction of the credibility and integrity of the Transitional Government. It has brought home the reality that as a movement, we have an unreliable and undependent (sic) partner in the transitional government.

It has brought home the self-evident fact that ZANU PF sees us as a junior partner, fickle and unserious (sic) movement.

This is not about Roy Bennett. This is about the credibility of the transitional government. So those who would like to say that we are having this because of Roy Bennett, please, this is not about Roy Bennett. This is about the essence of whether you have a serious partner or not.

The truth of the matter is that it is our movement that won the election on 29 March 2008. It is our movement that has the mandate of the people to govern this country. It is our movement that has strategically compromised on that mandate by executing the GPA and entering into this Transitional Government.

It is our movement upon which the hopes and future of millions of Zimbabweans are deposited.

However, it is now time for us to assert and take our position as the dominant party in Zimbabwe. In taking this path, we are guided by the fact that we are the trustees of the people's mandate and therefore, the only one with a mandate to remain in government.

For that reason, the MDC for now can not renege on the people's mandate. However, it is our right to disengage from a dishonest and unreliable partner.

In this regard, whilst being in government, we shall forthwith disengage from ZANU PF, in particular from Cabinet and Council of Ministers, until such time as confidence and respect is restored in this relationship.

We can not pretend that whilst acts of criminality are being committed and that we have collective responsibility of being equalised (sic), we can not be in the same arrangement in foras (sic) that purport to compromise us in decisions that are supposed to be collective.

This action will include the full resolution of all outstanding issues and substantial implementation of the GPA.

We are aware of the constitutional implications of our decision in light of the foundational elements of the transitional government that executive power is shared between the President, the Prime Minister and Cabinet (sic).

However, it is a constitutional crisis which should be resolved if ZANU PF and its leadership know that there is a price to pay for procrastination

Naturally, should this constitutional crisis escalate, then the self-evident solution would be the holding of free and fair elections to be conducted by SADC, African Union, under the supervision of the United Nations.

We however, reiterate that this movement will stand embedded in its social democratic principles and values. It will remain loyal to the cause of our struggle and it will continue with the struggle for real change in Zimbabwe.

May God Bless You.

Question: What is Plan B, what are you going to do now?

Tsvangirai: Why do we need plan B? Or Plan C? Or Plan D?


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