Mawere endorses Morgan Tsvangirai

Wednesday, 10 July 2013  SW Radio Africa

Businessman Mutumwa Mawere has endorsed MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai for the presidency, in polls scheduled for July 31st.

Mawere, who won a landmark dual citizenship ruling in the Constitutional Court late last month, said he is backing

Tsvangirai because Zimbabwe needed a new face to inspire hope and to restore the "stolen faith" in the state and its role in the development process.

In a statement Tuesday Mawere said he had seen "clearly who is the problem" after watching the performance of the coalition government, including the recent controversial proclamation of the nomination and election dates by President Robert Mugabe.

He however pointed out that if these elections were merely a referendum on the personality and leadership of Tsvangirai then "endorsing him would be risky."

Mawere said Tsvangirai has often been absent when leadership was needed and "more significantly too timid in the face of reckless indigenisation politics."

He added: "But elections cannot be decided in a vacuum for they represent a choice between alternatives and in this light it is clear that Tsvangirai is the better choice."

The South African based businessman recently won a case in the ConCourt after he was told by Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede he'd have to renounce his South African citizenship before he could apply for an ID and a passport. Tens of thousands of Zimbabweans living in the Diaspora face similar challenges.

"What I know today is that were it not for the determination and courage of people like Tsvangirai, I would not be a beneficiary of dual citizenship for the prohibition of dual citizenship was sanctioned by Zanu PF and continues to be enforced even after the enactment of amendment number 20 of the Constitution."

The businessman said 33 years after independence Mugabe's policies and worldview are deeply mired in the past.

"Although President Mugabe is an honest, principled and courageous man, it cannot be said that his re-election will bring the kind of change that the people of Zimbabwe need and deserve.

"ZANU-PF has retreated to gutter politics, running a campaign on partisan division, racial warfare and class antagonism."

Mawere, whose mining company Shabanie Mashaba Mines was expropriated by the government in 2004 over allegations the SMM prejudiced the state of billions of Zim dollars, said: "Tsvangirai must be rest assured that he does not need to repay me for my vote. It is a free vote, albeit, I had to pay lawyers to assert it."

Mawere's name has been linked with a new party, the United Movement for Democracy (UMD), but he said he is not a member of this party. He hinted that he would be speaking to the UMD to try to persuade them to also give their backing to Tsvangirai.

The announcement comes a day after Simba Makoni's Mavambo Kusile and Zanu Ndonga formed an electoral pact with the MDC-T leader.

Last Friday ZAPU, led by Dumiso Dabengwa and Welshman Ncube's MDC, sealed their own alliance, which will see candidates from their two political parties working together and supporting each other during campaigns.

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