Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai touches his head during a news conference at his home in Harare, Zimbabwe June 27, 2008.
JOHANNESBURG – Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) leader Morgan Tsvangirai has in his New Year message hinted that he’ll step down as party leader.
This is the strongest hint yet that the ailing opposition leader and former Zimbabwe Prime Minister will retire.
In his New Year message on Monday, Tsvangirai revealed there were "imminent prospects" of handing over to new leaders.
“I am using this New Year not only to reflect on the onerous journey that we have travelled together but also to peer with renewed hope into a bright future,” the statement read, adding: “I am looking at the imminent prospects of us as the older generation leaving the levers of leadership to allow the younger generation to take forward this huge task that we started together so many years ago with our full blessing and support.”
Tsvangirai said it was no coincidence he chose to disclose his long-standing battle with colon cancer.
“We must recognise the imperative that new hands, with the full blessing of the people, must take this struggle and this country forward with the destination remaining the same - a society that prides itself for not leaving anyone behind in their pursuit of freedom, prosperity and happiness,” Tsvangirai added.
He also welcomed newly-appointed Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s visit to his private residence.
“For me, that visit to my residence by the new president was significant not only in terms of the content of what we discussed, but in the import of its overall relevance.”
Tsvangirai said the new government had to “articulate a clear and comprehensive roadmap to legitimacy” and further, for government “to earn its legitimacy through a proper election.”
Mnangagwa, once a staunch ally Robert Mugabe, took over from the strongman in November after the military forced him to step down after 37 years in power.