Almost two months after the untimely death of the national legend and founding leader, the iconic President Morgan Richard Tsvangirai. Notwithstanding the sad loss of our leader, whom the country continues to mourn to this very day, the party remains a strong and formidable unit ready for the watershed polls due in a few months time.
We are a solid family of democrats that is growing stronger every day. Our footprints in all that we do have shown that we are sticklers to constitutionalism and the rule of law. We are the game changers, the movers and shifters.
As a party, we are proud social democrats that eschew the values of empathy, solidarity, tolerance, freedom and justice.
On the national scale, I remain touched by the people’s sorry predicament. The cash shortages persist and citizens are finding it hard to access their hard-earned cash. Unemployment continues to be a huge challenge while the few that are employed are finding it hard to survive due to inadequate remuneration.
Civil servants, including our hard working doctors and nurses are struggling to survive. The paltry salaries of just over $300 do not befit the dignity and status of civil servants who expend sweat and tears to keep our country running.
The national crisis is crying out for a new government that will truly respond to the needs of the people.
2. Redefining the narrative—April is Independence month
Indeed, we are a proud pan-African political formation whose broad mandate is to complete the unfinished business of the liberation of struggle.
It is in line with our character as a proud-African movement and pan-liberation movement that we have declared April the independence month.
For us, as a day is not enough to accord the befitting veneration to our liberation struggle in which so many of our patriotic sons and daughters paid the ultimate price.
April is therefore an independence month in which we will take part in many activities to celebrate our liberation struggle; the bloody and intractable struggle in which we shed blood to rid the country of oppression, subjugation and racism.
It is in line with that redefinition and rebranding that as a party, we will seek to play a prominent role in all national events including the country’s national Independence Day activities.
National days must be inclusive and must not continue to be arrogated or dominated by a single political party. It is demeaning of our independence to ascribe it to the sole efforts of a political party. It was a struggle by all Zimbabweans that must be celebrated by all.
As I have already said, under our leadership, we will set aside the whole month of April—and not just a single day—to the celebration of our uhuru. April will indeed be an Independence month.
3. Election Preparedness
Within the context of independence, it is important to restate that the party remains strong and ready to participate in the forthcoming polls. Our liberation struggle was mainly about one-man-one-vote and we stand ready to participate in a truly free, fair and credible plebiscite.
To attest to our readiness, the party’s Elections directorate has received CVs from aspiring candidates who wish to stand in the local government and parliamentary polls. We have received a total of 3 911 CVs from aspiring candidates and this attests to the willingness of Zimbabweans to represent the party at both parliamentary and local government level.
Our preparation is well on course and in the next few weeks, we will have a complete panel of candidates that will represent the party at all levels.
We are determined to meet the 50 percent threshold for women and the 20 percent youth quota in line with the constitution and the resolutions of the supreme organs of the party.
3.1 Electoral reforms
Last month, we launched our Plan and Environment for a Credible Election (PEACE). That document has 10 key demands of what we want addressed if we are to have an undisputed election.
We will do all that is possible to ensure that Zimbabweans are given a chance to freely express their sovereign will in fair and credible poll.
Our 10 demands include, but are not limited to:
1. Independence of the Zimbabwean Electoral Commission (ZEC), including the independence and professionalization of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Secretariat.
2. The creation of an authentic biometric voters’ roll properly audited and signed off by all stakeholders.
3. Full disclosure and transparency around the ballot paper, its technical status, its printing and its distribution thereof.
4. The complete de-securitisation of election institutions and the electoral process, incorporating the exclusion of Zimbabwe’s security sector from managing the incumbent ZANU PF’s election campaign.
5. Provision for Zimbabweans residing in the Diaspora to vote in the election.
6. Media reforms allowing for equal access to public media by all contenders in the election.
7. The enactment of major amendments to the Electoral Law and the repealing of restrictive laws such as: the Public Order Security Act (POSA); Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA); and the Broadcasting Services Act (BSA).
8. Allowing entry of international monitors and supervisors at least 3 months before the 2018 election and provision for the United Nations to supervise the poll.
9. Absence of violence and intimidation before, during and after the election.
10. Political impartiality of traditional leaders, including abolition of politicized food aid in election campaigns.
Conclusion: The road to Victory (R2V)
As a party, we are ready to roll. We are fine-tuning our policy programme and our people’s manifesto that will truly respond to the challenges facing the despondent citizens of this nation.
We have rebranded and revamped this movement and in the next few weeks, we will be unveiling the detailed policy programmes of how we will rescue this country from the abyss.
We have done it before and we will do it again. Zimbabweans are under no illusion about the MDC’s capacity to govern, given our record during our stint of delivery between 20019 and 2013.
With our competent hands on the wheel of government, the future can only be bright for the people of Zimbabwe.
The party is ready; Zimbabweans are ready and they continue to show their confidence judging by their participation in the party’s activities. The region and the world are anxious for a truly new dispensation that delivers to the people.
We are truly on the road to victory.
I Thank You