MDC Press Statement (10-07-07)

10 July 2007

Demand for free and fair elections spreads to Mashonaland Central

The MDC last weekend continued with its ‘Free and Fair Election’ rallies in four centres across the country as the demand for a free and fair poll continues to gather m

omentum in all areas in Zimbabwe .

There were impressive turnouts in Bindura, Guruve, Mabvuku and Dzivaresekwa on Saturday and Sunday when President Morgan Tsvangirai and the Liberation Team continued their whirlwind rallies to ratchet up pressure for the demand for free and fair elections next year.

President Tsvangirai and other leaders addressed thousands of people in Dzivaresekwa on Saturday and in Bindura on Sunday while deputy secretary-general Tapiwa Mashakada and Mbare MP Gift Chimanikire went to the Guruve rally. Thousands of rural people defied starvation and intimidation by Zanu PF supporters to attend the rally in Guruve where they joined the national chorus demanding free and fair elections in our journey to a new Zimbabwe .

President Tsvangirai’s central message in Bindura and Dzivaresekwa was to assure the nation that the train was on course to a new Zimbabwe . A new Zimbabwe characterized by prosperity and freedom; a new Zimbabwe with guarantees of food security, jobs, development and respect for people’s basic freedoms. The President urged people to register to vote in next year’s election while the party continued to pressure the regime to accept the people’s demand for minimum conditions for a free and fair plebiscite.

Zanu PF is in a state of denial on the worsening national crisis and continues to blame everyone else except itself for the political and economic malaise, which is afflicting the nation. The recent price controls are a confirmation of the famine of ideas in Zanu PF. The onslaught on the business sector is another decoy to divert national attention from the real culprits who have orchestrated the free-fall of the economy. In the run-up to every election, Zanu PF flies a deceptive kite to divert national attention from the simple fact that it has failed the people of Zimbabwe . They have no clear policies to sell to the suffering people of Zimbabwe whose daily struggle to survive has become a source of shame.

Zanu PF is culpable for the suffering of ordinary Zimbabweans. If by some national misfortune, Zanu PF were to successfully rig the next election, it would be a death sentence for Zimbabwe . It would signal the death knell for all sectors of the economy and the dignity of the ordinary Zimbabwean, which continues to be under threat from a regime that is not alive and sensitive to the people’s basic needs and aspirations. If Zanu PF successfully rigs the next poll, not only would the boat sink, but the paddles would be lost. Next year’s elections provide the perfect window for Zimbabwe to start afresh. It is an opportunity for national rebirth. It is the perfect time to close the old Zimbabwe of repression and failure and begin a new Zimbabwe of hope and prosperity. In a free and fair election, an MDC victory would be a fulfillment of the people’s wishes and aspirations.

For us in the MDC, Zanu PF is old and outdated. It has outlived its utility. It is a relic of antiquity. Zanu PF lacks the capacity, willingness and the vision to extricate the country from the jaws of impoverishment. Zanu PF claims to have been formed to liberate the people, which it has dismally failed to do.

We are continuing to widen our catchment area for agents to catalyse the delivery of a new Zimbabwe . In Mkoba last week, former Zanu PF stalwart and Zvishavane MP Pearson Mbalekwa joined the people’s march to a new Zimbabwe . Every week, new converts are joining the MDC train of change. We realize that the struggle for a new Zimbabwe needs every effort. Every vote must count.

The MDC believes that everyone should close ranks. Democratic forces must stop playing to the gallery. We must refrain from bickering and shadowboxing. We must concentrate on the national mandate to liberate Zimbabwe from tyranny. The desire for change defines our direction. Change is inevitable.

Yesterday, today, together, marching to a new Zimbabwe .

Nelson Chamisa, MP

Secretary for Information and Publicity

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