State of the Nation

HARARE -  MDC leader,  Morgan Tsvangirai has ruled out any prospects of a blanket amnesty for suspected perpetrators of post election violence.

In a state – of  – the  – nation address to MDC  parliamentarians, councillors and the civil society, Tsvangirai said his government would not release any suspects detained over the post-poll violence, which has killed 50 so far and left another 20,000 internally displaced.

“The violence that is taking place must stop,” Tsvangirai said. “There will be no tolerance or amnesty for those who torture or injure or kill other citizens. Zimbabweans who are attacking other Zimbabweans must cease and desist now.”

Tsvangirai said Zimbabwe was now an “unmitigated embarrassment to the African continent”

“The state of our nation is actually beyond embarrassment, it is tragic -  the world’s highest inflation, 80 percent unemployment, education that has plummeted from the best in the Africa to one of the worst and a health care system that has dire shortages of doctors, nurses, medicine, beds and blankets,” Tsvangirai said.  “The State of our Nation today is a State of Despair.”

Tsvangirai said there could be no justification for the mess in the country which was regarded as a post-colonial role model in the first few years after independence from Britain in 1980.

“We are a rich country with natural resources. We have the resources to attract foreign investors,” said Tsvangirai

He said he was launching a Restore Hope Campaign that will launch what he termed a “Third Republic”.

“The Third Republic is the next generation of African leaders underpinned by the values of love, tolerance, rule of law and constitutionalism,” Tsvangirai said. “The Third Republic is a post-liberation transformation – a consolidation and entrenchment of democratic values and institutions. The Third Republic is the New Zimbabwe.”

Tsvangirai said after winning the run off, firstly, his government will urgently promote national healing, restore the people’s freedoms, restore the people’s dignity, restore the people’s basic services, and restore Zimbabwe to the family of nations.

He faces Robert Mugabe is presidential election run off on June 27 after falling short of an outright majority that could have enabled him to form the next government.

Tsvangirai said if elected to power, his priority would be on turning around the economy. He said his government would halt and reverse the country’s shrinking economic output and address hyperinflation. Secondly, said the MDC leader, he would  revive and rehabilitate the industrial base to create jobs and expand the tax base.

An MDC government would also restore national credibility to again attract significant inflows of foreign direct investment; and then address the humanitarian crisis, particularly the shortage of food and medicines.

The country is currently steeped in an acute economic crisis underlined by more than 300,00 percent official inflation – the highest in the world.

Tsvangirai said he would address the land issue “once and for all” and restore the country’s status as a breadbasket of southern Africa.

MDC would also craft a genuine programme for the empowerment “that will be transparent, equitable, and within the rule of law,” he said.

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