The Youth Assembly congress opened at the Amphitheatre on Thursday and the Women’s Assembly at the Barbourfields Stadium. Tsvangirai told the youths that the campaign of violence must end immediately and warned those politicians meting out violence that they face expulsion.
He said the violence was distracting the party from dislodging a brutal dictatorship.
“I wish to address the allegations of factionalism, conflict and corruption that have preceded this Congress. Let me state once and for all that there will no tolerance of violence in the MDC. There will no sanctioning of corruption in the MDC and there will be no reward for patronage in the MDC.”
He said there was no doubt his MDC party would form the next government.
“We are the next government of this country responsible for dealing with unemployment which is over 85 percent. We have to resuscitate the economy and make it one of the best in Africa,” Tsvangirai said.
“Robert Mugabe and Zanu (PF) took this country to its knees in 30 years.
We have a duty in the next government to bring it back.”
Tsvangirai also said a fresh poll could only be held after 12 months.
“Let it be free and let it be peaceful. We want polls whose outcome will not be contested,” Tsvangirai told delegates.
Zimbabwe needed time to work on political reforms, including repealing repressive legislation, opening up the media, introducing new electoral laws, and updating the voter register, he said.
The MDC president blasted violence that has erupted in his own party, and alleged unemployed youths had become fodder for politicians to mete out violence on political rivals.
Speaking at the Women’s Assembly congress, Tsvangirai paid homage to his late wife, Susan, who died tragically on 6 March 2009, exactly 23 days after MDC entered government.
“All these women, including the women in the villages, on the farms and in urban townships who have borne the brunt of violence, are the true heroes of our struggle,” he said.
“They have refused to be cowed and they continue to be associated with the national desire for change. At this historic congress let us honour their sacrifice. Let us treasure the memory of those that have paid the ultimate price and let us ensure that their legacy is a New Zimbabwe that is truly free, democratic and prosperous.”
Tsvangirai said the role of women in the forthcoming poll “cannot be underplayed.”
“Women must be on the forefront in the collective quest for a clear roadmap to an election; with a clear role for our African brothers and sisters in ensuring that the election will take place in a peaceful environment with neither fear not coercion,” he said.Post published in: News