Challenge Mugabe to deliver

The Zimbabwean diaspora is puzzled that a month has passed since the stolen elections and a seemingly punch-drunk opposition has given no sign of a strategy to confront Mugabe, let alone stage demonstrations against Zanu (PF)’s blatant chicanery.

We at the Vigil are sorry that the MDC did not decide to boycott parliament to make a powerful statement to the world about the election rigging – especially necessary since the puzzling withdrawal of the MDC’s legal challenge against the outcome. We don’t think their presence can serve any useful purpose but we had no real hope that the honourable members would pass up the perks – even though it just lends legitimacy to Mugabe.

Well, here’s another suggestion for the MDC and one we hope they will look at more favourably. Our suggestion is that the party returns to its roots: trade unionism and human rights. The new constitution the MDC has laboured so long over and welcomed so joyously must give room for this activism. The Labour Court President Custom Kachambwa thinks so. He says the constitution guarantees civil servants the right to strike.

Mugabe promised that civil servants and others would be given pay rises. We urge the MDC to support the legitimate demands of workers for this promise to be honoured. The MDC must also surely support Mugabe’s call for adequate inputs and finance for farmers, for the reinvigoration of industry, for the overhaul of water and electricity provision, for improved roads and transport.

No money to pay for this? The workers know that there is money from diamonds that Mugabe has at his disposal. By promising pay rises and other help, Mugabe has just invited them to apply for it. So we call on the MDC to get out there and get the civil servants, farmers, soldiers and business people to demand their rights.

FOR THE RECORD: 35 signed the register. – Vigil

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