1.1 I have taken time to assess the environment in the country to have a first-hand account of the economic, political and humanitarian situation. Indeed, this beautiful country has been sent into a freefall by the predatory policies of this illegitimate government.
a) THE ECONOMY
1.2 We have high and worsening levels of unemployment, deepening poverty and excruciating inequality. The country is also experiencing a confidence crisis defined as a binding liquidity crisis
1.3 The confidence crisis is a manifestation of structural deficiencies and distortions. There is massive deindustrialisation, rising informality, high public debt, declining export performance, dwindling capital inflows, illicit financial outflows, poor infrastructure, corruption, institutional weaknesses, weak confidence in the formal economic system, a volatile political environment among others.
1.4 Our core problem is fiscal indiscipline in government and hyperinflationary tendencies in the economy. Runaway government expenditure which is driving a budget deficit which in turn induces a excessive borrowing and debt outside parliament and the law.
1.5 Of course, we have always known that this illegitimate government is clueless but we never expected it to be so irresponsible as to unceremoniously run down the country into the abyss of decay in just a few weeks.
1.6 I have been in fuel queues. I have been to hospitals and clinics to assess the situation. I have visited cholera victims, even attending some of the funerals and understood their cries and pain. I fully understand your pain and suffering you are going through.
1.7 It is clear those hyper-inflationary days are back and have been triggered by fiscal indiscipline which has further eroded confidence and trust.
1.8 I have been with most of you Zimbabweans in the long-winding queues for fuel – which, by the way, wastes valuable time and derail economic productivity. Shops are closing down and those that have remained open have empty shelves.
1.9 Our people have been addressed with the indignity of physically fighting for a bottle of cooking oil. Prices for basic commodities are going up exponentially. Our hard-earned money remains inaccessible at the banks. Businesses continue to struggle with most shutting down because of the predatory economic environment. Investors remain sceptical about the new but old dispensation and have withheld investment.
1.10 I know the effects of economic decay to business, to the common man, the pensioners and elderly, to our entrepreneurs otherwise known as vendors, to students- local and abroad, to local businesses and the workers.
1.11 In Zimbabwe, we now see the emergence of two classes; the looting class comprising those in positions of trust and privileged access and the looking class, of the innocent suffering observing majority who are victims. What we need is a new class of active citizens not passive citizens. A nation of leaders, not followers. A leading class to replace the current ruling, ruining class. We must all be drivers not passengers in nation building processes.
1.12 Uncontrollable expenditure is the main ailment of this government. The incumbent administration has perpetuated the historical penchant of travelling outside the country.
1.13 The national debt has astronomically ballooned. At the start of the 8th Parliament, the MDC resisted the assumption by government, of the RBZ debt to the tune of $1,5billion on account of quasi-fiscal operations.
1.14 We call for an audit of the national debt to be done urgently and be indexed country by country, institution by institution and person by person.
1.15 Today, this administration, through the new minister of finance revealed disquieting and chilling disclosures of the greedy in government. The government has added over $7 billion to the National debt in less than 5 years and $4 billion since November 2017 through treasury bills, of which we are told more than three quarters of that money went to a few people.
1.16 We call upon parliament to institute a parliamentary inquiry into the fuel gate, domestic debt and treasury bills scandal.
1.17 The 2% transaction tax is daylight robbery. This cruelty tax is an illegal and unacceptable burden on the already suffering people of this country. Let Zimbabwe be best for business not open for craziness as instigated by the corrupt rich and powerful in government. They have targeted the Lowest of the low, the poorest of the poor and the weakest of the weak. Yet exonerated and shielded are the high priests of corruption and the strongest of the strong cash barons connected to the high and mighty in government.
1.18 The 2% tax must be reversed immediately with ordinary people and business being reimbursed of their deprived value.
1.19 The agriculture season is upon us .We are extremely concerned by the lack of adequate preparation and the scant attention we are giving to our farmers. This government pays lip service to agriculture and farming. It has no resources to support farmers. Farmers need more resources. We pledge SMART agriculture.
1.20 The distortions caused by arbitrage and rent seeking activity are occasioned by the bond fiction. The bond notes must go. The nation must adopt the multi currency system immediately.
1.21 On our part, we have developed a ten-point economic plan meant to address and rescue our current situation. This plan entails currency reform, pro-poor inclusive economics, public sector reforms, dealing with corruption, a clear process of phasing out bond notes, moving away from control and command economics in dealing with foreign currency, fiscal measures to enhance productivity, responsibility, discipline and policy consistency, tax reforms and resolving the debt crisis. The detailed plan is available for the benefit of our troubled colleagues across the river.
b) THE POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT
1.22 It is clear that this illegitimate government is out to punish the people for rejecting it on the 30th of July 2018. The killing of innocent and unarmed civilians on the 1st of August was unwarranted.
1.23 We have seen a total disregard of citizens’ civil and political rights. There has been increased brutality by the regime culminating in the beating and harassment of leaders and members of the ZCTU, in particular, the uncalled for arrest of the ZCTU President Cde Peter Mutasa and Secretary General Cde Japhet Moyo.
1.24 Innocent and hardworking Zimbabweans continue to be brutalised and harassed in the City Centre for eking out an honest living.
1.25 There has been increased harassment of leaders of the democratic movement such as MDC vice President Hon Morgen Komichi, vice Chairperson Hon Tendai Biti, Youth leader Hon Happymore Chidziva and other activists.
1.26 The establishment continuously hides behind the cholera outbreak to ban activities of the people’s Party yet all other huge gatherings are allowed to take place.
c) THE HUMANITARIAN SITUATION
1.27 Our poor people are being forced to bear the brunt of this illegitimacy, bad governance and corruption whilst the government and Zanu PF cronies continue to live lavishly, splashing on expensive cars and goodies – abusing taxpayers’ money.
1.28 Preventable diseases are taking lives in our communities. Vendors struggling to eke out a living are being harassed from their markets. Hospitals and pharmacies have run out of medicines but the government is wasting money on a baseless Commission of Inquiry because we all know who killed unarmed civilians.
1.29 Young people wander on the streets without jobs as authorities continue to pursue command economics to the detriment of the country.
1.30 Workers continue to earn little for their hard work – the worthless Bond Note is exacerbating workers’ suffering. The civil servants, Teachers, Nurses, Doctors, Soldiers, Police, Prison Services Officers, CIO, Drivers, Gardeners, Cooks and Security Guards are surviving on less than one dollar per day and struggling to make ends meet.
1.31 We have ready answers and immediate solutions. All this could have been solved by sincere dialogue between the incumbent government and the alternative people’s government. The critical step in the resolution of the national crisis is inclusive dialogue and restoration of political legitimacy.
1.32 Fellow Zimbabweans, I would like to assure you that nothing and no one can stop an idea whose time has come. I would like to commend you for your resilience in these difficult times. We remain vigilant in pursuance of your stolen victory.
d) THE SOLUTION
1.33 To resolve the national crisis we have proposed a five point plan through a National Transitional Authority (NTA), constituting concrete steps to recover the people’s victory, your victory. We are clear about the path and formula this country should take to extricate itself from the current hardships imposed by this heartless illegitimate government.
1.34 The path to a Great Zimbabwe has the following sign posts. A 5 point plan which entails the following;
i. Immediately resolving and returning to legitimacy and the will of the people
ii. Undertaking comprehensive economic, political and electoral reforms
iii. Prioritising nation building and peace building
iv. End international isolation through collective engagement on the back of reforms
v. Resolving the emergency economic and humanitarian situation
1.35 We do not deserve the indignity of this illegitimate government on our country. Neither should we allow the curse of its creation to stay with us any longer. We are ready and able to deliver on the people’s mandate.
1.36 Give us back our reigns and you will see real change for the better. There is need for a national conversation, a sincere national dialogue. The might and main of our minds must be deployed to finding each other as a people. Engagement and dialogue moves nations. Arrogance, egos and pride destroys countries.
e) TO THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
1.37 To our leaders within SADC and AU, paying a blind eye and deaf ear to the evident theft of the people’s vote and victory is unsustainably hazardous. The ‘see no evil’ and ‘hear no evil’ approach is a major blow to the cherished Pan African ideal of ‘African solutions to African problems’.
1.38 To greater international community, we appeal for your solidarity with the peace loving people of Zimbabwe by underwriting the return to democracy, legitimacy and implementation of comprehensive reforms. Zimbabweans deserve democracy and freedom like the rest of the civilized world.
1.39 We remain entrapped in the vicious cycle of disputed elections and illegitimacy. We call upon your support to the people of Zimbabwe in their struggle for dignity and good governance. We need virtuous cycle of reforms to put Zimbabwe on a permanent path to stability. We count on you to help Zimbabwe to return to legitimacy, acceptable democratic standards and good governance norms and the rule of law.
f) TO FELLOW ZIMBABWEANS
1.40 Fellow Zimbabweans, as leadership, we are up for the task and fit for the purpose. I believe in the future of our country. I believe in us as a people. We are Zimbabwe, a house of stone and a nation of warriors. I charge you, as I encourage you to play your part and be ready to be part of the great journey to legitimacy.
1.41 For some, politics and leadership is a hobby, but for us and for me in particular, it is a calling. We genuinely deserve and desire “generational change” and “fresh leadership “not this “change” or “new dispensation” tokenism. We will fall short not!
1.42 Finally, I invite you to come and join us as we reflect on our journey in commemoration of the 19 years of the Party of Excellence at Gwanzura Stadium on Saturday 27th of October 2018 under the theme “Claiming the people’s victory!”
1.43 Let’s take things forward. The future is in our hands. The future is us. The future is now.
Let us remain peaceful. Peace is profitable unto all men.
God’s time is perfect; remain vigilant and ready for REAL Change that Delivers.
God Bless you
God Bless Zimbabwe
I thank you
Adv. Nelson Chamisa