Tsvangirai says ZANU-PF cannot provide a solution to Zimbabwe’s problems just like a mosquito cannot cure malaria


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Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai today said the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front cannot provide a solution to Zimbabwe’s problems which it created just the same way that a mosquito cannot cure malaria.

In his end-of-year message, Tsvangirai said ZANU-PF was too busy fighting for succession that the economy was not a priority at all.

“No one in government is thinking of solutions to the national challenges as everyone is preoccupied with issues of who will succeed this tired man steering the ship of State; the man who has now been surreptitiously but willingly replaced by his wife in a palace coup,” he said.

He said his party was looking for a lasting solution to the country’s problems and had teamed up with other opposition parties to deal with electoral challenges that were at the root of the crisis of legitimacy that ZANU-PF was suffering from.

“Together, we are stronger. Together, we are better. We resolved at our last Congress that we will work with others in the broader democratic movement to deal with the national challenges. Two weeks ago, together with others in the broader political movement; we publicly signed the National Electoral Reform Agenda (NERA) document,” he said.

“NERA will deal with the underlying electoral challenges that are at the core of the crisis of legitimacy that has held the nation at ransom and impeded progress.

“Every journey begins with a bold step and what has earnestly begun is a national conversation. Collectively, we will soon be announcing a joint programme emanating from the national convergence in confronting the key issues affecting the country and its people.

“The way forward lies in Zimbabweans in a collective sense coming together regardless of their diversity to chart the way forward for the country. All I can say for now is that we are headed in that direction and there is a national conversation currently taking place.”

Tsvangirai said with Mugabe turning 92 in two months, Zimbabweans must start planning for a post-Mugabe scenario.

“At 91, whether by natural or other factors, we must begin to plan and budget for a post-Mugabe scenario and have in place bankable and credible programmes to rescue the country from this abyss. I am glad to announce that we in the MDC are tying up the loose ends of a comprehensive policy programme post-Mugabe and post-ZANU-PF.

“The people of Zimbabwe are clear that ZANU-PF cannot be the solution to the problems they created in the same way that a mosquito cannot cure malaria,” he said.

 

Full statement:

Monday, 21 December 2015

 President Morgan Tsvangirai’s end of year message to the people of Zimbabwe

 

Introduction

We face a bleak Christmas, amid a serious national crisis. Over ninety percent of Zimbabweans are unemployed. The few people still on formal employment have not been paid for months, if not years while government itself is still to pay the bonus it promised civil servants last month.

 Those in the security sector who were supposed to receive their 13th cheque last month did not receive it. They also did not receive it this month. For the first time, the rest of the civil servants are set to receive their December salaries after Christmas; that is if the salaries will come at all.

There is no power in our homes, the country is broke and government is struggling to raise revenue for salaries, let alone having resources for capital expenditure and other critical government projects. Instead of trying to come up with solutions to steer the country from this despicable morass, the catch-phrase in the party in government is succession and factionalism—issues far removed from the challenges we face. No one in government is thinking of solutions to the national challenges as everyone is preoccupied with issues of who will succeed this tired man steering the ship of State; the man who has now been surreptitiously but willingly replaced by his wife in a palace coup.

Zanu PF befittingly met in Victoria Falls for the party’s conference– befittingly because the party is on a free fall that is consistent with the gushing and falling waters at Mosi Oa Tunya. Zanu PF is indeed a falling party which we must not allow to fall with the nation. Instead of proposing the way forward from the debilitating crisis, the conference was all about factions, scheming and lambasting Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC. This is the sad context in which we are commemorating—not celebrating—this year’s festive season.

The nature of our crisis

The country is in the throes of a multi-layered crisis. Oftentimes, we in the MDC have spoken about the crisis of legitimacy, the crisis of leadership, the crisis of the economy and the crisis of governance that are arresting the political and economic progress of the country.

On governance, we have a virgin Constitution that is yet to be implemented. We now have an expanded bill of rights which we cannot enjoy because our laws are still to be aligned to the new Constitution. The party in government is not concerned about implementing the progressive provisions espoused in a Constitution that remains an unimplemented document in the national closet.

On the social front, Zimbabweans are facing starvation. We are on the brink of yet another bleak farming season. We have no money to pay wages for government workers and import food that communities need as a matter urgency. In the very few areas where food has been made available by government, it has been distributed on a partisan basis only to Zanu PF supporters. Social safety nets for the needy remain porous and are failing to serve the vulnerable. Health, education and other social services are suffering due to poor and inadequate funding. The national budget instead allocated a large chunk of funds to security ministries at the expense of capital projects and the social needs of the people.

The crisis of the economy has reached alarming levels. The millions of vendors roaming the streets of our cities and selling anything to anyone bear testimony to the unsustainable informalisation of the national economy. We have a staggering external debt of $10 billion that government has pledged to repay by April 2016 at a time when we have an unfunded budget of $4 billion that is woefully less than annual profit of a retail company in neighbouring South Africa.

But of course, the genesis of all these challenges is the crisis of legitimacy, stemming from yet another disputed election in July 2013 that yielded a government that the world has no confidence in. Unless and until we sort out the legitimacy crisis, we will not resolve the confidence deficit this government has suffered from local and international investors. All we hear are mega deals which have provided no palpable relief to the suffering of the people. We now have mega deals amid mega poverty and there is no relationship between the billion dollars deals being announced in government newspapers every day with the poverty among the people.

Yet, at the centre of all this is a crisis of leadership. The fact that we have a 91 year old President who his party says should stand again for election in 2018 is an apt summation of the cockpit challenges that confronts us as a nation. There is no boldness to confront the national crisis; what with an aged President and everyone around him fighting to succeed him. Everyone in the party in government is worried more about the succession issues than the monumental challenges facing us as a people.

So desperate have they become that they want to portray the MDC as being in a similar crisis. There is a brazen attempt to equalize and portray as if there are also factions in the MDC. The nation knows that there is no truth in all these lies. It is all part of the calculated sustained attack on the Tsvangirai brand. In their warped logic, the MDC must be portrayed as having the same chaos as Zanu PF in order to dispirit and disillusion the people that there is no credible alternative in the country.

Yet in spite of all these desperate measures by Zanu PF, I remain humbled by the confidence people in the party and in the country continue have in the MDC. Zanu PF knows the threat we pose because of our grassroots support and that is why their conference was about denigrating Morgan Tsvangirai and the party I lead.

The way forward

We in the MDC are clear about the way forward which we have made public since our Congress in October last year.

Together, we are stronger. Together, we are better. We resolved at our last Congress that we will work with others in the broader democratic movement to deal with the national challenges. Two weeks ago, together with others in the broader political movement; we publicly signed the National Electoral Reform Agenda (NERA) document. NERA will deal with the underlying electoral challenges that are at the core of the crisis of legitimacy that has held the nation at ransom and impeded progress.

Every journey begins with a bold step and what has earnestly begun is a national conversation. Collectively, we will soon be announcing a joint programme emanating from the national convergence in confronting the key issues affecting the country and its people.

The way forward lies in Zimbabweans in a collective sense coming together regardless of their diversity to chart the way forward for the country. All I can say for now is that we are headed in that direction and there is a national conversation currently taking place.

In the MDC, we are finishing our blueprint of how to rescue this country. We have gone beyond simply being seasoned critics of Zanu PF and Robert Mugabe. The real solution is a credible, bankable plan of how to rescue and resuscitate the country beyond Mugabe and Zanu PF. What is now urgent is a clear policy framework on what can be done to address power generation, to create jobs and to bring the economy back on the rails, among other issues.

At 91, whether by natural or other factors, we must begin to plan and budget for a post-Mugabe scenario and have in place bankable and credible programmes to rescue the country from this abyss. I am glad to announce that we in the MDC are tying up the loose ends of a comprehensive policy programme post-Mugabe and post-Zanu PF.

Conclusion

The people of Zimbabwe are clear that Zanu PF cannot be the solution to the problems they created in the same way that a mosquito cannot cure malaria.

As political leaders, we know what Zimbabweans want and expect in the wake of a party in government so out of sorts that the fixation with succession issues and positions have taken centre-stage at the expense  of a despondent people. Zimbabweans want to see unity of purpose and I can assure you that a broader, collective agenda will soon be unveiled to the nation by the relevant people after the relevant consultations.

In the middle of all this gloom, it is our wish to lift the spirits of the despondent people of Zimbabwe and give them a befitting Christmas present by showcasing national convergence regarding the key challenges facing the people. Let us all take time this Christmas to reflect on the future of our country and whether this country really deserves this penury when it is endowed with abundant resources and an educated human capital.

I know it is going to be a difficult and bleak Christmas considering that we all do not have disposable income. But let us use the little we have to share the little joy and happiness we can afford with friends, family and relatives. Let us pray and celebrate the birth of Christ, even in the middle of the debilitating crisis we face.

We are a Christian nation and the only resource we must have in unparalleled abundance is love. Let us spread it and share it in the nation. Let us share the gift of unity and togetherness. We in the political leadership of the broader democratic movement are slowly understanding and appreciating the sanctity of togetherness and unity of purpose.

They may try to stop our convergence as Zimbabweans from diverse backgrounds, but they cannot stop the collective spirit of Zimbabweans and the imminent, lasting change whose time has come.

Happy Christmas, Zimbabwe.

(65 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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