Tsvangirai tells MDC councillors to go and work


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Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai today told more than 400 party councilors to go and work and forget about the departure of former secretary-general Tendai Biti and his group because some people got tired on long and tortuous journeys.

“We continue with the struggle and the mission that we started in 1999. You may have heard that others have left the party but that should not break your spirit. On a long and tortuous journey such as ours, people get tired but that does not mean we must abandon the journey,” he said.

“We have a mandate to serve the people. Fifteen years ago we embarked on this journey to bring democracy to the people. It is a mission that we will definitely achieve in our lifetime. As councilors, you play an important part in that journey because you are the party’s representatives at the very local level.”

Tsvangirai told the councilors at the party headquarters in Harare that they had the opportunity to make the people either believe or not believe in the capacity of the MDC as a party to take the nation to a higher level.

“You have an obligation to bring positive transformation in the lives of the people so that they start believing in the MDC as a party for service and sacrifice; a party that will bring them joy, peace, democracy and positive change.

“Go back home and work.
Go back and serve the people!
Go back and be good ambassadors of the party!
Go back and engage the people in your ward!
Go back and give people hope,” he said.

The MDC leader castigated councilors who had voted for Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front mayors in their cities saying this was a great betrayal of the people that had voted for them.

“I know some of you voted with ZANU-PF councilors for ZANU- PF mayors and I know that there are disciplinary procedures taking place in that regard. Surely, why would an MDC councilor vote for a ZANU- PF mayor when the people had an opportunity to do so themselves but they voted for you? There is no greater betrayal of the people than selling out the people’s vote by voting in those the people had rejected,” he said.

 

Full statement

Thursday, 26 June 2014

President Morgan Tvangirai’s opening remarks to all councilors elected on the party ticket

 

Introduction

I want to start by welcoming you all to the party headquarters and congratulating you for the fact that you managed to slip through the massive rigging that characterized the election of July 31. As you all know, it is the party’s position that the July 31 event was a monumental fraud but all the same, congratulations for being the people’s representatives throughout the country.

We are proud as a party because even in that fraud, the party is still represented at local government level. I am told we have over 400 councillors representing the party in wards strewn across the country and I am proud of all of you.

From Binga to Muzarabani, from Gwanda to Chirundu, the party is represented at the very local level.

My only disappointment is that if this government had stuck to the dictates of the new Constitution, we would be having the governors of the two metropolitan provinces of Harare and Bulawayo in this meeting because we trounced Zanu PF in the two biggest cities of the country.

Quality services to the people

It is our sincere hope as leadership that you are taking seriously you responsibility to serve the people.

The party is going to be judged by how you deliver quality and affordable services to the people and we count on you to represent the party well in your wards, in your towns and in the rural districts that you serve.

In January this year, I had a meeting with the mayors and council chairpersons of mainly urban areas elected on the party ticket.I have a pretty much good idea of the challenges you are facing, most of them having to do with the populist Zanu PF decision to cancel all debts which left urban authorities struggling to pay salaries and to deliver basic services.

I remember that the saddest story came from the mayor of Chitungwiza, which was then collecting average revenue of about $900 000 every month, against a salary bill of $1,7 million, leaving absolutely nothing for service delivery and other basic services. By then, they were in salary arrears stretching for 10 months, I am pretty certain that the situation is far much worse today.

This is what the Zanu PF polpulist policy did to our local authorities but the MDC will still be judged by the electorate on the basis of its record, even in light of Zanu PF did to worsen the situation. Even those who are in the rural areas, we count on you to project the party well and to work hard and distinguish yourselves from the culture of avarice and negligence of duty that characterizes our colleagues in Zau PF.

You remain at the coal face of the struggle; at the very local level and you must ensure that you become good ambassadors of our great people’s movement.

There must be no compromise on service delivery but above all, continue to engage the residents. There must be structured feed-back platforms that must keep you continually engaged with the citizens. We are a party that prides itself in its perpetual engagement with the citizen and I expect that to be part of our agenda.

For those who are in a minority in their councils, show the qualitative difference between this party and those that take the people for granted. Be true ambassadors of the MDC and never waver or compromise on your mission to serve the people.

I am talking about compromise because I know some of you voted with Zanu PF councilors for Zanu PF mayors and I know that there are disciplinary procedures taking place in that regard.

Surely, why would an MDC councilor vote for a Zanu PF mayor when the people had an opportunity to do so themselves but they voted for you? There is no greater betrayal of the people than selling out the people’s vote by voting in those the people had rejected.

Lets go back and work for the people. Lets go and deliver services so that you are remembered for adhering to our punch-line of service and sacrifice.

Conclusion

We continue with the struggle and the mission that we started in 1999. You may have heard that others have left the party but that should not break your spirit. On a long and tortuous journey such as ours, people get tired but that does not mean we must abandon the journey.

We have a mandate to serve the people. Fifteen years ago we embarked on this journey to bring democracy to the people it is a mission that we will definitely achieve in our lifetime. As councilors, you play an important part in that journey because you are the party’s representatives at the very local level.

This means you have an opportunity through your conduct to make the people either believe or not believe in our capacity as a party to take the nation to a higher level.

You have an obligation to bring positive transformation in the lives of the people so that they start believing in the MDC as a party for service and sacrifice; a party that will bring them joy, peace, democracy and positive change.

Go back home and work.
Go back and serve the people!
Go back and be good ambassadors of the party!
Go back and engage the people in your ward!
Go back and give people hope.
Show them that they have made a good decision by investing their vote and their future in the MDC because as a party, we value service and sacrifice!

I thank you!

(5 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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