Tsvangirai warns Mugabe not to bring back militias


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Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai today said he had information that President Robert Mugabe was determined to confront the people by bringing back the militias to cow the nation instead of solving the current crisis and warned him that this would not be tolerated.

“Let him be warned, that if we cannot live as free men and women in the country of our birth, we would rather die as free people,” Tsvangirai said in a statement.

“We know that we shall be able stare history in the face, with pride, after having successfully discharged our generational mandate to bring freedom, democracy, prosperity and development to the heroic people of this great country.”

The MDC leader said the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front was now caught in a cul-de-sac that they had created.

“The divisions, fights and succession battles are all indicative of a party with no united solution to the crisis we face. For ZANU- PF, all focus and attention is on their party Congress in December while the country burns.”

Tsvangirai said 700 companies had closed since last year’s elections and more were likely to go down.

He also said his party had opened up doors for rebels that had contested last year’s elections as independent candidates.

“ In light of the big tent, which we have called for as a party, the national executive accepted the recommendation from the Office of the National Chairman, who chairs the disciplinary committee, that amnesty be offered to all offenders who stood as independents in the last election who had shown signs of remorse and had reapplied and complied with party procedures.

“The same office also reported to the executive that over 60 members who recently defected from the party wished to rejoin the struggle and were committed to promoting unity. In light of our big tent mentality, and consistent with our traditional magnanimity as a democratic party, we have offered an olive branch to all members, without exception, who feel they wish to some back and renew their commitment by rejoining the party,” Tsvangirai said.

He said the door would be open up to the end of this month. The party is holding its congress in October.

 

 

Full statement:

 

Friday, 22 August 2014

 Press statement by President Morgan Tsvangirai

 

1. Introduction

It is not every day that a people gather to commemorate theft but only last month, our colleagues in Zanu PF chose to hold a grossly misnamed “celebration” party. We all remember the grand theft of July 31 at which the people’s mandate was stolen.  But one year on, without a hint of irony, we had a handful of people holding a purported national celebration at State House.

Closeted away from the painful daily experiences of a people mired in a serious national crisis, our colleagues had the reckless and provocative courage to throw a party, even at a time when they are struggling to pay salaries to government workers.

They were so mindful of the shamefully low numbers of those who could afford to party in the middle of a national crisis to the extent that they could only host a supposedly national merriment in the confines of State House; far away from the people who know that any party  whatsoever is not only provocative, but out of sync with the harsh reality that we ordinary Zimbabweans are living every day.

 

2. The multi-layered crisis

The nation is on the throes of a crisis of monumental proportions. All the hope for economic recovery spawned by the growth years of the inclusive government has been dashed.

In the sad story of our current national predicament, one million children are out of school; more than 700 companies have shut down since the election while the country is experiencing a serious liquidity crunch that has affected all sectors of the economy.

About 240 days after the national budget statement at which the annual growth rate was projected at 7,2 percent, Zanu PF itself, with neither shame and compunction,  has just revised downwards the figure to 3,1 percent. The reality by the end of the year will definitely be a figure far, far much below the revised projected growth rate. The economic crisis is the window through which the political crisis is manifesting itself.

The country has no money, companies are closing and the prospects remain dim for Overseas Development Assistance and Foreign Direct Investment because of bad laws and policy inconsistency, among many other issues.

The deflation that started soon after the election has continued unabated. A week after the election, the economy lost $1 billion and the capital flight has not slowed down. Yet, in all this sadness, some among us chose to throw a party last month.

There is no doubt that given the national crisis we face today; we are on the brink of  a very uncertain tomorrow as those who stole yesterday’s  election are caught up in the shame of their brazen theft of the people’s will.

As I said in my letter to SADC Heads of State last week, we in the MDC are aware of how the theft was executed and last year we produced a detailed dossier of how the election was stolen, which dossier we distributed to all diplomatic missions accredited to Zimbabwe.

But perhaps, more interesting is the new details that continue to be revealed about how that election was a fallacy. The national executive heard more intriguing details only last week of how the people’s will was subverted.

Given the grim national reality, while others chose to throw a lavish festivity, the MDC national executive over the last weekend held a three-day retreat to discuss the issues affecting the people of Zimbabwe.

The MDC has noted that there is now in the country an unprecedented national convergence on the national grievances affecting everyone across the political divide.

The 10 national grievances on which Zimbabweans want an immediate solution are non-implementation of the national Constitution, the declining economy, massive unemployment, state-sponsored violence, the plight of workers and civil servants and incessant power cuts that have affected households and what is left of industry.

The grievances also include the politicisation of key state institutions, declining health and education standards and  poor social services delivery in general.All these are critical national issues demanding urgent attention. Zimbabweans of all shades are converging on all these matters and want them resolved before the country implodes.

Yet, while the nation is gravitating towards implosion, the Zanu PF government has chosen to prioritize its internal fights at the expense of finding a solution to these pressing national issues.

We tried our best by calling for national dialogue, a suggestion that has been spurned. Our quest for dialogue was never motivated by what some have alleged to be our wish to go back into the comforts of government but by a genuine patriotic wish to see the country's crisis resolved. We in the MDC shall no longer watch the situation continues to slide.

We are drawing a line in the sand and we shall pressurize and mobilise the people because those who claim to be in charge have not demonstrated any desire and commitment to solve the pressing national issues.

They have become by-standers while the country burns.

 

National executive decisions

For three days last weekend, in meetings that spilled into the early hours of the morning, the MDC national executive evaluated the current depressing situation, discussed the way forward and made several key decisions.

Our call for national dialogue has been spurned by Zanu PF. The executive resolved to withdraw that call for dialogue to avert the crisis,  but to now demand the implementation of agreed reforms that will ensure a free, fair and credible poll.

 

Key decisions were made by the executive.

1. The executive demands the immediate implementation of the national Constitution. This constitution was written and endorsed by three million Zimbabweans and the MDC demands the immediate implementation of the people’s charter, which in itself is a sacred expression by the people of Zimbabwe.

The national executive is seriously worried about the non-implementation of the Constitution, including the failure to reform all institutions of the State and to unshackle one party's hold on key national institutions.

2. We are aware that protests and petitions of any scale and magnitude are permissible under our new Constitution. We unreservedly resist all forms of intimidation and coercion and resolved to support and stand by any sector in the country that will peacefully demand the resolution of any of the national grievances or express legitimate concerns of national interest.

3. It is in light of our respect for the Constitution, particularly the right to petition and stage peaceful protests that we unreservedly condemn the barbaric action by the police to embarrass themselves and the country  in the presence of SADC Heads of State by beating to pulp innocent Zimbabweans demanding jobs, including innocent journalists in the line of duty.

4. The implementation of electoral and all other attendant reforms including transparent voters roll that will ensure a free, fair and credible poll, whenever that election is going to be held.

5. The national executive was seriously concerned with the persistent disputes over elections in the country and resolved not to participate in any election, including by-elections, until and unless all  reforms are implemented.

6. In light of the big tent, which we have called for as a party, the national executive accepted the recommendation from the Office of the National Chairman, who chairs the disciplinary committee, that amnesty be offered to all offenders who stood as independents in the last election who had shown signs of remorse and had reapplied and complied with party procedures.

7. The same office also reported to the executive that over 60 members who recently defected from the party wished to rejoin  the struggle and were committed to promoting unity .

In light of our big tent mentality, and consistent with our traditional magnanimity as a democratic party, we have offered an olive branch to all members, without exception, who feel they wish to some back and renew their commitment by rejoining the party.

The executive resolved that he party would open the window until the end of August for our colleagues who, for whatever reason, could have been misled.

 

Conclusion.

Zimbabweans have suffered enough. Our position is that only a return to legitimacy through a free and fair election will solve the country’s problems and that is why our call for dialogue has now shifted to only that dialogue that focuses on electoral conditions so that Zimbabweans are enabled to give legitimacy to government through a truly free, fair and credible election.

It is Zanu Pf which has the responsibility to deliver to the people because they are in government. But Zanu PF no longer cares about the people.

Zanu PF is now caught up in a cul-de-sac they have created themselves. The divisions, fights and succession battles are all indicative of a party with no united solution to the crisis we face. For Zanu PF, all focus and attention is on their party Congress in December while the country burns.

We in the MDC are aware of the burden that history has placed on our shoulders to positively transform the lives of the people of Zimbabwe. In the not-so-distant future, we know that Zimbabweans shall shed the tears of joy.

The information I have, sadly, is that Mugabe, instead of doing everything possible to solve the crisis, is determined to confront the people by bringing back his militias to cow the nation. Let him be warned, that if we cannot live as free men and women in the country of our birth, we would rather die as free people.

We know that we shall be able stare history in the face, with pride, after having successfully discharged our generational mandate to bring freedom, democracy, prosperity and development to the heroic people of this great country.

 

I thank you

(78 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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