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Inclusive government - Index of articles
and embracing the new dispensation in Zimbabwe
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Sir, Cabinet Ministers, Honorable members of Parliament I rise to
make my maiden speech in this august house. We are at a stage in
our country where we are building bridges. We are at that juncture
where we have found each other. We have come together; we must stay
together, work together and deliver on the promise of our revolution.
This is national interest time. We have embarked on an irreversible
process of inclusiveness with the clear understanding that the GPA
of 15th September 2008 is the only workable arrangement in our country.
There is unprecedented unanimity among our citizens on this position.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, this was clearly amplified by the vote in this
august house for Constitutional
Amendment no. 19, where 184 out 184 members endorsed it, and
the 72 out of 72 Senators did the same. As I present my views, let
me emphasize that my intention is to build, and not to destroy;
unify, and not disunite. However, I will seek to challenge us as
Zimbabweans by speaking frankly on the matters we are facing. Is
it not that they say a problem realized is half solved? Moreover
this august house is the distinguished arena of both rational disputation
and robust democratic dialogue. Consequently, I will be remiss in
the discharge of my duties if I did not deliver a no-holds-barred
maiden speech. There will be no prisoners taken today.
Sir, the Government that I am part of, this inclusive institution,
is a creature of abnormal circumstances. We are a product of the
SADC dialogue process. But why did we have to negotiate? Honorable
Members, lest we forget, we were forced to talk to each other in
this manner because we had some problems with our elections, to
put it politely. If we are to be candid and brazen about it, we
have to accept that we had fraudulent elections on March 29th 2008.
What is worse is that the run-off Presidential election on June
27th 2008 was a complete farce, a nullity. Understanding this background
allows us to clearly articulate the agenda of our inclusive government.
The sum total of our mandate is to ensure that at the next elections
Zimbabweans can vote freely and fairly. This means that creating
conditions for free and fair polls is the overarching duty and obligation
of this inclusive government. The question is then how do you achieve
this? This is done by carrying out radical political and economic
reforms underpinned by five key activities; healing the nation,
adopting a new constitution, resolving the humanitarian crisis,
recovering and stabilizing the economy, and transforming our economy.
Our people and country went through trauma and brutality in the
June 27th 2008 elections. The national healing process must achieve
a never again framework. Never again should Zimbabweans slaughter
each other over political differences. Never again should Zimbabweans
question each other's patriotism because of political affiliation.
Most of the challenges that confront us as a nation are due to a
dysfunctional, ineffective and undemocratic constitution. In adopting
a new constitution, it is important that the process of developing
it is as important as the final contents. Hence, this inclusive
government seeks to facilitate the development of a truly people
driven, democratic constitution, with total buy in, and ownership
by the entirety of civic society, in particular the NCA,
the student movement, the churches, the business community, and
other political parties not involved in the GPA. By definition a
constitution is a consensus document, and not a contested piece
of paper produced by three political parties. In addition to the
constitutional reforms, there must be other political reforms including
the removal of AIPPA
from our statutes and drastic media reforms. Our local media should
be sufficiently empowered to report freely without bias. The international
media, such as BBC and CNN must be immediately allowed back into
the country. On economic recovery and stabilization we are stepping
in the right direction with STERP.
Beyond recovery and stabilization we must seek to transform our
economy through establishing a long term economic vision and strategy.
Let us lay the foundation for this ambition during the tenure of
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