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party politics: Towards a national vision for Zimbabwe
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
May 12, 2011
Discussion with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe,
The Right Honourable Morgan Tsvangirai, Sapes
Trust Lecture Series
Members of Parliament
Civil Society Leaders,
Members of the Diplomatic Corp,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you for
inviting me here today. The purpose of this evening's gathering
is to promote discussion and debate and therefore I shall keep my
I am here to
launch the Pan African Policy Dialogue Forum and it would not be
in the spirit of dialogue if I chose to deliver a speech to you
rather than promote the dialogue and interaction that this forum
to our theme, Beyond Party Politics - Towards a National Vision
for Zimbabwe, I wish to tackle it in two parts.
elevating our national vision above party politics is essential
to promote growth and development and;
Zimbabwe still has some way to go to achieve this goal.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
in all mature democracies the presence of a loyal opposition is
accepted without question.
That is, members
of a political party not holding a voting majority in parliament
are viewed as sharing a common national vision while holding opinions
and promoting policies that differ from the governing party or governing
is not wielded as a political tool and used to subvert the law and
and where membership of a political party is no more divisive or
dangerous than membership of a sports club. It is only within such
an environment that it is possible to truly lay the foundations
for sustained national development. In such an environment it is
possible to look beyond political or party differences, beyond tribal
or racial divisions, and work towards a future in which we are united
as Zimbabweans working for the betterment of our nation.
It is when we
are united, not only by our identity as Zimbabweans, but also by
our ability to respect our individual differences under that title
that we will begin to really move forward and act towards a common
in such a society, no one has the right to define exactly what is
meant by sovereignty, or who is more patriotic or more deserving
of access to our nation's riches and resources.
In such a society
where membership and rights are based on the broadest and simplest
of categories, such as birth and citizenship and where the courts
vigorously defend equally the rights of any individual that qualifies
under these broad determinants.
And finally, where we all have equal protection of our laws based
on a deep and abiding tolerance for our differences as much as a
deep and abiding affection for our similarities.
Where the police
protect our people and the sole remit of the army is to defend our
borders or provide humanitarian assistance in times of natural disaster.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
it is only in such a mature democracy, devoid of petty squabbles,
that we will be able to ensure that all of our children have access
to more opportunities than their parents in respect of education,
employment, health care and food security.
It was to take
a positive step towards building this new Zimbabwe that my party
decided to form this transitional government through signing the
Global Political Agreement.
The GPA, though
not a perfect arrangement, is an example that parties can sit down,
define and agree on what is good for the country. Because there
were painful compromises on both sides, at least the GPA provided
the necessary foundation for parties to forgo their parochial party
positions and act in the national interest.
However, what the past two years have illustrated and what I mentioned
at the beginning of this presentation is that, sadly, we are still
a long way from the reality of a national vision that transcends
Despite its commitments within the GPA, Zanu PF has made it blatantly
obvious over the past two years and in the previous decades that
it believes it has the sole mandate to Govern even in the absence
of a mandate from the people.
That same party
portrays any attack on its unjustified, unsustainable and violent
grip on power as an attack on the State of Zimbabwe.
Such a destructive
mentality spells disaster for our nation and its people.
That is why,
I am determined to fight to change the culture of governance in
To bring about
an environment where incumbents stand down gracefully if they lose
an election and where the people's right to determine their
own future, as well as who governs them, is so deeply entrenched
in our society that it becomes as normal and natural as breathing.
will stand-up against propagandists that continue to blame others
outside Zimbabwe for the ills we face inside.
I will continue
to stand against looters who plunder our national riches and subsequently
starve our civil service, our health and education facilities.
I and the party
I represent believe in broad-based empowerment of the ordinary person
and that is why we have a different interpretation of what the so-called
indigenization regulations are all about.
empowerment of the common man and woman is what we believe in, and
not the looting, expropriation or nationalization by the elite as
envisaged by some of our partners in this government.
So we will take
a strong position against expropriation in the national interest,
beyond the narrow party politics of rhetoric and patronage of our
And I will continue
to speak out against those within our government who hide behind
badly worded and illegally implemented legislation to take investments,
organizations and assets that do not belong to them.
Only when we
have succeeded in eradicating these shortsighted, selfish and nationally
self-destructive tendencies from our political environment can we
begin to truly rise above party politics and develop and implement
a real vision for Zimbabwe.
But I want to
remain positive and optimistic that the people's aspirations
for the political leadership and political parties to go beyond
party politics will be achieved well within our lifetime.
The unity by
MPs from the two MDC formations and our friends in Zanu PF to defend
the people's will by acting in common purpose to re-elect
Hon Lovemore Moyo as Speaker of the House of Assembly shows that
it is possible to work towards a common vision and a common purpose.
At the inception
of the inclusive government, one of whose core responsibilities
was to restore economic stability, we tried in the first two years
through the Short
Term Economic Recovery Programme (STERP) to stop the bleeding,
to stem inflation and to provide respite in the health and education
available and we brought some hope to the people of Zimbabwe because
there was more collaboration than competition, which competition
has now been brought to the fore again through misguided election
talk without proper conditions for a free and fair poll.
We need to have a clear national economic vision that transcends
party politics. A vision to create jobs, bring investment and set
the ground for peace, stability and security as these are key ingredients
to economic success.
We must start
by have a clear five year programme that will deal with massive
unemployment and poverty that we currently face, a clear programme
underpinned by political reforms, a commitment to the rule of law,
defense of property rights and reward of individual effort, infrastructure
rehabilitation, resuscitation of our manufacturing potential and
increasing our mining and agricultural productivity.
These are surely
issues that must unite all of us across the political divide if
we are to put the interests of this country ahead of partisan interests.
Under this new
programme, some of us envision a $15 billion economy in the next
five years and we can be able to achieve a US$100 billion economy
by 2030. It is possible, if we work together, to achieve 10 percent
annual growth rate as long as we all agree to a peaceful country
underpinned by constitutionalism and the rule of law. Our challenge
is that there others who are not driven by the collective national
interest and prefer chaos to peace so that they can create wealth
for themselves and their cronies.
I want to thank
you for giving me the honour to make the first presentation and
to launch the inaugural Pan African Leadership dialogue.
the missing link in our collective effort to craft sound policies
in the best interests of the country and the people.
I am told that
the Pan African Leadership Dialogue that we launch here today will
be honouring and profiling prominent African leaders on our continent
and in the Diaspora, drawing on their wealth of experience in policy
making and leadership at national, sub-regional or continental levels.
It is therefore
my singular honour and privilege to officially launch the Pan African
Dialogue Series. Let the dialogue not only begin - but bear fruits
for the people by contributing to a more open, transparent and honest
I thank you.
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