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President Tsvangirai's end of year statement to the people
Movement for Democratic Change
months ago, the MDC helped form the inclusive government in Zimbabwe.
We were guided by the righteous and noble objective of stabilizing
the economy and rescuing the people from the precipice of poverty,
uncertainty, starvation and indignity wrought by three decades of
corruption and misgovernance.
we all celebrate the birth of Christ and look positively to the
year ahead, well aware of the value we have brought into government
and the role we have played in stopping the bleeding and making
sure that Zimbabweans have every reason to hope again. We are not
there yet and I have no doubt about the huge task that lies ahead
in returning the country to normalcy and in laying the foundation
for a great future for our children.
But over the past two years, we in the MDC have shown that it is
possible to turn over a new leaf, to have some order in government
and to bring Zimbabwe back to its years of glory and to earn respect
from its peers in Africa and beyond.
- We have
added value to this government.
- We have pulled
this nation from the brink of collapse to a new potential of hope.
- We have averted
an inevitable plunge into the abyss to set the country back on
the rails; on a new path of stability, development and growth.
- We are the
people's conscience in this government and every day, we
are mitigating the excesses of entitlement and corruption and
keeping in check a sulking minority unused to working in the interest
of the people.
- We have shown
what a determined people can do, even in the face of open Zanu
- We have weathered
and survived dark and sinister plots to undermine the collective
government work programme and the real change agenda.
- We have remained
resolute, in the full knowledge that we are the true people's
representatives because of the clear mandate given to us in a
As I take stock
of the past year and look at the priorities of 2011, I am humbled
by some notable achievements but at the same time aware of the great
strides we would have made were it not for the needless tension
in this government. Our positive impact is a matter of public record.
Inflation has been tamed and we are now poised for a growth of 8,1
percent after having spent the past 24 months concentrating on stabilizing
There is food
on the shelves, schools have opened and hospitals have begun functioning
again. Only recently, we led an investment revolution when the ministry
of Economic Planning and Development opened a one-stop shop that
will enable prospective investors to have their papers processed
under one roof in less than 48 hours so that we create jobs and
expand our economy.
have started receiving a salary but I am still not happy with their
remuneration considering their patriotism and their great service
to this country. Great work has already begun to rehabilitate national
infrastructure. The dualisation of some major roads, the fibre-optic
link to Mutare and the commitment of resources through the fiscus
for major dams such as Mtshabezi is a departure from mere lip-service
about some of these national projects.
development fund, where each constituency will receive $50 000,
means that parliamentarians will have a chance to embark on major
projects with the direct input of their constituents. The elderly
and the vulnerable will receive assistance through the department
of social welfare. Money has also been set aside for the rehabilitation
of tertiary college infrastructure such as halls of residence while
government has also resumed student loans and grants to assist in
laying a sound educational base for these future leaders.
with the support of the United Nations and other donors, I commissioned
13 million textbooks to all the 5 575 primary schools in the country.
This was the largest single investment in the education sector since
independence and it ensured that every primary school child will
have access to textbooks. In October, again with the support of
partners, I commissioned new medical equipment at Harare hospital
as we sought to improve the health delivery system which is the
bedrock of any serious government committed to real change.
For the first
time since independence, we commissioned new and modern audio equipment
in our Parliament
and our MPs have steered the first private member's Bill that
will bring new, democratic amendments to the draconian Public
Order and Security Act (POSA). Our local authorities have worked
hard to mitigate three decades of misgovernance, cronyism and corruption
to bring back clean water and other services to residents in the
wake of needless meddling from the Minister of Local Government.
I am aware that
more needs to be done to realize our full potential in bringing
hospitals and schools to their former glory and in ensuring that
our silent factories start working again. But we have made our positive
change in this government amid renewed tension which is threatening
our collective march from a dark past of uncertainty to a future
of hope and progress.
is also true that as I reflect on the events of the past 23 months,
I have my own frustrations about many things in this government.
Chief among my frustrations is the failure to implement the Global
Political Agreement, the resurgence of violence in the country
and President Robert Mugabe's unilateral and unconstitutional
acts which have blighted the dawn of possible progress.
I am frustrated because these things have stood between us and the
great things we could have achieved as a coalition government. I
am frustrated because we have taken Zimbabweans for a ride and betrayed
the trust bestowed upon us by you, the people of Zimbabwe as well
as SADC and the African Union as the guarantors of the Global Political
I am frustrated
because we cannot implement the 24 issues we have agreed upon for
the simple reason that President Mugabe has chosen to run away from
his signature and treats fellow Principals with utter disdain and
I am frustrated
because the noble-constitution-making process has failed to stand
the test of legitimacy after Zimbabweans were disallowed from freely
expressing their views. However, we must continue with this process
of crafting a new charter for ourselves while awaiting the making
of a truly people-driven Constitution in a post-transitional environment.
It is a shame
that 30 years after independence, we still use a Constitution given
to us as an order of the Queen at Lancaster House, albeit a Constitution
mutilated 19 times. And we still have the have the temerity to call
ourselves a sovereign nation while at the same time subverting a
noble process of crafting our own, home-grown Constitution.
I am frustrated
because those who lost the election have chosen to mistake our goodwill
and benevolence for a weakness.
They have deluded
themselves into thinking that they invited us. But we derive comfort
in that while they are soaked with the blood of innocent Zimbabweans,
we remain drenched in the legitimacy bestowed upon us in a free
and fair election.
We are the true
repository of the people's aspirations. But our present frustrations
must not blind us to the nightmare of the past and the prospect
of a better future. We have since moved on from the indignity of
a hyperinflationary environment; bags of worthless money, a non-functioning
social services sector and the long winding queues where we spent
days and cold nights in a desperate attempt to get a service.
We are now on
the home stretch-the last mile. As we go on this last mile, we remain
undaunted by the prospect of an election, as this is the only route
through which a legitimate government can begin to transact the
business of the people and bring about real change.
We won the Presidential,
parliamentary and local government elections of 2008 and we are
not afraid. The holder of the heavyweight title can never be more
afraid than the challenger; the one itching to inflict revenge after
being humiliated in the first round. And we won the first round.
So we are ready for an election and not a war.
We are only
ready for a free and fair election, a peaceful election where violence,
rigging, intimidation and a biased public media have no space; where
our soldiers, our police, our central intelligence officers and
our war veterans remain impartial actors that respect the Constitution
of Zimbabwe. A free election where losers hand over power and winners
begin urgently to transact the business of the people and to set
in motion policies that will guarantee a prosperous future for us
and our children.
So we will only
participate in a free, fair and violence-free election. But we will
not participate in a war. We are simple defenseless citizens of
this country fighting for change through peaceful and democratic
means. So we will not participate in a blood-soaked event masquerading
as an election.
On 16 December
2010, our national council took a position that the outstanding
electoral business is the unfinished Presidential election of 2008.
There was no contestation on the outcome of the Parliamentary and
local government elections. This means Zimbabweans should be given
a chance to vote for a President of their choice in the next election.
We have been forced to walk the road of violence and we are not
prepared to walk it forever more.
We have lost
relatives. Our homes and property have been destroyed. We have seen
State agents actively engaged in shameful acts of violence and the
unbridled violation of the people's rights and freedoms. But
we have all refused to be cowed and to be distracted from the urgent
national assignment of fighting for democratic change in Zimbabwe.
I, like every
other Zimbabwean, have personally experienced this violence and
I understand the pain of brutality and indignity. As a nation, we
cannot afford to slide back if we are to claim our rightful place
among the civilized family of nations. There have been disturbing
and treasonous statements by a parasitic minority in Zanu PF that
they will not allow an election to decide the future leaders of
this country. The people of Zimbabwe, with the active assistance
of SADC, must ensure that the people's will prevails if we
are to entrench a new culture of democracy in our country.
A false impression
has been created that the MDC and its leadership are fighting our
national security institutions. We have nothing against our soldiers,
our police and our CIO officers as long as they stick to their Constitutional
mandate of protecting the people of Zimbabwe. But we have a problem
when the same institutions are used for partisan interest, to intimidate
and mete out violence against innocent and defenceless citizens.
So we need a
roadmap to a free and fair election, with clear benchmarks and time-bound
milestones that will ensure the people's views will be respected.
We derive comfort in that at the SADC meeting in August in Windhoek,
Namibia, regional leaders agreed to charting a clear roadmap to
ensure violence-free elections in Zimbabwe. President Zuma is currently
leading a regional initiative to ensure that we come up with a charter
for a free and fair poll in Zimbabwe.
We need SADC
to guarantee the process leading to the next election by maintaining
massive presence in the country six months before and six months
after the election. Our regional brothers must ensure there is no
violence and that our security agents stick to their Constitutional
We need a transparent,
biometric digitalized voters roll and a genuinely independent Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission with a credible secretariat, an electoral body
that ensures that the people's will is respected, the results
announced expeditiously and power transferred to the new authority.
We cannot have credible election with the same secretariat that
was at the centre of the chaos of 2008.
The major lesson
from 2008 is that all this cannot happen without the active role
of SADC and the African Union; the guarantors of the GPA. The major
lesson from the spectacle in Ivory Coast is that Africa needs strong
regional bodies that are ready to defend the people's verdict.
We applaud the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
which has stood firm in its defence of the legitimate will of the
people of Ivory Coast. Africa risks becoming a laughing stock if
it continues the disturbing trend that we have seen in Kenya, Zimbabwe
and lately the Ivory Coast, where losers take advantage of their
incumbency to refuse to hand over power even after losing a free
and fair election. The will of the people is sacrosanct and it must
always be respected.
I wish to thank
the people of Zimbabwe for investing their faith in us; for choosing
hope over despair, peace over violence and a bright future over
a troubled past. The civil servants, peasants, workers, farmers,
housewives, students and everyone across the social spectrum have
stood resolute in support of the peaceful foundation we have laid
for a bright future.
I have traversed
the length and breath of Zimbabwe and spoken to our parents, brothers
and sisters. I have spoken to farmers, students, church leaders,
businesspersons, cross-border traders, factory workers, bankers,
investors, housewives, the youth, women and minority groups. I have
been humbled by their unequivocal support for our great movement
and our collective quest for real change, a new Zimbabwe and a new
So as we celebrate
the birth of Christ this Christmas and look forward to a new year,
we pray for peace, hope, security and prosperity in our country.
As we embark on this last mile to full democracy, I urge the people
of Zimbabwe and the leadership of the church to take a leading role
in committing our country and its leadership to God, submitting
ourselves to the supremacy of the Almighty.
I urge all God-fearing
Zimbabweans to race alongside me in this last mile as we unite in
prayer and ask God the Almighty to bless our country. Join me in
this last mile to pray for a peaceful election and the cursing of
the demon of violence; where we allow each other to vote for a party
and a leader of our choice.
Let us join
hands in this last mile as we all walk united in our collective
quest for a peaceful and prosperous Zimbabwe, a Zimbabwe where war
and violence are alien and have no place; where we are united and
celebrating our diversity and where every Zimbabwean has the freedom
to pursue and live their dreams..
Our faith in
the Lord and our fortitude in waging this great struggle for democracy
and real change should continue to drive us in 2011. May there be
peace within your walls and security within your citadels. (Psalm
122, verse 7).
I wish you a
merry Christmas and a prosperous 2011.
God bless Zimbabwe.
God bless Africa.
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