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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai’s speech on the occasion of
the 14th anniversary of the Movement for Democratic Change, Sakubva
Tsvangirai,Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T)
Hon. Thokozani Khupe
Members of the
Members of the
National Executive and the national council
of the host province of Manicaland
Members of the
Ladies and gentlemen
We have come
here today to celebrate the 14th birthday of the people’s
party, the MDC. It is with great pride that I express my hearty
congratulations on the people’s
victory of July 31. Your loud expression was too big that it
was stolen. Hurudza ndiyo inobirwa.
We must celebrate
and claim our victory as suggested by the theme of this year’s
event, “Celebrating and Claiming the People’s Victory.”
In our celebration
and as we claim our victory, we pledge to conduct ourselves in peace
and in full compliance with the Constitution and the rights enshrined
in the new people’s charter.
I know and I
can safely say, with pride and certainty, that this party remains
the only true embodiment of the people’s aspirations for transformation
and the positive change they want in their lives.
anniversary comes soon after the greatest electoral theft of our
time as characterised by the mood of national mourning that still
grips this country.
All we see are
people wondering on the whereabouts of the millions of people who
are said to have votes for Zanu-PF because all we see are a sad
people whose vote was stolen.
But we cannot
afford to be a despondent people.
Today, our collective
challenge is not to give up.
There are moments
when a heroic people such as the people of Zimbabwe feel low, when
a successful farmer does not feel like farming anymore because his
granary has been raided.
We are farmers
with a difference and we will retain our conviction in democratic
This is certainly
not one of those moments to feel low. For the sake of our country,
which we love and for which we have sacrificed so much, we cannot
as a people and as a movement be held captive by despondency and
This is the
time when a heroic people only becomes aware and renews its commitment
to the mammoth task at hand. Today I want to make it clear to those
who have always doubted us and our resolve for real change, that
we had budgeted for a marathon and not a sprint. So we remain on
We have always
known that the change and the transformation that we seek are not
We have always
budgeted for the long haul and we remain with the same unstinting
commitment that we had 14 years ago. For the avoidance of doubt,
the MDC is a political reality that cannot wished away.
our resolve is greater because we know that the people of Zimbabwe
won this election but lost the results. A yes, regardless of what
political spin other political parties tell them and their feigned
timidity and meekness, history tells us that the people will always
claim their victory.
MDC at 14
Today, we proudly
celebrate this birthday well aware that we have achieved so much
in the last 14 years. We have achieved a lot and garnered so much
experience as a party of only 14 years of age.
Nobody can teach
us anything about true leadership and how to give hope to a people
disempowered by a clueless government. We have imprinted this party
in the national conscience. We have represented the people at all
levels of government.
In the past
five years, we have been part of an inclusive government where we
have shown qualitative difference from those who led the country
until its citizens were fighting for fruits with wild animals. They
were clueless until we came in to save the people in 2009.
We have shown
the people of this country that stability and progress are possible
which is why the nation is in a state of mourning because government
is now in the exclusive hands of those who have a record of failure
and not those who have a track record of success, national stability
The nation is
apprehensive that we, the voice of reason and the face of stability,
have been literally robbed of the mandate to govern exclusively.
of showing policy clarity and telling the nation what they are going
to do, they are still busy fighting the MDC; its leadership and
my staff. They claim they won this election, so they must govern
instead of talking about Morgan Tsvangirai, any member in the party
leadership or any staff member in my Office.
It is now apparent
that their fixation with us is an admission that we matter in the
people’s agenda and their daily struggles.
Today we must
remember the long and tortuous journey that this party has traveled;
the people who have been murdered and who have lost life and limb
simply because they wanted change in the country of their birth.
Today, we remember
all those heroes and heroines of the MDC across the country; in
urban areas, in the farming and mining towns, in the diaspora and
the rural areas.
all those who are wallowing in prison because of their unstinting
belief that as a country we deserve better leadership than the current
Today we pay
tribute to the sons and daughters of the MDC across the country
who remain faithful and true to our values and our mission to bring
a better life to ourselves and to usher in a new era for our children
and for future generations.
So in a mere
14 years, we have shown the nation that it is possible to believe
in a functioning government once again. We have shown this country
that we have the capacity to bring change in their lives as we did
during our participation in an inclusive government in five years.
So we are a
proud, 14-year old people’s movement.
Now the people’s
hope has been shattered after those that the people rejected claimed
to have won in one of the biggest electoral heists of our time.
Those who stole
this election claim to have been overwhelmingly voted by the people,
even here in Manicaland where we know you have since declared this
province shall never be Zanu-PF again.
They made a
farce of our electoral
petition where we intended to expose how this election was stolen.
But I want to say here that we had to withdraw
the Presidential election petition because we were denied election
material and figures. They refused to allow us to bring witnesses
We have teachers,
school heads and other civil servants who wanted to testify on how
they were asked to plead illiteracy.
We wanted to
bring in many witness and cross-examine Tobaiwa Mudede and the Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission chief Rita Makarau, among others. We wanted
Mudede to explain many things, included the millions of dollars
he paid Nikuv without the knowledge of the Minister of Finance and
what national services the company had offered the people of Zimbabwe.
We have sat
as a national leadership and received reports from across the country
on how these thieves did it and we have frightening information,
most of it from some of the players involved in the electoral theft.
was highly militarised. The militarisation started with the deployment
of military personnel such as former Air Vice Marshall Henry Muchena
and several other former intelligence officials to work at the Zanu-PF
We have a list
of 10 senior military officers who were deployed as co-ordinators
for the July 31 election in each of the provinces.
We now have
impeccable information that 35 000 youths were trained and deployed
specifically in Harare, all Matabeleland provinces and here in Manicaland
after Zanu PF said the people in these provinces were “resisting
re-orientation programmes run by civilians.” Inkomo Barracks
in Harare had 7 343 recruits who went through training and were
deployed three days ahead of the election. Named intelligence and
military intelligence department officials were working with Nikuv
to manipulate the voters’ roll in both rural and urban areas.
We now know
who stole how many carats, on what date, who took them to the intermediary
in Angola and how much was paid as the regime mopped national resources
to fund electoral theft. We now know which countries, which individuals
and companies were at the centre of this electoral theft. I now
have the dossier with me, which I will be sharing with heads of
State in SADC and the rest of Africa.
roll, voter registration and displacement of voters
Six weeks after
the election, we still do not have a copy of the voters’ roll.
We now have information that there was a deliberate ploy to prevent
registration for a certain age group and people from perceived MDC
strongholds. For example, during the initial voter registration
period, Mashonaland East, a perceived Zanu-PF stronghold, had 18
mobile registration teams while Harare had only five.
As a result,
Harare had only 27 000 newly registered voters after the intense
30-day registration exercise while Mashonaland East had more than
50 000. 750 000 people in urban areas were disenfranchised while
the limited time allocated for voter registration resulted in the
disenfranchisement of over two million potential voters, 350 000
of these in Harare alone. Others found their names on the roll of
other districts and other provinces.
While the new
Constitution restored voting rights to the so-called aliens, the
majority of them could not register to vote as registration authorities
continued to make dubious demands that led to most of them being
the SADC Election Observer Mission saying the voters roll is at
the heart of any election and should be made available to all parties
timeously, which did not happen in our case, the same observer mission
found our election to have been “generally credible.”
An election is either credible or not and surely an election which
takes place when other parties do not have a copy of the voters
roll is certainly not credible.
There was no
transparency over how many ballots were printed and by whom. There
was no accountability on how many ballots were printed for both
the special voting and the actual election on 31 July 2013. To date,
no one has accounted for the printed ballots and we now understand
300 000 Presidential ballots were printed for the special voting
even though there were far much less that 100 000 people eligible
to vote during the special voting.
The fact that
ZEC printed 8,7 million ballots against 6,4 million registered voters
raised suspicion. We have requested for a full national audit of
the production and distribution of ballots but that was not done
and we were denied access to the required material.
voter registration slips
The voter registration
slips were abused. On election day, we unearthed a scam where tens
of thousands of fraudulent slips were issued out and used to vote.
In Hatfield constituency, six people were arrested on election day
and they confessed to being part of a large group of people that
has been issued with fake registration slips. The fake registration
slips did not have a block number meaning they could be used to
vote at any polling station in a given constituency.
of traditional leaders and the harvest of fear
leaders were told to lead their people on voting day to vote for
Zanu-PF. We have a case of three village heads in Mashonaland East
who were suspended after the election for not doing what every village
head had done, to commandeer their people to the polling station
to vote for Zanu-PF.
We also had
teachers, including school heads and principals, nurses and other
professionals who are still prepared to testify in court on how
they were made to claim illiteracy so that they could be assisted
This is probably
the only election where headmasters and other senior civil servants
were assisted to vote by Grade two drop-outs after they were asked
to plead illiteracy.
In short, it
was a peaceful but rigged election. A coup by ballot, a chaotic
football match where the referee, in this case ZEC, joins the other
team and scores for it!
The nature of
the national crisis
The crisis we
face has become more acute after the stolen election.
We have a crisis
of legitimacy, a crisis of governance and a crisis of national expectations
that are not going to be fulfilled because those who created our
problems want to pretend they can solve them. Our crisis is that
we are expecting a mosquito to cure malaria.
crisis is largely a crisis of mandate and legitimacy. How do you
mobilize and inspire the nation with a stolen mandate?
enemy first looted in government as evidenced by the Willowgate
scandal and the War Victims Compensation Fund, among others. They
then went for the land, where most of the chefs are multiple farm
owners. They have moved to mines where they are looting the diamonds
at Chiadzwa, among other mining scandals.
Ours is a crisis
of a voracious appetite by Zanu-PF.
Zimbabweans are asking each other every day since the great theft
of July 31 is, “Where do we go from here and what is the way
As a party and
as a leadership, we have been talking to the people across the country
and they have told us that the way forward is for us to maintain
our mass-line and to continue actively engaged in a perennial dialogue
with the people, as we have always done.
Ours is not
a boardroom movement stuck only in power point presentations and
cyber activism, even though that is important in modern day politics.
We continue to be a mass movement that values sitting with the people
under the tree in Plumtree, in Mberengwa, in Muzarabani and in Rusitu.
So I will be
joining you there in meetings in the districts across the country
as we continue to talk about a new Zimbabwe whose hour is upon us.
As a party,
we will stick to our vision and our agenda of bringing change and
real transformation well within our lifetime. We seek to create
a society, anchored on a democratic, developmental State, which
prides itself fin leaving no one behind in the pursuit of happiness,
prosperity, freedom and justice.
We shall protect
our zones of autonomy, our districts across the country, our councils
and any space that we occupy. We say no more to sham elections because
the game plan of Zanu-PF is very clear. They want to continue to
steal elections in the hope that we will lose the appetite for polls.
It is a deliberate
ploy to create apathy so that the minority will then decide on behalf
of the majority, as they have just done. We will not allow them
and will continue to mobilise the nation to invest and keep the
faith in elections.
We shall pursue,
overtake and recover all
At a personal
level, I am inspired by the story of David as a major lesson for
victims of theft to salvage their stolen legacy and their pick-pocketed
After the enemy
had stolen everything from him, as the enemy of freedom did to us
on July 31, David does not lie down to cry. He does not resign to
fate, as some people hope we in the MDC will do following the daylight
robbery of the people’s victory.
the book of Samuel, David asks the Lord whether it would be possible
for him to recover his property; his treasure which the enemy had
stolen from him. The Lord says to David: “Pursue, for you
shall surely overtake and recover all.”
And so the people
of Zimbabwe shall pursue the one who stole their destiny. They shall
certainly overtake and recover all. As David did, we shall not lie
down and cry but we shall pursue the enemy, overtake and recover
the people’s victory.
will is sovereign and no thief can steal God’s time. The people’s
sweet victory and the realisation of the national dream can only
be postponed but not abandoned.
So we shall
be around for a long time to come unless and until we achieve what
we set out to achieve when we started this movement whose 14th birthday
we celebrate today. These are the adolescent years of this teenager
called the MDC.
We shall also
not allow reckless and misguided oppression to have its way without
pursuing the instigators of this grand and unmitigated theft. We
have God’s assurance that we shall pursue the enemy, overtake
him, and recover all that belongs to us. We are a nation of heroes
and I know we will do it.
In short, the
only way to have a legitimate government in this country is by having
a legitimate election; a truly free and fair election in which the
people’s will is guaranteed, expressed and upheld.
We shall continue
working towards the unity of all democratic forces so that together,
we work towards comprehensive electoral reforms that will allow
for the expression of the people’s will.
We want to pledge
here, that you can bank on us and our resolve to bring about democratic
change in Zimbabwe. We shall not be swallowed by these electoral
thieves. In short, the MDC has become such a great movement that
it is unswallowable.
As a people
and as a party, we are still very much in this struggle and will
remain a key national player until the change we seek is achieved.
We shall remain in a perpetual conversation with the people of Zimbabwe
until change comes to our motherland.
We have a generational
mandate to bring democratic change to this country; to have a new
leadership that can manage a modern economy in this brave 21st century.
This is only
a dream deferred. But the hope for the individual, the family and
the nation has only been postponed but not abandoned. Winners are
I shall be engaging
SADC and the AU because they simply do not have the information
of how the people’s verdict was stolen. So I shall visit them
and update them on what happened during the July 31 theft.
We remain very
much in this struggle. We remain faithful to the national calling
for which we have been battered and bruised over the years. As usual,
I shall be leading from the front as long as I continue to have
you support which you continue to express every-day.
The MDC will
not fail the people of Zimbabwe.
I thank you!
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