Zimbabwe in urgent need of leadership change

Chinamasa

The 2016 national budget statement that was presented by Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, in Parliament on November 26, 2015 paints a very gloomy and depressing picture of the state of our economy.

Speaking at a breakfast meeting to discuss his budget statement the following day in Harare. Chinamasa confessed that he was embarrassed to present a paltry US$4 billion for a country that is so richly endowed with natural and human resources such as Zimbabwe. The MDC is not exaggerating when it boldly states that the Zimbabwean economy is in comatose mode in the intensive care unit. All well – meaning and patriotic Zimbabweans have to bite the bullet and acknowledge the sad reality that our beloved country is on the precipice. We are in a real deep socio – economic and political mess.

It is a national embarrassment to note that the 2016 Zimbabwe national budget is smaller than the annual budget of the city of Durban in neighbouring South Africa. Durban is the third largest city in South Africa after Johannesburg and Cape Town. The 2016 Zimbabwe annual budget is also significantly smaller than the annual budget of Pick & Pay group of supermarkets in South Africa. To all intents and purposes, therefore, Zimbabwe now qualifies to be officially referred to as a failed state.

Our national economy only grew by a miserable 1,5% in 2015; making it arguably the fastest shrinking economy in the fifteen member SADC region. As the country is literally burning, the Zanu PF regime remains clueless and visionless. The regime is caught up in endless factional fighting that has placed the country virtually on auto pilot as the competing and antagonistic factions in Zanu PF are working overtime trying to outdo and out manoeuvre each other. The perilous state of both the physical and mental health of the nonagenarian President Robert Mugabe is not making matters any better for the toiling and poverty stricken masses of Zimbabwe.

Without a fundamental and holistic leadership change in Zimbabwe, the economy will not improve and will in fact, get even worse in the new year. Corruption has since been institutionalised in both the public and private sectors in Zimbabwe. The scourge of corruption is so deep – rooted that it can only be overturned with the complete overhaul of the present kleptocratic regime that is running the country.

Nothing short of a complete and thorough regime overhaul will cure the insipid and rampant corruption that has become a way of life in Zimbabwe. Chinese President Xi Jingpin will be making a 48 hour stopover in Harare on December 1, 2015 en route to a FOCAC (Forum on China-Africa Cooperation) conference that will be held in South Africa later in the week. This so – called historic state visit is in actual fact, a public relations exercise that will not bring any meaningful and tangible benefits to the tottering economy of Zimbabwe. The Chinese are hugely unimpressed by the unresolved succession crisis in Zanu PF. When President Robert Mugabe paid a state visit to Beijing in August 2014, he was advised, in no uncertain terms, that China will not be able to commit real big money and meaningful investment to Zimbabwe until and unless Robert Mugabe clearly ironed out the succession debacle in his deeply divided and beleaguered political party, Zanu PF.

As the largest and most popular political party in Zimbabwe, the MDC calls upon the Zanu PF regime to appreciate that the end game is nigh. Robert Mugabe is in the sunset of his long political career and as such, all stakeholders should put their heads together and urgently work on resolving the deteriorating socio – economic crisis that is bedevilling our motherland.

As a way forward, the MDC calls for the immediate resignation of Robert Mugabe as the President of the country because he is clearly no longer fit for purpose. We also call upon the prompt actualisation of the various electoral reforms that are fully set out in the WReNe ‘’Without Reforms,No Elections’’ document before fresh and legitimate free and fair elections can be held in Zimbabwe.

The Zimbabwean economy has been a major casualty of the lack of political legitimacy of the Zanu PF regime. The people of Zimbabwe are entitled to be governed by a legitimate and popularly elected government.They don’t deserve to be under the tutelage of an illegitimate and corrupt regime that stole elections on July 31, 2013.

MDC: Equal opportunities for all
Obert Chaurura Gutu
National Spokesperson
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Politicians should not administer sport

Zimbabwe National Football Team

As a social democratic political party, the MDC firmly believes that sport is an integral component of modern day human life.
Indeed, sport is no longer just a past time or a hobby; it has evolved into becoming an income-generating industry on its own. The world over, millions of young people are now earning a decent and comfortable living as a result of participating in professional sporting activities such as football, rugby, tennis, cricket, basketball, golf etc.

In particular, football has become a multi-billion dollar global business and many footballers have become millionaires through playing professional football; especially in the major leagues such as the English Premiership, La Liga in Spain, the Bundesliga in Germany and Serie A in Italy. In Zimbabwe, we have footballers who have successfully managed to brand themselves into global soccer icons such as Peter Ndlovu, Moses Chunga, Bruce Grobbelaar and Benjani Mwaruwari, just to mention a few.

Professional sport has become big business. It has also managed to bring peace, love and unity amongst people of different ethnic and racial backgrounds. As a nation, we are all very proud of the exploits of Kirsty Coventry who has won several gold medals at swimming competitions at the Olympic Games. More recently, our national women football team, the Mighty Warriors, brought us immense joy and excitement as they achieved a historic feat of qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games to be played in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

The MDC firmly believes that politicians shouldn’t be actively involved in the administration of any sporting organisation. Sport should essentially be administered by non - political actors in order to ensure that there is no unnecessary polarisation and friction amongst sportspersons and fans who follow and enjoy various sporting disciplines.This is the main reason why the global football association, FIFA, is very strict in ensuring that there shouldn’t be any political interference in the manner in which national football associations are administered.

By its very nature, politics can be very toxic and confrontational and perhaps, this is the rationale behind the principle adopted by FIFA that political interference is strictly forbidden in soccer administration.

More importantly, the MDC also advocates for a policy whereby sports administration in the various sporting disciplines is essentially left in the hands of people who have actively participated in the particular sport as players, administrators or stakeholders in a meaningful and tangible way. Put simply, sports administration should never, ever be contaminated by the involvement and participation of practising and active politicians.

In addition, fly-by-night opportunists and some other such chancers should never be granted the opportunity to become top level sports administrators. These people, almost invariably harbour certain ulterior motives that may not be in the best interests of all concerned stakeholders.

Football is arguably the world’s most beautiful game. As such, practising and active politicians should keep away from holding positions in the day to day administration of a sport that is keenly followed and supported by millions of Zimbabweans. Politicians should be involved in politics and football stakeholders such as former soccer players and some other such persons with a direct link to football should be left to administer football affairs.

MDC: Equal Opportunities For All

Obert Chaurura Gutu
National Chairperson
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