Statement by MDC-T President Tsvangirai on the occasion of the signing of an MOU with Professor Welshman Ncube of MDC

President Tsvangirai with Professor Welshman Ncube

Today we continue the journey that we started yesterday with Dr Joice Mujuru; a journey whose destination is a democratic, free and prosperous Zimbabwe under a caring government.

When we arrive at our desired destination in 2018, we will revive our industries so that we can create job opportunities for millions of our young people. We will attract investment to create new wealth, new jobs and end the man made cash crisis. We will give title deeds and sustained support to our new farmers and compensate our old farmers as a process of restoring property rights and making Zimbabwe a net exporter of food again. We will revamp and revitalize our health and education service delivery system. We will rehabilitate and modernize our collapsed infrastructure of roads, rail and energy. We will declare war on corruption. Through our Socio Economic transformation agenda, we will restore Zimbabwe to its former glory.

However, to embark on this transformation agenda, we need to extricate ourselves from the shackles of the corrosive dictatorship and economic mismanagement gripping our nation State. Father Zimbabwe, Dr Joshua Nkomo, in his memoirs whilst exiled in England wrote something very profound and I quote. “The hardest lesson of my life has come to me late. It is that a nation can win freedom without its people being free.” His words still ring true today as they did then. As Zimbabweans we are still not free, but none but ourselves can free ourselves, and to do so we need to work together.

Ladies and gentleman, Dr Nkomo was exiled not by the racist settler regime of Ian Douglas Smith, but by his own comrade in arms, President Robert Mugabe. His exiling was not motivated by anything other than power and its retention at all cost. The cost of that power retention agenda was the massacre of 20 000 of our fellow citizens in Midlands and Matabeleland.

President Mugabe, as Prime Minister, presided over these senseless killings. His response to the cry for a simple apology and for transitional justice was that it was a “moment of madness”. Really? Was it one moment of madness or more than 20 000 moments of madness? To us it was more-----it can only be described as cruel, unbridled, State sponsored terrorism. Cruelty manifested in divisive politics of hate, violence, intolerance, racism and tribalism which form part of the DNA of Zanu-PF. This, my countrymen and women, we will put an end to come 2018. Not through retribution but restitution.

Fellow Zimbabweans, for change to come we all have a part to play. The most critical role that you must play wherever you are is to register to vote so that you can participate in shaping the destiny of your own country and securing the future of your children by voting for change. Failure to do so would mean that you are voting for the perpetuation of our current suffering. Let’s go out in our numbers and register to vote so that we can usher in a new dispensation where every Zimbabwean irrespective of race, creed, religion or tribe is given an equal opportunity to prosper.

Ladies and gentleman, it would be remiss for me not to mention that whilst yesterday we started a journey of alliance building, the real journey for the democratization of our country started in 1997 with people like myself and Professor Ncube here, when we launched the National Constitutional Assembly. It was an inspired process designed to give the people of this country the freedom that they demand and deserve through the enactment of a democratic constitution.

Today, we take pride in that we achieved what we set ourselves to do - a new democratic Constitution with a superior bill of rights. This was against the wishes of President Mugabe and Zanu-PF. Sadly, most parts of that constitution, notably devolution of power to the provinces are still to be implemented because democracy and freedom are alien to President Mugabe and Zanu-PF. A difficult proposition indeed as President Mugabe once said.

I want to promise today that come 2018, we will fully implement our Constitution as part of our democratization agenda and ensure that our provinces and local authorities take responsibility for the management of their own affairs.

It would also be equally dishonest not to recognize that in our journey with Professor Ncube we both made our own mistakes. We split our party in 2005. The cost of that vote splitting in addition to the blatant manipulation of results was delayed change for the people of Zimbabwe in 2008. Ladies and gentleman, it takes humble leadership to accept one’s mistakes but it takes bold leadership to correct those mistakes.

It is in this respect that I am both relieved and pleased to have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Professor Ncube, as a first step towards undoing the damage we caused ourselves. Today, Professor Ncube and I will open a new chapter and craft a political agreement that should see us harness and combine our known electoral strength to face our common opponent as a united front.

If anyone in this country expects us to contest the next elections separately as we did in 2008 and 2013 and expect a different result, it will not only be a third moment of real madness, but the highest form of insanity and none of us is insane.

Finally, to my late friend and comrade Gibson Sibanda, I have taken the first step to do that which you would have wanted us to do.

May your dear soul rest in eternal peace.

Today, we are coming together once again because Zimbabwe and the collective interests of its people are more important than any one of us.

I thank you

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President Morgan Tsvangirai’s remarks at the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding with the National People’s Party

President Tsvangirai with Amai Mujuru

Today is a historic day in many ways.

It is the first day of the 38th year of our independence but with the majority of Zimbabweans with nothing to show for it except dire poverty, extreme suffering, hunger and disease.

Yesterday, we had a leader who skirted the critical issues affecting the people during the commemoration of our independence, an important day that has now been privatized by a political party.

It is against this background that we have chosen this day to give hope to the people of Zimbabwe that indeed that there is a bright light at the end of this very dark tunnel. We have chosen this day to take the first step to bring all Zimbabweans under one roof so that we can work together to remove this unmitigated repression and misgovernance that pervades our lives.

I am pleased to inform the nation that today we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Dr. Joice Mujuru of the National people’s party to establish a pre-election alliance en route to the establishment of a coalition government which shall drive a comprehensive democratization and transformation agenda.

This is just the beginning of the building blocks towards establishing a broad alliance to confront Zanu PF between now and the next election in 2018. Similar arrangements will be entered into with other political formations and we will inform you as it happens, as we have done today.

While political parties have their role in nation-building, it must be understood that they are not the only stakeholders. We are in this together with other key stakeholders such as traditional leaders, the church, labour, vendors, war veterans, civic society, business and the generality of Zimbabweans.

This is our collective struggle and I call upon the people of Zimbabwe to join us in working together and in playing your part so that we can reclaim our country, our freedom and our dignity.

To the youth, the future belongs to you. Shape it and the first step in doing so is by registering to vote.

Even at the over-ripe old age of 93, President Mugabe knows that the country’s crisis is unsustainable. Every Zimbabwean from every station of life knows it too. So we should all stand together in unison and say enough is enough. As President Mugabe enters the sunset of his life, it is incumbent upon all of us to pick the pieces and rebuild our country together.

I hope the understanding we reached today, and which we will reach with many others, will culminate in a solid political co-operation agreement that should usher in a new governance culture in our country.

Today, marks the beginning of Zimbabweans coming together in building an inclusive society that prides itself in leaving no one behind.

The future can only be bright for this country that we all love.

I thank you.

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