On Saturday, President Tsvangirai will be joining thousands of concerned Zimbabweans at a prayer meeting for Itai Dzamara to be held at Zimbabwe Grounds in Highfield, Harare.
Dzamara was abducted by State security agents in March and left a traumatized wife and two young children who ask everyday on the whereabouts of their father. Thousands of Zimbabweans from all walks of life are expected to attend this important prayer meeting. President Tsvangirai, who has himself been kidnapped and brutally assaulted in a police station, believes that the safety and security of citizens is a sacred right that is now guaranteed by the Constitution of Zimbabwe and urges all party members and Zimbabweans at large to attend this national prayer.
President Tsvangirai is on record as saying the MDC holds the State responsible and accountable for Dzamara's abduction and we demand that he be produced alive so that he can be with his family.
President Tsvangirai will not only deliver a speech at the event, but will also join other Zimbabweans in prayer for an innocent citizen whose family remains traumatized by the senseless abduction and disappearance.
Eight years ago, President Tsvangirai was among leaders and ordinary citizens brutally assaulted by the police at a Save Zimbabwe prayer meeting scheduled for Zimbabwe grounds, the same venue for Dzamara’s prayer meeting.
Thousands of Zimbabweans, mainly MDC activists have been killed, maimed, assaulted and abducted in the past and some of them are still missing.
President Tsvangirai has vowed to attend Saturday's event, notwithstanding any effort that may be made to thwart it, adding that no amount of barbarism should stop a prayer.
Solidarity is a key value in the MDC and the President Tsvangirai urges everyone to attend this important national event as we pray to God to save and protect the citizens of this country from the brutality of their own government.
Presidential Spokesperson and Director of Communications
Movement for Democratic Change
Yesterday, former Chegutu mayor Francis Dhlakama, founding member Biggie Haurobi, and over 10 others that had left the party in the past few years, have rejoined the MDC.
The group was also joined by two others from Zapu who have also joined the MDC as the country braces for watershed elections in 2018.
At a press conference at Harvest House, Zapu national executive member Lloyd Masarirambi said he was happy to join the MDC family to fight for democratic change in the country. "In other parties we struggled and I know in the MDC we will do better,” Masarirambi told the press conference yesterday.
President Morgan Tsvangirai welcomed the group onto the MDC big tent, saying their joining the party was consistent with a resolution of the MDC to create a big tent of democrats to fight for change in the country.
Last week, the MDC leader told the nation that he was prepared to work with Zimbabweans of all political shades and colours to positively transform the lives of the people. “Today’s coming of this group into the party is consistent with our big tent philosophy. A happy welcome to you all,” President Tsvangirai said.
The MDC continues to obliterate the premature obituaries of this great movement. The party continues to showcase the dexterity with which it has confounded skeptics that underestimate the party’s capacity to organize a common front of one big family of fighters for democratic change.
The new Constitution of Zimbabwe has changed the basis of the relationship between the Ministry of Local Government and the Councils that administer local authorities throughout the country. For the first time the Constitution clearly sets out a system of devolved authority and responsibility for elected Councils that are responsible for either Rural District Councils or Urban Councils.
In terms of the Constitution elected Councils are now mandated to operate as government authorities in their areas with full responsibility for the affairs, interests and needs of the people living in Council areas. The Minister no longer has either the right or the authority to give directives to Councils or to suspend and dismiss elected officers of Councils or to make decisions on matters that are strictly the responsibility of local
It is therefore not correct for the Minister, or the Ministry, to issue directives to Councils on how they should operate. Rather this function is now left to the electorate in each Council District to instruct their elected representatives and to hold them accountable for the manner in which the affairs of each Council are administered. Council staff, including all senior officers and the Town Clerks or Chief Executive officers, are employees of Council and are therefore subject to instruction and discipline by their elected Councils who have complete executive authority in such matters today. All that the Ministry has is oversight responsibility and advice.
The Minister and his Permanent Secretary do not seem to understand this new situation and continue to act as if the new Constitution does not exist. The MDC reminds the Minister that the Constitution is now the supreme law of the Country and compliance with its dictates are obligatory on all who live in Zimbabwe.
Of particular concern is the continued attempt by elements of the Joint Operations Command and the Ministry, to force local authorities to evict small scale business persons from their places of business in all urban Councils. Whatever their motivation, the MDC rejects such attempts to disrupt the normal and ordinary activities of citizens in urban areas. We agree with the guidelines that the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry has issued to urban Councils which clearly state that Councils should:
1. Conduct formal consultations with small business organisation on how and where they operate;
2. Register all small scale business persons with Councils;
3. Designate trading areas that are mutually acceptable to all stakeholders;
4. Charge a small fee for the individual sites; and
5. Formalize street trading and trading at designated sites as soon as possible under full Council control.
None of these guidelines includes action by the authorities, the Police Services or the Armed Services to clear traders and small scale business persons from the streets. Any such attempts will be resisted by the affected business persons themselves and all MDC Councils are under instruction to stick to the guidelines from the Ministry on this issue and seek an amicable and mutually acceptable programme with all stakeholders including the small scale business persons who are directly affected. They are on the streets, not by choice, but of necessity and the MDC will not cooperate with efforts that are designed to make their lives even more difficult.
MDC : EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL
The MDC would like to express serious reservations about the composition of the recently appointed Zimbabwe Gender Commission. The Commission was established in terms of the provisions of Section 246 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.The Zimbabwe Gender Commission is largely composed of tired, retired and recycled Zanu PF activists and regime apologists.
The chairperson of the Zimbabwe Gender Commission, Margaret Sangarwe – Mukahanana, is a former senior employee in the Office of the President and Cabinet and she is also a former permanent secretary in the Ministry of Tourism. She is a well - known and fully - fledged Zanu PF activist with a very sketchy and patchy record in matters to do with gender activism.
All the other seven Commissioners are either former Zanu PF legislators,government ministers under Zanu PF or known Zanu PF apologists. Quite clearly, therefore, the Zimbabwe Gender Commission has been trivialised and reduced into a virtual retirement home for failed and retired Zanu PF politicians. The Commission, as presently constituted, is not fit for purpose.
The Zimbabwe Gender Commission also dismally fails to take into account the country’s demographics. It is a fact that at least 65 percent of Zimbabwe’s population is composed of youths i.e. people who are aged forty years and below. However,the youngest Commissioner on the Gender Commission is aged 49 whilst the oldest is aged 72. What is striking is the fact that there is absolutely no representation of youths on the Zimbabwe Gender Commission. This is,indeed,a gross misdirection that clearly proves that the Zanu PF regime,under the leadership of the nonagenarian, Robert Mugabe, is hopelessly out of touch with reality.
The partisan nature of the Zimbabwe Gender Commission is in flagrant violation of Section 246 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe that stipulates that the Commission shall monitor issues concerning gender equality and also to conduct research into issues relating to gender and social justice, and to recommend changes to laws and practices which lead to discrimination based on gender. More importantly, the Commission is also mandated with the task of recommending affirmative action programmes to achieve gender equality. The Zimbabwe Gender Commission is also lacking in adequate representation of minority ethnic groups and other marginalised communities within the country.
The Zimbabwe Gender Commission has thus been reduced into just another extension of the Zanu PF political hegemony. It is a virtual appendage of the Zanu PF patronage system. The MDC takes the issue of addressing gender disparities seriously and advocates for the creation of a gender sensitive and democratic environment which shall not discriminate along gender and political lines. To this end, the MDC advocates for the creation of a well - balanced, non- political Zimbabwe Gender Commission which shall ensure that issues pertaining to gender equality and gender mainstreaming are implemented at all levels of society without fear and/or favour.
MDC : EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL
Obert Chaurura Gutu
President Morgan Tsvangirai will deliver a state of the nation address at the Exhibition Park in Harare on Saturday, 27 June 2015.
The MDC leader’s state of the nation address in the East End Hall will be preceded by an exhibition in the Home Industries Hall at the same venue to commemorate the violence of June 27, 2008 in which innocent Zimbabweans were killed in a senseless act of State-sponsored violence.
In that violence seven years ago, many Zimbabweans were killed, maimed and assaulted when ZANU PF used state security agents engaged in a violent retributive clampdown against the people of Zimbabwe for overwhelmingly voting for the MDC on 29 March, 2008.
President Tsvangirai’s state of the nation address on Saturday comes against a background of the collapse of all sectors of the economy following the stolen election of July 2013 and the resurgence of Zanu PF-sponsored terror and violence in the country.
The address also comes amid glaring shortcomings in the recently held by-elections that were largely snubbed by the people who are solidly behind the MDC’s insistence on the implementation of far reaching reforms to ensure a credible election and an undisputed outcome.
Apart from speaking on the state of the country and all sectors of the economy, President Tsvangirai will speak to his vision for the country and propose the way forward, given the comatose state of the economy and the clueless leadership in the seat of government.
All are invited to attend.
Movement for Democratic Change