Tsvangirai expulsion just cheap drama

President TsvangiraiThe so-called expulsion of MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai and national chairman Lovemore Moyo by the rebels is nothing more than cheap drama.

That the so-called tribunal proceeded to sit even after the High court ruling that stopped the sham Mandel resolutions shows that the rebels have no respect whatsoever for the rule of law. The charade is the work of lawless lawyers who do not respect the courts just as they do not respect the constitution of the party.

Nowhere in the world has a judgment by a tribunal superseded a judgment by a superior and competent court. President Tsvangirai and national chairman Moyo remain in their positions unfazed by this cheap drama. It is ironic that the rebels, who masquerade as democrats, would sink so low as to convene a meeting of their so-called tribunal when the High Court had expressly made a ruling on the matter.

No amount of drama will stop and detract the party leadership from executing its constitutional mandate. The party is preparing for Congress and we are forging ahead with the democratic struggle to bring positive transformation in the lives of the people of Zimbabwe.

President Morgan Tvangirai’s opening remarks to all councilors elected on the party ticket

President Tsvangirai addressing councillors at Harvest HouseI want to start by welcoming you all to the party headquarters and congratulating you for the fact that you managed to slip through the massive rigging that characterized the election of July 31. As you all know, it is the party’s position that the July 31 event was a monumental fraud but all the same, congratulations for being the people’s representatives throughout the country.

We are proud as a party because even in that fraud, the party is still represented at local government level. I am told we have over 400 councillors representing the party in wards strewn across the country and I am proud of all of you.

From Binga to Muzarabani, from Gwanda to Chirundu, the party is represented at the very local level. My only disappointment is that if this government had stuck to the dictates of the new Constitution, we would be having the governors of the two metropolitan provinces of Harare and Bulawayo in this meeting because we trounced Zanu PF in the two biggest cities of the country.

Quality services to the people
It is our sincere hope as leadership that you are taking seriously you responsibility to serve the people. The party is going to be judged by how you deliver quality and affordable services to the people and we count on you to represent the party well in your wards, in your towns and in the rural districts that you serve.

In January this year, I had a meeting with the mayors and council chairpersons of mainly urban areas elected on the party ticket.I have a pretty much good idea of the challenges you are facing, most of them having to do with the populist Zanu PF decision to cancel all debts which left urban authorities struggling to pay salaries and to deliver basic services.

I remember that the saddest story came from the mayor of Chitungwiza, which was then collecting average revenue of about $900 000 every month, against a salary bill of $1,7 million, leaving absolutely nothing for service delivery and other basic services. By then, they were in salary arrears stretching for 10 months, I am pretty certain that the situation is far much worse today.

This is what the Zanu PF polpulist policy did to our local authorities but the MDC will still be judged by the electorate on the basis of its record, even in light of Zanu PF did to worsen the situation. Even those who are in the rural areas, we count on you to project the party well and to work hard and distinguish yourselves from the culture of avarice and negligence of duty that characterizes our colleagues in Zau PF.

You remain at the coal face of the struggle; at the very local level and you must ensure that you become good ambassadors of our great people’s movement.
There must be no compromise on service delivery but above all, continue to engage the residents. There must be structured feed-back platforms that must keep you continually engaged with the citizens. We are a party that prides itself in its perpetual engagement with the citizen and I expect that to be part of our agenda.

 For those who are in a minority in their councils, show the qualitative difference between this party and those that take the people for granted. Be true ambassadors of the MDC and never waver or compromise on your mission to serve the people.

I am talking about compromise because I know some of you voted with Zanu PF councilors for Zanu PF mayors and I know that there are disciplinary procedures taking place in that regard.

Surely, why would an MDC councilor vote for a Zanu PF mayor when the people had an opportunity to do so themselves but they voted for you? There is no greater betrayal of the people than selling out the people’s vote by voting in those the people had rejected. Lets go back and work for the people. Lets go and deliver services so that you are remembered for adhering to our punch-line of service and sacrifice.

We continue with the struggle and the mission that we started in 1999. You may have heard that others have left the party but that should not break your spirit. On a long and tortuous journey such as ours, people get tired but that does not mean we must abandon the journey.

We have a mandate to serve the people. Fifteen years ago we embarked on this journey to bring democracy to the people it is a mission that we will definitely achieve in our lifetime. As councilors, you play an important part in that journey because you are the party’s representatives at the very local level.

This means you have an opportunity through your conduct to make the people either believe or not believe in our capacity as a party to take the nation to a higher level.

You have an obligation to bring positive transformation in the lives of the people so that they start believing in the MDC as a party for service and sacrifice; a party that will bring them joy, peace, democracy and positive change.

Go back home and work.
Go back and serve the people!
Go back and be good ambassadors of the party!
Go back and engage the people in your ward!
Go back and give people hope.
Show them that they have made a good decision by investing their vote and their future in the MDC because as a party, we value service and sacrifice!

I thank you!

We want Jobs: Youths demand

MDC Youth AssemblyHundreds of MDC youth in Harare today gathered in the Harare Gardens to commemorate the Day of the African Child under the theme “Demanding Accessible, Affordable, Quality Education, Jobs and Equal opportunities for all.”

The arrest of Harare province youth assembly executive member, Denford Ngadziore,  and the heavy police presence did not deter the youths, who marched peacefully from Town House to the Harare  Gardens. Charges against Ngadziore are still unclear; the MDC youths remained unfazed by the blatant attempt by the police to intimidate them.
The youths marched quietly with their placards held high and spoke about the need for the Zanu PF government to provide them with jobs as it promised the youth during the election campaign.

Speaking at the commemorations, the National Youth Assembly Spokesperson, Clifford Hlatywayo, highlighted the need for the illegitimate government to step down as it had failed to deliver. “Those youngsters who were massacred in Saouth Africa where young like us. They  rose to show they wanted their rights to be respected. So today, we are rising as youth to demand our jobs, to demand our rights. We are doing this for posterity. We are fighting this struggle for economic justice, for jobs, for the respect of the people’s rights and for the benefit of next generation to benefit,” said Hlatwyayo.

He added that the solution to the current national crisis  was for the people to take action. “We have problems with getting jobs, we must take action. If Mugabe is our problem, we must take action. If the police trouble us, the solution is action,” he said.

Speaking at the same event, the MDC Shadow Minister for Labour, Hon Paurina Mpariwa, bemoaned the failure by Zanu PF to honour its constitutional obligation of providing jobs to the people. “A Job is a right. As parents, as leaders, it pains us to see so much unemployment in the nation especially for the youth. Our industries are down, people are losing jobs everyday. This kind of situation can not be allowed to go on, especially when certain people claim to be at the helm. Zimbabwe is ready for change. The youth ashould get the  jobs, “ she said.

Adding to the cries for jobs, Youth Assembly national Secretary for Security and Defence, James Chidhakwa said the Day of the African Child is significant to Zimbabwean Youth as it is a demonstration of courage. He said the youth had a role to take the destiny of Zimbabwe to another level.

“We have lost a lot of cadres along the way. We lost Tonderai Ndira, Joshua Bakacheza, Kauzani and many others at the hands of Zanu PF. They died demanding their rights to be respected. This day we continue to demand our jobs. You made promises, we demand those promised 2,2 million jobs.

“Too much fear brings misery to our land. Let us be bold and demand what is rightfully ours, “ said Chidhakwa.

The Harare Province Youth Chairperson, Shakespeare Mukoyi weighed in saying the youth of Harare were no longer afraid of the brutality of Zanu PF. He said the youth were prepared to die for their jobs and their rights to be honoured.

“This illegitimate government cannot and will not silence us. They must go because they were not mandated by the people. They promised 2.2 million jobs during their campaign, but they have ensured the same number of people have lost their jobs since they stole the election. They should have written 2.2 million job losses in their manifesto,” he said.

The Harare Provincial Women’s chairperson, Ronia Bunjira said mothers where pained to see their children, university graduates,  suffering and selling juice cards for a living. “The reason as mothers we came out to commemorate this day with you is because you are suffering and struggling to get jobs. This hurts the women more. We work hard to get you to school and it pains us to watch you sell DVDs and airtime vouchers. We demand that this government steps down and allow those who can govern to take over, “ she said.

The Harare Province Chairperson, Hon.  Eric Murai said it is painful that there are no jobs in the nation. “It is improper for an elderly person to refuse to step down from a job because they will be denying the next generation an opportunity to work as well. “

Similar commemorations were held in Bulawayo and Chitungwiza provinces  over the weekend.

Press Statement by the MDC Secretary for Local Government, Hon Blessing Chebundo

Hon ChebundoThe MDC National leadership today met with all Councillors elected on the MDC ticket in which 407 out of 442 councillors attended at Harvest House.

The meeting was meant to give an opportunity to both elected councillors and the party leadership to interact and to receive first-hand information on successes and challenges met in providing effective ‘Service Delivery’ to communities.

The meeting noted that the provincial and local government system in Zimbabwe has suffered from extensive politicization and lack of quality service delivery stemming from over-centralisation of power by the local government ministry and uneven resource allocation and development.

The meeting noted with concern that government is intentionally not implementing devolution as outlined in the new constitution. The essence of devolution is giving power to the people to make decisions at local level but ZANU PF is not willing to implement it.

The Councillors bemoaned Chombo’s populist directive to cancel debts was aimed at ensuring that MDC local authorities fail to deliver. The meeting resolved to come up with innovative ways to augment funding of services.

The meeting noted that government arms are not paying rates to Council resulting in councils failing to have enough revenue for service delivery. Government owe councils millions of dollars. Of more concern is that ZINARA is collecting money from road users and none of it is being remitted to Local Authorities to repair roads.

The meeting noted the heavy-handed unprofessional interference of Chombo and that he was sabotaging service delivery in Local authorities and is protecting corrupt officials in local authorities. The Councillors undertook to cultivate incorruptible practices in their corporate governance. They also undertook to uphold values of the party which are transparency, just, non -corrupt and people-involving in the running of councils.

The leadership of the party assured the councillors that it will do its best to address all challenges raised by the councillors in the best way possible. The councillors pledged to adhere to the party policies and values and pledged to stand solidly behind the party leadership led by President Morgan Tsvangirai.
I thank you

Hon Blessing Chebundo
Secretary for Local Government

President Tsvangirai chairs crucial Alternative Cabinet meeting

Hon Nelson ChamisaThe Alternative Cabinet today met to deliberate on various issues affecting Zimbabweans. In particular, special focus was on the collapse of governance, lack of leadership, a crumbling economic activity, total collapse of the industry, rapid unemployment and man made poverty.

The Alternative Cabinet noted with concern the rising unemployment, general economic meltdown and closure of companies. Over the past few months, companies have been closing, laying off thousands of workers, leaving families in circumstances of destitution.

Some of the issues deliberated upon are as follows:-

1. Alignment of all laws to the Constitution
The MDC Alternative Cabinet is alarmed that the Zanu PF government is failing to commence and complete the simple but important national task of aligning all laws to the dictates of the new Charter. It is exactly 11 months after the Zanu PF government manipulated the will of the people on the 31st of July 2013 yet there is no tangible evidence of both political will and capacity to allow the laws of the country to be in line with the spirit and letter of the constitution.

More importantly, the Zanu PF government is not even willing to consummate the dictates of certain constitutional provisions. In particular, the issue of devolution; entrenchment of the human rights culture and accountability in institutions of the state have not been implemented.

2. Unconstitutionality and unilateralism concerning Electoral amendments
The MDC rejects the unilateral amendments to the Electoral Act made by Zanu PF. The amendments where railroaded through parliament without due public consultation and participation. This confirms the Zanu PF default setting of rigging processes and manipulating institutions for partisan interests.
The MDC restates that the country needs comprehensive electoral reforms to permanently address the perennial problem of the rigging of elections and disputed election results. In fact, there can never be any credible election in Zimbabwe without any comprehensive reforms.

3. Policy flip-flopping by Zanu PF
The Cabinet noted with great concern the policy flip flopping and lack of clarity on the part of Zanu PF. Ministers of the same Cabinet  have taken turns to contradict each other on where the government stands on the controversial indigenisation policy. This lack of clarity has undermined investor and citizen confidence, with very dire effects on the economy.

The MDC government believes in broad based economic upliftment programmes that focus on value addition, community infrastructure support programmes, skills transfer and allocation of value to citizens on the basis of the benefit derived out of the whole value chain.

The MDC government seeks to build a modern, healthy, functional, integrated developmental state with a vibrant, socially just green economy that takes pride at leaving no one behind.The so-called ZimAsset programme has proved to be a major hoax with nothing beyond the value of propaganda and sloganeering.  The MDC government urges Zimbabweans to embrace the viable alternative policy programme, the Agenda for Real Transformation, ART, being provided by the MDC.

The ART programme focuses on inclusive growth and poverty reduction while ensuring micro-economic stability and job creation anchored on infrastructure development, food security and social services delivery.

4. Corruption
The latest appointment of Mr Masimirembwa at CMED does not inspire confidence. Zanu PF has failed and or reneged on their electoral promise to provide the promised two million jobs, succeeding in creating more jobs for the boys. Mr Masimirembwa being the new kid on the block with a checkered history at the ZMDC.

Zanu PF seems to be suffering from either a crisis of manpower or a perennial disease of recycling deadwood. As if that is not enough, the land allocation system has been dogged by accusations and counter accusations of corruption by top Zanu PF functionaries. Clearly, corruption seems to be second nature to the Zanu PF administration.

The MDC government, while acknowledging the importance of agrarian reform, calls for the establishment of a genuinely independent Land Commission that permanently looks into the land reform and deal with issues of land tenure in a sustainable and economically viable manner. Land belongs to all Zimbabweans and as such must be treated as an important national asset.
5. Collapse of Zanu PF Government
The Alternative Cabinet noted that it is ridiculous for a whole president to complain about his own minister at a funeral  without assuring the nation on what he is doing to restore the credibility and performance legitimacy of his administration. Further, it is actually reckless for Zanu PF to chide editors of newspapers for not towing the Zanu PF line. In the first place, the media is supposed to be independent and free without any interference, being pro-people and not pro-Zanu PF.

Section 61(4) of the Zimbabwe Constitution emphasize that all state media must be free to determine its editorial content of their broadcast or other communications and must be impartial affording fair opportunity for the presentation of divergent views and dissenting opinions.

6. Civil servants
The civil servants pay remains miserably low with pay dates being constantly changed. This in fact, constitutes a threat to national stability and service delivery.

The MDC Alternative Cabinet decries the lack of ideas within this institutionalised kleptocracy characterised by an irredeemable and inevitable national decay. Therefore, the Alternative Cabinet calls for the immediate dissolution and disbandment of the Zanu PF government to pave way for the resolution of the political and economic crisis through free and fair election conducted under a fresh dispensation of comprehensive and all inclusive electoral reforms.

Any day longer under the current administration is a further subtraction of value and dignity from the citizenry.

Hon Nelson Chamisa, MP
Alternative Minister, Media and Communications.