Mobilising and fighting for a people’s government

guest column:Nelson Chamisa

THIS month marks the 21st anniversary of our struggle, our journey and our formidable political formation called the MDC which morphed into the MDC Alliance following processes which saw founding stalwarts being reunited once again.

Through the MDC Alliance, we have reconnected, reunited and re-ignited national hope so that together, we collectively achieve what we set out to achieve in 1999.

On September 11, 1999, this movement was formed at Rufaro Stadium and the country’s political terrain would never be the same again.

We salute the over 32 civic organisations that came together through the national working people’s convention at the Women’s Bureau in Harare in 1999 just prior to the launch of the working people’s party.

The year saw the birth of a great movement borne out of the sweat of labour, the constitutional movement, the student movement, women’s groups, war veterans and youth groups, with labour having fronted the people’s quest for change.

Fronting this cause was the great icon Morgan Tsvangirai ably assisted by the indefatigable Gibson Sibanda and many others who came from the labour movement.

I and many others were also part of this historic moment, with myself and others having come from the student movement.

At our inaugural congress in Chitungwiza in January 2000, a number of leaders were voted into the national leadership of this great movement to steer forward the national hope for a new Zimbabwe. I will forever remain humbled for being voted among the first team of senior leaders of the party, when the inaugural congress expressed its confidence in me and overwhelmingly elected me the party’s founding national youth chairperson.

Fellow Zimbabweans, it is heartening to take note that most of the founding members of the party are with the MDC Alliance today and are still leading across our structures.

And yes, their eyes remain firmly focused on what we sought to achieve when the MDC was formed 21 years ago. Many of these founding cadres are in the national, provincial, constituency and branch structures of the people’s party, the MDC Alliance.

Today we remain resolute, resilient and vigilant. The real issues facing our country today of hunger, joblessness, a dead economy, a broken public health system, the water crisis and poverty make the need for a viable alternative ever more urgent.

We refuse to be swallowed.

We guard our zones of autonomy.

We increase the cost of dictatorship in Zimbabwe.

We fight the pillars of tyranny.

We continue to articulate the illegitimacy of the unelected and unelectable.

We assert our credibility as a viable and bankable alternative.

Twenty-one years on, we remain focused on our original goal which has always been to achieve positive transformation in the lives of the people of Zimbabwe.

And true to our founding values and objectives, we remain unstinting and on course in our quest to consign repression to the dustbin and to give succour and happiness to our country’s citizens.

We, a peaceful people, are being broken. We are peace-loving citizens who are being harassed, maimed and terrorised.

Since 1999, over 2 000 people have died on account of political violence. Richard Chiminya, Patrick Nabanyama, Beta Chokururama, Cain Nyeve, Takundwa Chipunza, Joshua Bakacheza, Shepherd Jani, Elliot Pfebve, Tonderai Ndira, Talent Mabika, to mention but a few.

Since 2017, 105 people are on record as having been abducted. All these people targeted for dehumanisation, abuse and murder, mainly for supporting the struggle for change and the people’s movement.

Nearly 50 have been murdered in cold blood. You know that on of August 1, 2018, Harare CBD was turned into an urban warzone.

In January 2019, the whole country was under siege. For two weeks they punished millions, injured over 1 000 and killed nearly 20 of our citizens, for no crime.

All this to weaken the resolve of the indomitable people of Zimbabwe and subtract people’s support to the struggle. The regime is scared.

Today, we celebrate 21 years of struggle and leadership.

For 21 years, we have endured pain. Our endurance and commitment to change by elections and a national consensus has been tested.

For 21 years, each new day has presented new challenges. Our 21-year-old desire to avoid playing a zero-sum game with fellow Zimbabweans, and with our opposite number appears to have yielded little benefit.

For 21 years, we had hoped that we could establish consensual politics in which the old would agree to transform at the direction of the new. That the old guard would admit its mistakes and allow the country to take a new trajectory without smarting over change. This, we thought, would hasten the rate of change by allowing us to concentrate on the way forward. They have taken this for a weakness and aimed their guns at us.

For 21 years, we have hoped that the ruling elite would find the value in moving towards consensus. They have rebuffed and insulted us.

For 21 years, they have dared us and the young people by driving the country faster towards the abyss. Our path to lead towards a peaceful resolution of the myriad of crises, has been scoffed at.

For 21 years, we have remained committed to Zimbabwe and respect for regional growth and progress. We have held firm and continued to persuade the regime away from failed leadership, corrupt primitive accumulation and incompetence.

For 21 years, we have spoken out in public, organised demonstrations and engaged them in various platforms, including Parliament.  

For 21 years, we have fought for human rights, named and shamed the perpetrators for crimes against humanity, murders, wars against the people, corruption and theft. We called them out for crimes against women and children, for torture, abductions and abuse of the State. This has been a journey of both tears and laughter.

This month, we remember our long journey of joy and tears, our eventful odyssey of pain and laughter. We have had our prouds and sorries in the last 21 years but we have taken them all in our stride.

Among our sorries has been the loss of the many men and women across the vast span of our great movement; the many people who have paid the ultimate price in their quest for a new Zimbabwe, an idea for which they strenuously fought throughout their lives.

Others in the urban areas, in the villages and in our farming communities were brutally murdered for the sole reason that they believed in change and invested in the hope for a better life.

Fellow Zimbabweans, I know most of you were brutalised but you remain standing and you continue to invest your faith and trust in us your forever indebted leadership. Don’t be shaken, for we are on course.

Today, we remember all those who paid the ultimate price, those who irrigated their quest with their own blood. We salute them. We treasure their contribution to the people’s struggle.

But, my fellow Zimbabweans, remember we also have had our proud moments. In 2008, we defeated dictatorship and we used our stint in government to showcase the fact that government can indeed be an arena to bring positive change in the lives of the people. I know you all still remember with nostalgia our stint in government, particularly given the clueless lot now in the offices of government.

In 2018, we defeated Mr Mnangagwa having only campaigned for a short period upon inadequate preparations, time and resources.

So this month, we take note of the 21-year-old journey that we have travelled together, this journey has seen an odd mixture of joy and pain. To our dearly departed comrades, we want to assure them that their sacrifice was not in vain.

We will fight on until we achieve the collective aspirations of the patriotic sons and daughters of our land, including the fallen heroes of our liberation struggle whose gallantry we commemorated only last month.

Fellow Zimbabweans, we shall strive to work for a just, prosperous and inclusive society. And we know that it is only then that the departed souls of our compatriots may truly rest in eternal peace.

As a movement, we have a rich history; a history of struggle, a history of blood, sweat and tears and that history will never be surrendered either directly to Zanu PF or indirectly to its surrogates.

It is important for us to say that we are unaware that most members of the police, the security services and all other government institutions remain patriotic in yearning for a better life like all of us.

A country mired in turmoil — the Zimbabwean crisis
Since 1980, our crisis has been a crisis of disputed and violent elections.

Ours is a crisis of stolen elections.

Fellow citizens, Zimbabwe is in a crisis, a governance and legitimacy crisis, a multi-layered crisis that is manifesting itself in various forms, particularly an attempt by the incumbent to establish a de facto one-party State.

I know you are all living the crisis and you are all perturbed that there are some among us who are denying that there is a crisis. Indeed, some on the opposite side are the source of the crisis. They do not feel the pain that they are causing. In any event, a crisis defines or discovers itself.

The political environment
We have witnessed an upsurge in trumped-up charges, human rights abuses, abductions, torture, failing economy, endemic corruption and a general deficit in legitimacy.

You must appreciate, fellow Zimbabweans, that those denying the existence of the crisis are themselves the source of the crisis and are certainly seeing things differently. They certainly are living in another world and you must know that the hare’s story can never be told by a lion, or a crocodile. So the authors of our crisis will never know that the nation is on a precipice.

The economy is in the doldrums and the majority of the country’s citizens can barely survive. The civil servants, including our uniformed forces, are all living from hand to mouth. They can barely put food on the table. They ordered schools to open on Monday, but they hardly understand the plight of our teachers, whose paltry salaries can hardly see them through just one week.

And yet all these are manifestations of the deeper crisis of legitimacy. Since the stolen election of 2018, there has been a drought— nay a famine — of confidence in this administration and unless and until the crisis of legitimacy is resolved, the country is on a fast road to nowhere.

And you all saw, fellow Zimbabweans, their response to the multi-layered crisis — denial, deflection and violence. This is what they know best.

They have buried their heads in the sand and vociferously denied the existence of the crisis that is there for all to see. By denying that there is a crisis stalking our land, the regime has squandered the opportunity to have our neighbours assist us with the resolution of our challenges.

Surely, how can anyone look the envoys from South Africa in the eye and confidently state that there is no crisis in the country when South Africa is saddled with over three million Zimbabweans desperately eking a living in that country?

Our crisis has reached their backyard and one cannot reasonably deny its existence. We have become a country where elected MPs are abducted, tortured, harassed and abused.

How does anyone deny the existence of a crisis in the wake of such overwhelming evidence?

The people’s argument is that while we are complaining and listing, Zanu PF continues its brutality. Over the last few months, for example, highlighting, spotlighting and condemning the regime has yielded no change. We were smarting from and still talking about the abduction and abuse of three of our female leaders, Joanah Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marowa, when they abducted Tatenda Muchehiwa, Mduduzi Mathuthu’s nephew.

The struggle for Mamombe’s freedom is not hers alone. Her persecution, abuse and ill-treatment go to the root of why we are mobilising the masses and fighting for a people’s government:
Young women must be free from violence, abduction and torture,
Young women must be adequately protected by our courts and justice system,
Young women must not suffer second trauma when they are sexually assaulted.

The persecution of the MDC trio is not an attack on the MDC, it is an attack on the core of freedom in Zimbabwe. It is an attack on the constitutional right to protest. It is an attack on the human ideal of security of the person.

The abductions of Mamombe, Marowa and Chimbiri are not unique. The same, evil act happened to Muchehiwa, Peter Magombeyi, Samantha Kureya, Tatenda Mombeyarara, Itai Dzamara, Jestina Mukoko and many others over the years. We demand justice and accountability. Without justice, there can be no stability or peace.

Without an independent investigation into these heinous acts, we will never see a stop to them.

Citizens are under attack. Democracy is under attack.

Job Sikhala, Godfrey Kuraone, Jacob Ngarivhume, Hopewell Chin’ono were imprisoned unjustly for a very long time.

Even though they finally got bail or were acquitted, they had already effectively served a sentence. They were never supposed to have been arrested in the first place.

The same goes for Tsitsi Dangarembwa, Fadzayi Mahere, Lilian Timveos, Namatai Kwekwedza and others on the long list. The same unlawful arrests further happened to the nurses at Harare Hospital, lawyers representing their clients including Obey Shava and Doug Coltart and many others we have not mentioned by name.

Freedoms are under attack
We have a drought of freedom in Zimbabwe.

Our leaders and Members of Parliament have been charged with treason including:

Sikhala, Chalton Hwende, Amos Chibaya, Settlement Chikwinya, Lloyd Mukapiko, Mamombe, Gift Siziba and Godfrey Sithole.

We also have had the arrest of trade union leaders, lawyers, professionals, journalists and activists. They killed Mazwi Ndlovu and Lavender Chiwaya.

In Bulawayo, they abused two Mpofu sisters.

One way of seeing it, is that the MDC Alliance is under siege. I appreciate that perspective, but the correct way of seeing it is that Zimbabwe is under attack, it is being attacked through destruction of the only genuine people’s alternative.

Every sector of our society is under attack from despotism and rogue politics.

That must be ended.

That must go!

Our bishops and the church in general have also not been spared the abuse and harassment for speaking truth to power and being a moral compass and guardians of societal conscience. Our bishops and the church weighed in to caution the rabid politics of the incumbent.

We commend the church for playing its role as the salt of the earth and light of the world.

Without any doubt, those in government have now elevated evil to a level of worship.

Their catalogue of activities is not complete. They proceed to kidnap not just journalists and activists but now they target their families.

The international community joined in, labour unions, political parties, sitting and former presidents and multinational organisations, raised the alarm. But once again this now fills just the usual catalogue of the regime’s well-established history of inhumanity.

The illegal recalls
The State-driven recalls of MDC Alliance MPs, councillors and mayors by MDC-T using MDC-T letters of recall, in all cases without due process and even following of the MDC-T constitution, is not only unacceptable and unprecedented in the history of elections anywhere in the world, but also criminal, invalid, irregular and illegal and will be reversed. These setbacks are temporary. We will stand our ground.

The tormentors have taken aim and directed shots at the MDC Alliance. They have violently grabbed and claimed our offices, funds, MPs and councillors. We condemn and denounce the schemes aimed at the banning of the MDC Alliance in Zimbabwe.

In March 2020, the regime zeroed in on its main target. The MDC Alliance as an institution, a party and an organisation faced elimination. This laser focus has been devoid of law or due process. This process began with the Supreme Court ruling.

There has been a deliberate misinterpretation of the Supreme Court decision by those who are violating the Constitution and abusing the law to decimate the will and vote of the people.

The Mnangagwa administration is engaged in a very elaborate process to destroy the MDC. It is attacking our base. It has tried to decimate the people’s support of the movement. All this in complete disregard of the constitution, which guarantees freedom of association, and an illegal abuse of State institutions.

I wish to state here that the size of an idea ultimately dictates the size of its opposition. The greater the idea, the greater its opposing force.

They have employed armed war tactics. They practise extreme brutality. They have no regard for rules of engagement. It is a war without law, principle, ethics and limits. Their engagements respect no logic, humanity or conscience. It is just that, a war to win a de facto one-party State at all and any costs.

Zanu PF has done this before. They have experience in destroying a political party to create a one-party State. It is a scorched earth policy.

They seem to have re-adopted and re-radicalised their old power-retention strategy. A desire to keep power through a de facto one-party State strategy. The attacks are just a desperate attempt aimed at removing competitive politics from our country.

This is what they did to Zapu at the start they targeted the population, then Zapu MPs, councillors and activists. So, by the time you got to 1985, Zapu no longer had a base. It could not field candidates for local councils and constituencies and Zanu was largely uncontested in many constituencies. We must stop them.

The state of economy
The country is characterised by a political crisis manifesting itself through a social and economic stress, all of which are rooted in lack of leadership and drought of governance.

The following have defined our day-to-day environment:

 Chronic inflation which has remained steep at 837,53% in July regardless of various efforts to rig it;

 Dollarised environment although government is denying this and still paying workers in Zimdollars;

 Worsening poverty levels which have seen over 70% of the of the population in abject poverty and 8,6 million are food insecure;

 The poverty datum line for a family of five has risen five-fold (400%) from January to $17 244 in August while the majority of civil servants are earning salaries which are below $4 000 after receiving a mere 50% salary increment and a fake US$75 COVID-19 which has remained a pie in the sky because they can’t access it;

 Ironically, in the face of these difficulties, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, in his fiscal mid-term review, didn’t provide for a supplementary budget all in the name of trying to maintain the purported budget surplus which has never been attained because of the following:

 Absence of full fiscal consolidation to take into account subsidies offered in the energy sector (fuel and electricity), maize and transport (Zupco);

 The $18 billion COVID-19 stimulus package and the US$75 COVID-19 allowance for civil servants as well as the US$30 COVID-19 allowance for pensioners, combined, account for more than 30% of the total budget, was not accounted for in the mid- term fiscal review;

 Rampant corruption which is facilitated by obscurity in the subsidies going the agricultural (command), fuel, electricity and transport sectors;

 Toxic political environment  

Our alternative economic solution:

As your alternative government we have been clear of what needs to be done and we haven’t been selfish to advise Mnangagwa government on what must be done although our advice was met high level of arrogance and as such was never taken on board. In one of my state of the nation address, I made the following suggestions:

 Accept the reality that the economy has dollarised and eliminate of the Zimbabwe dollar with a view to ensure economic stability.

 Payment of decent salaries to civil servants in US dollar and in this regard the averages salaries of around US$550 per month for the average civil servant must be used as a starting point;
 Government must take the lead in undertaking reforms (both political and economic) and respect of the constitution.

 The need to come up with an all-stakeholders strategy on how the country can come out of the COVID-19 pandemic. These stakeholders among others will include political parties, business, CSO, academics, think tanks, government and development partners.

 There is need for a real stimulus package of US$5 billion to deal with COVID-19 not the $18 billion (which is equivalent to US$180 million — which the government has failed to disburse for that matter).

 Real inclusive engagement (both local and international) — here charity begins at home. Government must never fool itself that it will have impetus to engage the international community and hope that it will be taken seriously when it is busy burning its own house back home. Government must engage the Zimbabweans first and address their concerns and then we go out as team Zimbabwe to engage the international community. Brand Zimbabwe must never be a Zanu PF thing, but a Zimbabwean one.

There is need for a political settlement and resolution of a political conflict in Zimbabwe.

Fellow citizens, it is trite to state that our crisis can only be resolved by a well meaning and credible, bankable dialogue process between and among Zimbabweans so that collectively, we can chart the way forward for our country.

We salute South Africa and in particular the ANC, EFF, the One South Africa Movement, Botswana opposition, Zambia, the AU, UN and all other progressive movements and trade unions globally for their solidarity and involvement in efforts aimed at the resolution of the Zimbabwean crisis. Indeed, Zimbabwean Lives Matter!

As we have said before, dialogue should not only be bankable but should be guaranteed and brokered by a mutually agreed convener in the mould of Sadc or the AU. Sadly, our colleagues in Zanu PF have invited and mounted a desperate show of the political players (Polad) they have created comprising those who agree with them, to the monologue table.

We have respectfully told them that any discussion among parties that are in agreement can never be called a genuine dialogue. It is simply a monologue, a meaningless chorus of the pliant and obliging opposition.

But we have seen that our overtures for dialogue have been spurned. We reserve the right to pursue all constitutional avenues to ensure that Zimbabweans in their diversity do sit down to chart the way forward for this great country that we all love.

In January 2020, in our Agenda 2020 statement, I articulated the five big fights for the year and these have proved to be the trajectory and hallmark of the people’s struggles throughout this year.

It is vital to underscore that we also identified the various zones of struggle namely — the street, State, Parliament, local authorities, media, diplomacy, elections, courts and resource mobilisation as key theatres of struggle and contestation in all our five big fights!

Fight number 1: The fight for a people’s government, reforms and a return to legitimacy
As we have stated, Illegitimacy is at the core of our national crisis. We have hit these plumbing depths as a country because of the vicious cycle of disputed elections, the last of which was the pilfered plebiscite of July 2018. As a country and as a people, we will continue to clamour for comprehensive reforms so that the next election is vaccinated against any tendencies inclined towards subverting the will of the people. In February of this year, we unveiled a blueprint that we dubbed PRICE, (Principles for a Credible Election), which is itself is our humble submission on the table for what needs to be done if the country is to break free from the vicious cycle of disputed elections.

Now Zec has announced dates for by-elections, we believe what was more important was first to embrace and implement comprehensive reforms so that we hold truly credible elections that reflect the will of the people of Zimbabwe.

As long as this is not done, we shall continue to move in circles and it will be difficult to break free of the shackles of illegitimacy that often cloud and taint those in the seat of government.

Fight number 2: The fight for a better life, dignity and livelihoods
I know that all of you, my fellow citizens, maybe except those in government, continue to live lives of indignity. We are all suffering and yet the dignity and worth of every Zimbabwean is a basic human right enshrined in the Constitution.

Yet all of us as citizens that include villagers, informal traders, farmers and our government employees are living miserable lives as this regime has dismally failed to accord us due dignity and decent treatment as citizens who have rights.

That is why we all continue to reminisce and remember with nostalgia the good old days of the MDC in government; the heady days which gave us all a reason to smile and hope again.

Indeed, the quest for a life of dignity will remain our primary focus as citizens. And we will do all that is constitutionally permissible in demanding the restoration of our dignity.

Fight number 3: The fight against corruption
Corruption is killing us. The fight against corruption has been one of the unstinting fights of the country’s citizens this whole year. Covidgate and the arrest and conviction of current and former ministers shows that avarice and corruption among the well-heeled political elite is the country’s biggest affliction.

Yet the real culprits continue to roam the country scot free.

The unwarranted arrest and detention of Chin’ono and Muchehiwa shows that this government is fixated on punishing those who expose corruption instead of those who practise it. This system will go down in history for its penchant to smash the mirror and not to decisively tackle the cancer of corruption. It is pertinent to note that according to Transparency International Zimbabwe, since 2016, Zimbabwe has lost more than US$10 billion through corruption mostly by the well-heeled political elite. That must stop and the culprits must be decisively dealt with, not the drama of catch and release in which senior government officials are arrested in the morning and set free in the afternoon.

Fight number 4: The fight for rights, freedoms, security of persons and the rule of law
Fellow Zimbabweans, the fight for citizens’ rights has become a huge fight in this country. The wanton arrests and detentions of innocent citizens and the trampling of their rights have become the hallmark of the national crisis and led to global condemnation under the #ZimbabweanLivesMatter campaign.

It is tragic that government has become the chief culprit in abrogating citizen rights and we shall continue to call for the respect of human rights, which rights are now firmly embedded in the country’s Constitution.

Fight number 5: The fight in defence of the Constitution and constitutionalism
Fellow Zimbabweans, it is tragic that we have a government that is hellbent on amending the Constitution instead of amending itself.

Zimbabweans shall continue to defend the Constitution that they wrote themselves and affirmed in a referendum. But now the regime is keen to use its ill-gotten majority in Parliament to subvert the will of the people by amending a Constitution they have not even implemented. How do you repair a shirt you have never even put on?

We restate that we will use every avenue to defend the Constitution and to call for its implementation and not its amendment.

Fellow Zimbabweans, it has been a tenuous 21 years of struggle but we are almost there. Repression and violence will not distract us in this our inexorable march towards a new Zimbabwe and the vast opportunities that lie ahead for all of us. Dictatorships have temporary legs.

All that we are facing are temporary setbacks in this our brave march towards a new hope. The adage says the darkest hour is the one before dawn, but I wish to state that it is only in the darkest of nights that one is able to see the stars.

We owe it to the past. We owe to the present. We owe it to future generations to bring back the hope in our desolate lives. It has been a long journey but we are almost getting there.
Democracy is the historical fight the MDC is founded on that sees us here today.

The fight is not ended until we see freedom take root.

The fight is not ended until we destroy all attempts to return Zimbabwe to a one-party State.

The fight is not ended until every man, woman and child can live a life of dignity, good health and peace.

As citizens, we must unite as a broad front to confront the challenges of today, the same broad front that came together in 1999, and take ownership of our collective struggle.

Churches, civic society, the women’s movement, the student movement and most importantly, the trade union movement, must join hands and speak with one voice against the injustice, poverty and corruption that has been caused by Zanu PF and is destroying our livelihoods.

We must speak out against the death of freedom, the death of democracy and the death of the rule of law.

In 2020, our collective voices must ring louder than they have ever rung before in the cry for democratic change and transformation.

The Zimbabwe we want requires common purpose and vision. It requires courage in the face of adversity. It requires hope in the face of despair.

Only a people’s govt can deliver on the promise of real lasting change.

Only a people’s government can deliver the promise of a strong economy where poverty, hunger and joblessness are tackled in earnest.

Only a people’s government can deliver on a Zimbabwe where freedom, fairness and opportunity abound for all.

The line has been crossed, there is no going back.

We gave peace a chance, some are disrespectful of peace.

We gave dialogue a chance, some perceived it a weakness.

We gave democracy a chance, elections were and continue to be stolen in broadday light, the little we salvaged from the jaws of electoral fraud is also being taken away.

Fellow Zimbabwean this comes down to two choices. Either to stand divided, point fingers and perish or unite and confront the dictator.

I am announcing the Birmingham moment, time to look the beast in the eye.

It cannot be business as usual.

The time for playing games must come to an end, now is the time to chart a path to liberate ourselves from the clutches suffocating our people and find means and ways of crossing the Red Sea into a land of freedom.

It is time to save ourselves from individuals who steal billions when 8,6 million Zimbabweans are facing starvation.

It is time to save ourselves from people who raid the RBZ when exchange rates are collapsing.

It is time to save ourselves from reckless behaviour which has resulted in shocking inflation driving the price of bread and mealie-meal beyond the reach of many.

It is time to save ourselves from being the world’s laughing stock, the ones clamouring for menial jobs in foreign lands, yet from an educated and one of the richest countries in the world.

It is time to save ourselves from bandits who will always claim there is no crisis in Zimbabwe when hospitals are closed, with no nurses, drugs or even gloves and the middle of a global pandemic.

Now is the time. It is time to carry our own cross and save ourselves. The time of playing games must come to an end.

So what must we do? We must mobilise and fight, together, as a broad front. You and I must play our part to win Zimbabwe for change.

It is not politics, as usual. Let us be willing and available as a population, ready to stop death and famine, to serve the future, we need to salvage and save the present!

If we do not stop them they will not stop because power is never given voluntarily, even in a democracy, there has to be something, like a constitutional clause that prohibits further or continued retention or acquisition of power. In our case, we are that clause.

My fellow Zimbabweans, we are our own liberators. We are the answer to all our questions. We are the solution to our problems.

On the occasion of the 21st anniversary of the people’s movement I recommit to leading as we finish what we started.

Our Course of action is as follows:

(a) Calling national convergence and find consensus on the way to winning Zimbabwe for change with civic society, labour, the churches, students, the diaspora and the women’s movement. Everyone can play a part.

(b) Confront the regime and put pressure within the limits of section 59 of the Constitution to defend livelihoods.

(c) Pursue a SMART agenda for delivery in this spaces we control particularly local authorities and Parliament.

(d) Protect and defend the Constitution against any attempts in undemocratic unilateral attempts to amend the same.

(e) Engage the international community and other stakeholders in mitigating the massive humanitarian impact and ensuring the provision of social safety nets.

Fellow Zimbabweans, I can boldly state today that the hour of change is imminent. The past is now another country and I can see the bright shining lights of the Canaan ahead.

Lastly, fellow Zimbabweans, brace for the imminent change ahead. I humbly plead with you, my fellow citizens, to firmly and fondly embrace the change that is almost upon us.

Behold the new…

Behold the imminent moment!

The Walls of Jericho are about to fall. We will push them asunder. We choose to lead.

God bless you,
God bless Zimbabwe.

God is in it!

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