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I add my own voice to those of Chenjerai, Phillip and Wilson, in welcoming you all here.
It's a chilly morning, and you all have other pressing demands on your time. This makes your presence here, all the more special and important for us.
I particularly welcome members of the diplomatic corps and representatives of fraternal national organisations.
Three years and ten months after the signing of the Global Political Agreement, and three years and five months into the life of the Inclusive Government, the most dominant force affecting Zimbabweans in their daily lives is fear; â€“ fear of physical harm, fear of material privation, fear of discrimination and fear of exclusion from community or national participation.
The irony of this situation is that, even those who are responsible for dispensing this fear on the whole nation, are themselves living in fear; fear of losing power and privileges, and fear of the future.
Therefore, the single most urgent task facing the Zimbabwean nation, particularly those of us who are working for genuine change, is to help the people overcome this fear.
The national economy is still in decline. In spite of suggestions that the economy is growing, the reality on the ground is:
more families cannot put enough food on their tables;
fewer children are going to school, and those few are learning less;
fewer people can afford basic health and hygiene;
isn't it shameful that Zimbabweans are afflicted by cholera and typhoid, diseases that had long been eliminated in the country;
more people are out of formal employment, while many many more are in informal trade;
even the communal farmers who for years, were feeding the whole country and producing maize for export, now depend on food aid.
During the years of struggle, our national leaders, notably the late Joshua Nkomo aka Father Zimbabwe, as leader of ZAPU, the late Josiah Tongogara, as commander of ZANLA, the late Herbert Chitepo, as national chairman of ZANU, and even Robert Mugabe, as president of ZANU, emphasised that the struggle was against an oppressive and discriminatory system. It bears recalling this lesson, because today we face a comparable situation.
We have a system which harasses, arrests and imprisons, mothers who:
on Valentine's Day, demonstrate for love in the country;
on Mother's and Father's Days, demonstrate for stable and decent family life in the country;
while the country is making a new constitution, demonstrate in support of women empowerment and human rights.
If it was wrong for the colonial system to deny others their full rights, and it was right for such a system to be overthrown, is it any different now?
Particularly for those who went through General Tongo's and General Masuku's training camps, it is sobering to remind ourselves of 'Nzira dzeMasoja', the code of conduct for revolutionary combatants. That code is as relevant today as it was in 1977.
As we commemorate the founding of our party, and proceed with the task of building it into a formidable force for change, we need to articulate to the rest of Zimbabwe, and indeed the region and the world, what differentiates us from all the others:
Honesty and Integrity;
Competence, Entrepreneurship and Meritocracy;
Democracy, Diversity and Tolerance;
Patriotism, National Participation and Representation.
Gender equality - 50:50.
Term and Age Limits for our leaders.
Quest for constant renewal.
To show our loyalty and commitment to TOLERANCE, we invited other political parties, including those in the Global Political Agreement, to this event. We also invited other national organisations. I take this opportunity to welcome and salute the representatives of other organisations who are here today. Together, we are sowing the seeds of genuine national unity and inclusiveness.
While others strive to keep or take power, we seek to exercise influence. Some seek to dominate others, we seek to participate and cooperate with others. Some seek personal benefits and privileges, we seek to serve and share with others.
Some use, even abuse others, especially women and the youth, to entrench their positions and status; we seek community and equity with others. While some fear the future and find comfort and refuge in the past, we seek to secure the present and shape or create the future for all, without discrimination.
We are not motivated by negatives. We are NOT AGAINST Zanu-PF. We are NOT AGAINST the MDCs. We are FOR the people.
We do not promise TO DO THIS, OR GIVE THAT to the people. Instead, we promise to FACILITATE AND ENABLE the people to do things for themselves, for their families, for their businesses, for their communities, and indeed, for their country.
We promise that we will remove the impediments that inhibit the people of Zimbabwe from doing things for themselves.
We will facilitate that the people remove themselves from the bondage of dependence, expunge the mentality and reality of Dai Hurumende yandipawo (ukuti ngabe uhulumende uyasipa lokhu).
We offer the people genuine empowerment, - to be themselves again. Our proposition is to give Zimbabwe and its resources to its people; to make the people genuinely masters of their today, and their destiny.
Let me reflect on a couple of current national issues. The country has invested three years and millions of dollars to producing a new national constitution.
Important to have a god constitution, but the best constitution is internal to every citizen; internal constitutionalism - not for the courts, - political.
Term limits for national leaders
Age limit for national leaders
Maximum 150 members;
There is a lot discussion about elections. Some declare, we must just have elections this year, with/without a new constitution. Our view Ring fence issues bearing directly on conduct of free and fair elections:
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Services Act
Free media space
Eliminate hate speech
De-militarise politics and de-politicise military
At the formal launch of our party on July 1 2009, I said the following: If I talk like a missionary, it is because I believe we are on a mission, a mission to clean up the politics of Zimbabwe; a mission to make politics the art of service, to remove from the vocabulary, the phrase, the clichÃ©, that â€œpolitics is dirtyâ€; so that everyone will accept that the politics of service is clean, honest and has
That is the mission we are pursuing today, and will continue to pursue in future, with vigour and courage. It's a mission I wish other leaders in politics would join in, because it is not just for our party, but for the whole country. It is the foundation for a mature democracy.
I WISH ALL OUR MEMBERS, SUPPORTERS AND ACTIVISTS SUCCESS IN BUILDING THE PARTY OF CONSTANT RENEWAL, SO THAT WE CAN GET ZIMBABWE WORKING AGAIN.
I THANK YOU
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