Robert Mugabe should not take us for granted – Tsvangirai

MDC PRESS RELEASE – MDC President, Morgan Tsvangirai has raised concerns over the delays in resolving outstanding issues in the Global Political Agreement (GPA), six months after the formation of the inclusive government.

Addressing over 40 000 people gathered at Sakubva Stadium in Mutare yesterday to mark the 10th  MDC Manicaland province celebratory rally, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said the delay in resolving the outstanding issues was a clear sign that some people were trying to undermine the GPA.

“The GPA is a workable concept to move the country forward.  However, there are some people who are working against the spirit of the people of Zimbabwe. If we are all serious about this government, why is it that we still have outstanding issues six months after the consummation of the inclusive government? It means someone, somewhere is not committed,” said President Tsvangirai.

“No sane person would like Zimbabwe to slide back to the period of last year even for those in Zanu PF. The main aim of forming the inclusive government was to deliver basic services and for people to have food on the table,” Hon. Tsvangirai said.

The rally was attended by a colourful crowd from all over Manicaland, including veteran nationalist and former Zanu PF secretary-general, Edgar Tekere. Tekere briefly addressed the crowd, praising the MDC and its leadership for the courage they had shown over the years in fighting dictatorship.

The President said no one should take the MDC for granted as it had overwhelmingly won the election of 29 March 2009. “We won the election. We want to build credible, professional and non-partisan State institutions. We should democratise the country and create conditions conducive for a free and fair election. This country needs healing but those who committed political crimes must ask for forgiveness from their victims,” he said.  

Tsvangirai said the MDC had not joined the inclusive government by force from anyone but with the desire to resolve the problems that the country was facing. “The only way forward is this route.  The greatest beneficiaries are the people of Zimbabwe. We want to create an atmosphere where those who have been defeated in elections humbly hand over power,” he said.

Some of the outstanding issues that need to be resolved are the unilateral appointments by President Robert Mugabe of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor, Gideon Gono and the Attorney-General, Johannes Tomana, the swearing in of Senator Roy Bennett as the deputy Agriculture minister and the delay in the appointment of provincial governors.

Tsvangirai said the MDC’s 10th anniversary celebrations were a sign that the people of Zimbabwe wanted to define the destiny of this country. “The journey we have travelled for the past 10 years and the big crowd we see here today is a sure sign that the people of Zimbabwe want to define the future of this country.  

“As a party, we have refused to be seduced into other barbaric means of solving our crisis. Instead of the bullet, we have shown confidence and consistency in our belief in the ballot,” he said. Hon. Tsvangirai said it was therefore important for every Zimbabwean to take part in the drafting of a new people-driven Constitution.

“Without any democratic changes there won’t be free and fair elections.  The new Constitution is going to usher in free and fair elections.  So I would want to urge you all to take part in process,” he said.

Before his address, Tsvangirai asked everyone to observe a minute of silence in remembering hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans who have died in political violence and in the struggle for a new democratic Zimbabwe.

The President said he was worried about the failing health of Mr Tekere and the welfare of war veterans in general.

‘I am worried about the health of Mr Tekere and the welfare of war veterans. If government cannot provide for veterans of the liberation struggle, how can it provide for the generality of the people of Zimbabwe?” said President Tsvangirai.

The rally was also attended by the MDC leadership including the Vice President, Thokozani Khupe, national chairman, Lovemore Moyo, secretary-general, Tendai Biti and his deputy, Tapiwa Mashakada, national spokesperson, Nelson Chamisa, deputy organising secretary, Morgen Komichi and Women’s Assembly chairperson, Hon. Theresa Makone. Members of Parliament, senators and other provincial leaders from Manicaland and other parts of the country also attended the occasion.