We pronounce the birth of a political pressure group within the membership of the Movement For Democratic Change, a political organisation which all and sundry know was formed in 1999 under the visionary leadership of none other than the renown Dr Richard Morgan Tsvangirai.
Our coming into being is occasioned by our utter disgust and dismay at the deliberate and persistent efforts which are currently being directed at the destruction of the people’s project which efforts have gathered momentum with the passing on of our icon Dr Morgan Richard Tsvangirai.
We cannot expunge the bitter memories of the pain and suffering millions of Zimbabweans have faced in the past and continue to suffer under the successive governance of ZANU(PF). Countless Zimbabweans have lost their lives and livelihoods due to the unparalleled brutality meted to them under the successive ZANU(PF) governments. Millions of Zimbabweans have been coerced to flee into the Disapora in search for a home and sanctuary away from the evil and unmitigated pain and suffering imposed on them by the malice and heartless dictatorship of non-other than the ruler ship of Robert Mugabe, his cabal and his successors. Some of these disaporans have had to leave their kith and kin and the country of their birth to live as economic and social refugees living in relatively more hospitable environments in contiguous countries and abroad. The bulk of them have lost their citizenship and their fundamental rights and freedoms in the country of their origin, Zimbabwe.
We also note with the dismay the hopeless and helpless destitution that has been imposed on the remainder of millions of Zimbabweans who have no choice but continue to live in an economy and social environment punctuated by economic decline visited by disease and epidemics prevalent in under countries developed with no hope for better livelihoods at present and near future, with no hope for ever getting employment of their choice and better incomes, and no hope of ever building a better future for themselves and generations that come after them. The social amenities and basic infrastructure of the nation continue to decline unabated in the face of state capture by barons who use their privileged positions , greed and unprecedented corruption to purloin the national assets to feather their selfish ends.
The Movement for Democratic Change was formed to put an end to this state capture and put Zimbabwe on a new trajectory growth and development which would deliver a new Zimbabwe where all citizen would have a hope for their livelihoods and benefit from tangible benefits of economic emancipation and social upliftment. But alas, such ideals are now a pipe dream in the face of a serious assault on the very tenets of democracy which founded the MDC as a political movement.
We are not blind to the fact that the MDC has been besieged by an unelected leadership which is consciously and persistently using very undemocratic practices to lead the organisation. It is in the public domain that this self imposed leadership has usurped the people’s right to elect their own leaders and has unashamedly left one person to appoint and co-opt his own cronies into position of party leadership, a custom well orchestrated in ZANU(PF).
It is in the public domain that this self-appointed leadership and its cabal makes unilateral decisions and have captured relevant party structures to rubber stamp their own decisions thus abrogating the basic tenets of democracy and constitutional provisions for such structures to make and take decisions without coercion from a self imposed few. What is even a more blatant assault on democracy is the use of Vanguards to beat up their own members purely for expressing their own opinions thereby instilling fear and NAZI type dictatorship and autocracy in the MDC.
We cannot ignore the deliberate and unmitigated relegation of the utility of party structures in decision making process at all levels be they at district, provincial, national and executive. A case in point here is the party policy on the choice of candidates for the recently held harmonized elections which was discarded and persons preferred by the cabal were rail-roaded as official party contestants, much to the chagrin of the electorate who displayed their displeasure at this practice by misdirecting their vote.
Further to the above, we are appalled by the recent unilateral appointments of people into senior party positions at all levels, a practice which is an affront to the provisions of the party constitution. The constitution stipulates conditions and procedures which have to be followed in admitting any new memberships to the party. We are aware that some of these newly appointed senior members are the same persons who have records of brutalizing and maiming the veteran member of the MDC whilst we are not averse to members of G40 joining the MDC, for example, we are disturbed that these people are thrust into senior party positions, a practice that is an affront to the very constitution of the party.
When we see these persons being integrated into such own senior positions at a time when our party veterans are either expelled, sidelined and /or suspended, we logically interpret this as party capture by the ZANU(PF)’s G40. We are not oblivious to the persistent harassment of members by a cabal hell-bent on expelling even senior party members based on flimsy charges which should stand the test of scrutiny and thorough investigation in a party with structures created to do so and hence face a relevant disciplinary committees should they be accused of any misdemeanor.
The MDC is a social Democratic Party with well known stakeholders who founded it in the initial instance. We cannot ignore the current deliberate movement away from its founding stakeholders. The ZCTU is a case in point. To fail to adequately consult such organisations and integrating them into the decision making structures of the party is myopia of epic proportions which should not be condoned by anybody who espouses the ethos of our founding principles. Accordingly we see that the leadership of the MDC is losing direction and focus in their drunken drive for political aggrandizement.
In concluding this statement, we need to state categorically that the above sentiments and observations are NOT a creation of a few a people present at this press conference but are borne out of a nationwide research and consultation with structures of the party at all levels. The people out there are very conscious of their needs and are capable of articulating their wishes and aspirations. They may not speak openly because they have been traumatized by ZANU(PF) and now also by the very party they formed and support. They are disillusioned and desperately need to reclaim their party from this abyss in an endeavor to deepen the democratic processes and practices and to ensure that the fundamental freedoms in the national and party constitutions are followed to the letter.
Above all they say they want the constitution of the party to be adhered to and reiterate categorically that nobody is above that constitution. More importantly, the prime responsibility of a president is to uphold the basic tenets of a constitution. Nobody, from the president and his surrogates, should be allowed to bastardise those constitutional provisions through omission or commission. In other words, the current levels of dictatorial tendencies creeping in the management of the MDC should be stopped forthwith.
Furthermore the extraterritorial powers taken by the presidency and Executive to usurp the powers of counselors to choose their own Mayors, for example, should be stopped immediately.
In addition, the reign of terror directed at aspirants for high political office for the forthcoming congress by certain sycophants,, should cease.
Finally the fundamental right of members of this party to choose their own leaders and to stand to be elected for any party position, should be respected without negotiation. Further, the current process to bastardise elective structures for the congress in order to ensure the election of a preferred candidate should be abolished.
In any event the constitution of the party is very clear on the timetable for any congress especially after the passing on of an incumbent president. No – one should be allowed to willy – nilly change those provisions for the purposes of self – aggrandizement.
We stand resolutely for the implementation of the basic principles and provisions of our constitution and will not rest until the party is managed in way consistent with its founding principles, objectives and targets.