Thursday, 7 June 2018

CHAMISA SPEECH AT MANIFESTO LAUNCH

fellow Zimbabweans, I stand before you today on this auspicious occasion of the launch of our Policy handbook. This policy handbook presents the agenda of an MDC-T Alliance government which will assume office in the very near future. This occasion sadly though, happens at a time when we are still in mourning, following the untimely passing on of our iconic leader, Dr Richard Morgan Tsvangirai. However, I am excited that the same occasion heralds a rekindling of the dream for change which he stoically stood for, hence our theme Behold the New. Change that Delivers!

Ladies and gentlemen, it is not an illusion that Zimbabwe has suffered more than three decades of decline under Zanu PF’s incessant appetite for corruption and resultant plunder of the economy. Due to these decades of misrule and plunder Zimbabwe has suffered an unprecedented decline and structural challenges that have turned this country into one of the world’s worst performing economies, characterised by grinding poverty and high unemployment.
This new policy handbook presents a “New Zimbabwe pledge for a Sustainable and Modern Agenda for Real Transformation” – aptly captured in the acronym SMART. It sets out the policy framework that will guide the MDC-T Alliance government as we vigorously embark on a transformational trajectory of our economy and political culture in order to serve the hopes, aspirations, interests and expectations of the people of Zimbabwe. Fellow Zimbabweans, the SMART policy document is the pathway to macroeconomic stabilisation, institutional and structural reforms that will restore hope and pride in our economy and spur long term economic growth.
Consistent with our vision to bring about real change and change that delivers, our approach is a comprehensive economic strategy aimed at decisively dealing with corruption, investment promotion (both local and Foreign), Job creation, amelioration of the cash crisis by about 75% availability, Improving health delivery services and accessibility to everyone, Improving Education Systems both in quality and accessibility, upgrading our roads and railway infrastructure both in urban and rural areas, upholding and respecting human rights, improving food security, provision of affordable basic commodities and observance of honesty and integrity in serving our people. To this end, we intend to establish a listening and approachable administration.
What is key is that, while we remain steadfast on the change agenda, we have always been conscious of the fact that change alone is not enough. We are aware that we need to transform the economy and the political culture by practicing the tenets of transformational leadership in order to meet the people’s basic needs. Real transformation, not a pseudo “new dispensation” as in the new mantra of the regime is therefore a vital cog for change that will bring about a true and positive, lasting impact on people’s lives. Fellow Zimbabweans, our acquittal during the short lived Govenment of National Unity from 2009 to 2013 bares testimony to our capability to deliver real change to the people.
One of the key developmental issues that feature prominently in this policy document is that of rural transformation. Our people who reside in the rural areas are faced with a myriad of challenges which we need to overcome if we are to deliver real change to the millions of Zimbabweans. Our rural folks must have access to better infrastructure, clean water, Education, Health facilities and Energy (electricity), among many other social services.
Our Sustainable and Modern Agenda for Real Transformation is aimed at giving people tools to work for themselves rather than rely on handouts and the benevolence of the state and other actors. Zimbabweans are a proud people who prefer to work for themselves and our policies will give them that opportunity.
We are still alive to the fact that MDC was born in 1999 to respond to the crisis of governance spawned by those who had betrayed the true essence of our liberation struggle. Good governance therefore remains at the epicenter of our plan as the new government. Our policies in this document are meant to engender better governance and to offer a more people oriented programme in line with our founding principles as a Social Democratic Movement.
Fellow Zimbabwean, let us not forget that it is us who championed the New Constitution. As such we will make sure we return this country to constitutionalism by converting the stated rules and principles into reality. You can only trust those who championed the Constitution to make it work. As leader of the new government, I will take the lead in defending the constitution and making it work for the people of Zimbabwe once again, as the MDC-T Alliance, we are poised and ready to assume government and this policy programme represents our agenda to restore the dignity of Zimbabweans, to grow the economy, become part of a community of progressive nations, create jobs and to set the country on a new developmental trajectory for Transformation, Opportunities and Prosperity.
This government will work for the people, all the people, regardless of race, gender, religion, ethnic orientation, or political affiliation. By joining together we can build a better future. We are indeed the future. Together we can make Zimbabwe great and return our nation to our rightful place in the family of nations. We are faithful and obedient sons and daughters of the Almighty God under whose wise guidance and stewardship this country will find its way to the top again.
Yes, Behold the New. Change that Delivers. We are indeed ready to govern.
May God bless you all!
Nelson Chamisa
President

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