Tuesday, 30 July 2019

WE WILL NOT BE INFLUENCED BY LOUD VOICES TO PROTEST : MDC


THE main opposition MDC went to congress two months ago and the new leadership is getting down to work. Newsday senior reporter Obey Manayiti (ND) spoke to the party spokesperson Daniel Molokele (DM) on a number of issues, among them the threats to protest against the worsening socio-economic situation in the country. Molokele said they will not be rushed into any action. Below are excerpts:

ND: Your party emerged from the congress with a new leadership. What is your assessment of this new leadership? 

DM: The new leadership is by far the most diverse and sophisticated leadership of the MDC ever. It has a lot of experience and expertise.

ND: Some critics allege that the party has emerged weaker, do you agree?

DM: No ways! The party has now emerged stronger than ever. The full return of the leaders from MDC and People’s Democratic Party has clearly bolstered our party leadership ranks. We are definitely much more united and more confident now! 

ND: There seems to be a lot of disgruntlement from the previous leaders, who didn’t manage to get meaningful positions. Some claim the party was hijacked by a group of former student leaders from Zinasu (Zimbabwe National Students Union). What can you say about this?

DM: I think by now, post-congress dust has settled down. There are no more losers or winners. The candidates who won got elected by the party members who were congress delegates and did not carry any Zinasu banner at all. There was no conspiracy for a takeover at all by former Zinasu leaders. 

ND: Are there programmes to integrate the old and new structures?

DM: Yes, definitely. This is more defined at the constituency, ward and local branch levels, where there is now a new powerful type of branch.

This was after the congress delegates strongly supported a resolution that promoted the supremacy of the local branch. As such, we are now taking the party back to the people on the ground, at grassroots level.

ND: What is your assessment of the current Zimbabwean situation? As a nation, do you think we are in the right direction or not, why?

DM: Now more than ever, Zimbabwe is in dire need of a totally new political government. The so-called new dispensation is proving to be worse than the old (former President Robert) Mugabe era.

Unless there is a change of government, our country is going to continue to sink deeper into the murky waters of socio-economic malaise. 

ND: The MDC has been threatening to mount pressure on the Zanu PF-led government, but none of that has happened as of now. Some of your supporters are claiming that they are losing patience over your non-action. What can you say about this?

DM: Our leadership is in constant consultation with our structures, and as far as they are concerned, the time is still not yet right. We are still busy resolving some issues internally first, such as the setting up of the new local branches.

The MDC is not guided by the loud voices of social media-based armchair critics. It is influenced by its elected representatives across all its structures.

ND: You have repeatedly said dialogue with President Emmerson Mnangagwa should be based on a set of conditions that your party is putting forward. However, Zanu PF has made it clear that they are not going to accept your demands. What is the way forward?

DM: We are very clear that some requisite pressure still needs to be applied first before the dialogue can truly start. This is what we are focusing on right now. We are busy laying down the ground work for some serious sustained pressure.

ND: Your party recently launched the Reload document. In brief, what does that document hope to achieve? Is it proffering solutions to the country’s problems and if so, in which areas?

DM: The document sets out a well-structured process that will lead Zimbabwe out of this permanent crisis mode into a truly democratic, free and prosperous country.

It is, indeed, proffering a clear solution in terms of fully resolving the political impasse in the country. It is also giving clear direction on what exactly needs to be done to finally end the socio-economic problems of our country.

ND: The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has threatened to mobilise people for protests against the government. Are you going to be part of these protests?

DM: ZCTU is a completely separate entity from the MDC. We support their democratic right to freely express themselves and try to resolve any pertinent issues affecting their membership. Newsday

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