CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR MESSAGE FROM SIMBA MAKONI
During the course of 2008, I witnessed the daily toils that now make for life in
The hope and promise held out by the harmonised elections of March 29 2008, were dashed by a party that is unwilling to respect the will of the people. In June 2008, I visited in hospitals, clinics and safe houses, victims of the violence of the `Presidential Run-Off’. I saw, and heard at first-hand, the brutality that has characterised Zimbabwean politics for too long.
In September 2008, I talked to women in a village in rural
I remember standing in a queue one evening in October 2008, awaiting my turn to withdraw $50 000 from the ATM, when a young man asked me, “Nemiwo mudhara munotoforerawo tumari tusingabatsire utwu”? I also remember meeting a long-serving civil servant at a branch of the POSB in Harare, who told me that his take home pay that month was $49 600. The minimum balance for his account was then $50 000. He was holding $400, to top-up his account, just to make sure the account was not closed. He could not withdraw his bus fares for the day from that account.
In the last month, I have visited Budiriro, Gazaland (Highfield) and Mbare in
The people I talked to were not aware of any other national leader who had come into their midst, to see for themselves the conditions of life in these areas. I was both touched and deeply troubled to see the shallow wells people have dug at their homesteads. I walked the banks of the stream in Budiriro, polluted with raw sewage, but still the only other source of water for the people of this area. It makes one angry to realise that all this is all avoidable if “leaders” marshal the will to put all the people of
In mid-December 2008, at a rural primary school in a District of Manicaland Province, I saw how food is being used to punish those seen as not supporting Mugabe and ZANU PF. ZANU PF officials and local councillors are the ones who compile the lists of people who are “truly hungry” and need food assistance. Needless to say, those listed are party faithfuls only.
Evidence abounds of how un-prepared the country is for the current agricultural season. Even if the rains are adequate, there will be little production on the land, much less than any other previous season. So, next year,
In the last quarter of the year, a new menace emerged, in the form of abductions, disappearances and elimination of citizen activists. Such occurrences are a total betrayal of the vision of the liberation struggle and the promise of sovereign independence.
On September 15 2008, the whole country applauded the signing of the Global Political Agreement, believing that, imperfect though it may be, it presented the best chance to solve the country’s problems, through cooperation. Regrettably, the hope of that agreement has evaporated, because the signatories there-to are deeply consumed in the quest for power for themselves. Because of the entrenched positions of the main protagonists to the “Power Sharing Agreement”, we harbour no expectations of a positive outcome from the 3-month political impasse.
The people are suffering immensely, they are angry and frustrated; and feel hostage to leaders who are un-caring and insensitive to their plight.
We share the people’s anger and frustration.
I, therefore, take the opportunity of this Christmas and New-Year message, to urge the leaders of the two MDCs and ZANU (PF) to re-dedicate themselves to work for the people; to subject their personal and respective organisational ambitions, to the interests of the people and country. I urge them to agree to a fresh approach to cooperation, in a broad based Transitional National Authority, whose principal objectives are:
· solving the humanitarian crises of food shortages and disease outbreaks;
· restoring law and order and the security of all citizens;
· stabilisation of the economy, especially restoring normal supply of goods and services;
· reviving normal banking and other financial services;
· restoring health, education, water and sanitation services to all citizens;
· guiding an inclusive constitution-making process, towards a democratic national constitution; and,
· preparing the country for fresh, free and fair elections, under a new democratic constitution.
I want to assure all the people of this our once beautiful, but now scarred
I also take this opportunity to assure activists of our Movement that efforts continue to convert the movement into a fully fledged political party. Our expectation is that the first quarter of the new year will see the formal launch of the party.
I implore all citizens not to despair. I also appeal to all regional, continental and international friends of
I remind us all that the darkest hour is before dawn, also that the last kick of a dying horse is the hardest.
TOGETHER, LET’S GET