Mavambo Officially Launched
A strong contingent of diplomats, media and activists of Mavambo.Kusile.Dawn turned out at Stoddart Hall in Mbare today to witness the official launch of MKD as a political party. This was an "invitation-only" affair and consisted of invited diplomats, media and registered delegates of MKD Interim Provincial Structures.
The launch was held under the theme of "Real Change". The theme was informed by the fact that, although the MDC campaigned on a platform of "Change you Can Trust", it turns out now that there is no change after all.
People are still being arrested, media is still restricted, there is still no freedom of assembly unless you get police clearance, cholera looms large still, unemployment still hovers around 90% and capacity in industry is still well below 50%.....
People are still afraid (three video production companies refused to take on the assignment of filming the launch, saying they were afraid of reprisals, that their companies could be targeted and closed down and their equipment confiscated.)
Still, it was a rip-roaring affair, perfectly synchronised, reflecting the professionalism and focus of the new party.
In fact, one diplomat at the launch said as we finished, "This is the first political party that I have seen which has set a programme and stuck to it."
At exactly 11:00a.m., Dr Makoni and Mrs Makoni arrived to cheers and calls of "Nyati Imhenyu! Nyati Imhenyu!" - Nyati means Buffalo in the local languages and is Dr Makoni's totem.
The launch ceremony, which was presided over by one of the Party Formation Steering Committee members, Ms Florence Sachikonye, started soon after that, with a speech from the MKD Interim Chairman, Mr Godfrey Chanetsa.
He delivered a welcoming address in which he highlighted the need for a third party to rescue Zimbabweans from misery. He lamented the fact that nothing has changed since the formation of the inclusive government of Tsvangirai and Mugabe and reminded those gathered there that Mugabe, at the signing of the GPA in September last year, said that the problem with African opposition parties is that they want to take over from the ruling parties, which just goes to show that ZANU PF has not changed its mindset.
Dr Makoni then gave his launch speech. In it, he outlined the programme of the new party, highlighting the fact it wanted to introduce a new ethos into our political playing field.
Slamming corruption, greed and the "politics of power, command and control", he assured those gathered there MKD was committed to obliterating the mentality that "politics is dirty."
He went on to tell the audience that the programme and priorities set out by the new party represented "Real Change" and not the fake change from what he called "the new Inclusive Entity called MDC-PF".
At the same time, he assured those gathered there that he and MKD stand ready to assist the Inclusive government to succeed if it demonstrated that it had the interests of the people at heart.
So far, he said, this has not been case, with the MDC-PF government preoccupied with "bickering for vehicles" as well as fighting for power and jobs for its own boys and girls.
The ceremony ended at exactly 12:00 midday, although Dr Makoni was detained for a bit as the diplomats present lined up to congratulate him him personally and have a word or two with him.
I will be uploading photos from the launch later on today as soon as I have transferred them to my computer.