Getting Back into Gear
If that was Christmas, it's over. Now back to the future! After all the
confusion, accusation and counter accusations of the latter part of
2006 is seeing the slow evolution of a new dispensation within the MDC.
have been plodding away at preparations for the next Congress of the
which will be held on the 18th and 19th of March 2006. This is later
required by the constitution and the leadership will have to ask
condone this lapse when it meets. The reasons are obvious to all and
should be no problems with this issue.
Ten of the 12 Provincial Congresses have now been held - well attended
all cases by delegates from the Branches, Wards and Provincial
New leadership has been elected and in most cases there is a general
improvement in the quality and character of the leadership that has
elected. On Saturday we had the first opportunity to meet many of the
leaders as they attended the National Council meeting. I was impressed.
Bulawayo and Matabeleland South remain for next weekend and once these
are completed we will then be able to issue invitations to the main
of the Party.
Some 15 000 people will be eligible to attend Congress as delegates and
these together with our guests will mean that we will have a very large
number of people at Congress. This will be our second Congress - the
being in late 1999 when we met at the National Aquatic Sports Center in
Chitungwiza. This year we go to the National Sports Center in Harare.
Congress, the process of healing the wounds of the split in our
will finally be dealt with and a full contingent of national leaders
I am looking forward to Congress - it will be a real celebration of the
democratic spirit in Zimbabwe. A celebration of courage and
stand up to a tyrannical dictatorship in defense of our rights as
celebration of survival; in spite of all that has been thrown at us
past 6 years, we are still here, still in good spirit and still
to finish what we started out to do in 1997.
The second aspect of the Congress will be to cement the consensus we
evolved together over the past six years in respect to our philosophy
ideology as well as the policies that flow from those foundations. We
social democratic movement and as such our policies will reflect our
commitment to the welfare of our people and the development of our
country.arareHar To facilitate this a full policy review is under way.
The third aspect will be to work out how we are going to achieve our
goal - that of effecting regime change in Zimbabwe.
There are very few in Zimbabwe today who do not accept that Zanu PF has
completely failed to manage our political and economic affairs. We have
the most rapid collapse of an economy in African history - and in a
that is not at war and has no internal armed struggle. This has been a
self-inflicted collapse and the regime shows no sign of either
what it has done or how to fix the problem. We have no alternative but
now seek their removal from power and the instillation of a new
that will tackle our massive and urgent problems and restore our
The question is how? We have tried the democratic route and been
at every hurdle. The report on the Presidential election in 2002 is now
in draft form and being examined by Party leaders. It is a completely
damming indictment of the whole electoral process as developed and
by Zanu PF since 1980. It reveals a completely manipulated and
voters roll, a sophisticated system designed distort the roll to
every sort of electoral fraud. It uncovers the role of the "Command
a sinister body run by the military and security agencies that actually
administers all elections from the headquarters of the CIO in Harare
that has links to every polling station in the country. It shows how
body distorted the results - blatantly manipulating the voting figures
were coming out of the polling stations themselves.
It reinforces our claim that the Registrar Generals Office is totally
partisan and is actually the main agent used for the manipulations and
distortion of voting rights, citizenship and creating the capacity for
fraud on a massive scale. This damming report coupled to the already
established (confirmed by the Courts) use of food and violence as a
influencing voter behavior makes the idea of regime change via
means simply a joke.
We have tried the legal route - we took 35 of the June 2000 election
to Court, as is our right in terms of the law and our constitution. It
the Courts 5 years to hear 12 cases - award 7 to the MDC and dismiss 5
the rest fell away when the next elections took place. In only two
were the electoral challenge procedures completed, MDC won both but so
that our extra Members of Parliament never had a chance to attend even
Then there was the legal challenge to the election of Mugabe as State
President in 2002. He purportedly won that by a significant margin but
know that in fact a two-thirds majority defeated him. We took this to
Courts within 30 days of the election - today, 5 years later, the case
still not been heard and in desperation we have now appealed to the
Court. After 4 years of repeated legal appeals we eventually got the
from that election into the Courts in Harare and obtained access. It
taken us many months of hard work to investigate just what went on -
cooperation at all from the powers that be in Harare. Now we have the
the lawyers tell me they have no confidence that they will ever get the
So no democratic means, no legal means - what next? We ourselves rule
violence and armed struggle - we have been down that road before and
future for anyone there. So what way to go? Well first we have to set
goals - that is in the process of taking shape in the MDC but I think
going to be a new national, peoples driven constitution. Once that is
place then a normalization period to stabilize the situation on the
(food and security) and then fresh elections under international
"You will never get Zanu PF to agree to that" - agreed, therefore there
have to be some use of force and here we will use the methods refined
the past centuries by similar populations living under tyrannies -
disobedience, strikes, stay aways, boycotts and pressure on all
with the regime to concede the need for a new beginning.
At rallies over the past weekend the leadership of the MDC spoke to
thousands of its supporters and outlined to them their thinking. There
doubt about our need. No doubt about our determination and we have no
about our eventual victory. History is on our side, the people will
and this time Zanu PF will have no place to hide, not even in Pretoria.
Roy Bennett said at the recent Council meeting "we have won seats in
Parliament, taken control of a majority of the Cities and Towns and
have we achieved for our people - nothing!" He asked? "In what way can
say that what we have been doing in the past six years has benefited
ordinary man in the street?" He said this in support of a call for
new strategies to confront Zanu PF in all spheres and for the MDC to
strategies that do not yield change. He is absolutely right.
Bulawayo, 9th January 2006