Thursday, April 18, 2013

(NEWZIMBABWE) Independence Day message by MDC leader Welshman Ncube
18/04/2013 00:00:00
by Prof Welshman Ncube

Independence Day message by MDC president Welshman Ncube on the occasion of Zimbabwe’s 33rd Independence:

As the MDC joins the rest of the nation in celebrating our 33rd Independence anniversary and remembering the sacrifices made by our forbearers to free us from the shackles of colonialism and racial segregation, we take a moment to reflect on how far we have come as a nation.

This year’s Independence Day comes at a time when as Zimbabweans we finally have a constitution that we can truly call our own, a constitution by which the people have reclaimed their rights and their power, in particular the power to determine through devolution, their own local affairs.

In this way, they have reserved for themselves the power to determine the use of their local resources, determine development priorities and be directly involved in the decisions which affect their daily lives. And I have never been more proud to be a Zimbabwean.

We salute the people of Zimbabwe for coming this far in their quest for a free and fair Zimbabwe. As we move towards elections, I encourage you all to take the final leap and make sure that you are registered to vote. I appeal especially to the youths and first time voters to embrace the spirit of voting as this will determine your future. If you do not register to vote, all the work we have done in the making of the constitution would have been in vain.

In the same vein, we urge you to be tolerant, united and non-violent before, during and after elections. We believe as a party that nothing good was ever brought by violence.

Before independence, we took to the bush and fought for our freedom. But today, thanks to the men and women who sacrificed their lives for us in the liberation struggle, all we need to do is exercise our democratic right in the ballot box.

The last 33 -years have taught us that our enemy is not an individual but a system, a system of dictatorship, corruption, lawlessness and gross human rights violations. As we celebrate our independence today, the MDC pledges an open democracy, in which national government is accountable to the people through the devolution of power and decision-making to the provinces and local authorities.

We hope that as we go forward this will help us as a nation to build a dynamic economy, built on the principles of a mixed economy with a strong social conscience enabling the creation of jobs, accessible and affordable health and education through sustainable economic reconstruction, transformation and development.

To us, independence means ensuring food security and the development of all rural areas through secure agricultural production, the prosperity of all the people through sound business policies, creation of secure jobs with adequate pay and the empowerment of all the people. It also means empathetic, non-corrupt and dependable leadership which you can hold to account through participative democracy.

As MDC, we remain guided by our unwavering desire for the freedom and liberty of all citizens in a Zimbabwe free from all forms of violence, intimidation and coercion as means of political organisation and mobilisation.

We remain unflinching in our quest for a Zimbabwe in which all nationals are equal and free to express their political views and make such political decisions without fear of harassment or vilification.
To each and every Zimbabwean, we say Amhlophe, Makorokoto, Congratulations on our 33rd year of independence.

APRIL 18, 2013

MDC-T floor crossers face Parliament axe
17/04/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

THE MDC led by Welshman Ncube has renewed efforts to get five lawmakers expelled by the party last year to be withdrawn from Parliament after they put their names forward to stand on the MDC-T ticket in elections due later this year.

MDC secretary general Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga has written to the House of Assembly Speaker Lovemore Moyo and Senate President Edna Madzongwe asking them to withdraw the parliamentary whip of the three MPs and two senators.

Members of Parliament Nomalanga Khu­malo (Umzingwane), Maxwell Dube (Tsholotsho South) and Thandeko Mnkandla (Gwanda North) as well as Senators Dalumuzi Khumalo (Lupane) and Kembo Dube (Umzingwane) were sacked from the MDC over alleged links with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC-T.

The MDC then tried, unsuccessfully, to have the five lawmakers expelled from Parliament under rules which prohibit floor crossing.

Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara – who is claiming leadership of the party at the Supreme Court after losing in the High Court – scuttled attempts to have the lawmakers barred from Parliament by claiming they were in fact members of his splinter party.
Pending a Supreme Court ruling over in the dispute over the MDC’s leadership, parliamentary authorities took no action.

But Mutambara’s claim that the legislators were aligned to his party rang hollow last week after they all registered to take part in the MDC-T’s primary elections.

Yet despite the embarrassing desertion, Maxwell Zimuto, a spokesman for Mutambara’s party known as MDC-M, was still insisting on Wednesday that the five were their members.
Mutambara, he said, would again seek to block Parliament from expelling the five.

Zimuto said in a letter to the Speaker and Senate President: “The MDC-N (MDC) has no authority whatsoever to give such directives over Hon. MPs who do not belong to their party.

“The assertion by Misihairabwi-Mushonga that MDC-M does not exist is absurd and should be dismissed with the contempt it deserves. Misihairabwi-Mushonga is not the nation’s registrar of political parties, neither is it her responsibility nor that of her party to monitor and regulate the performance of other political parties.”

Zimuto attached a document said to have been signed in 2011 by the five dissidents in which they pledged allegiance to Mutambara’s party.

Madzongwe and Moyo are expected to seek legal advice before taking action. Parliament is set to be dissolved on June 29.

In Independence Day speech, Mugabe makes plea for peace
Uhuru celebrations ... President Mugabe welcomes wife Grace, while Edna Madzongwe looks on
18/04/2013 00:00:00
by Paradzai Brian Paradza

POLITICAL violence has stained Zimbabwe’s image internationally, President Robert Mugabe said on Thursday as he made an impassioned plea for peace as the country celebrated 33 years of Independence.

Police must arrest ALL perpetrators of violence, and Zimbabweans must be allowed to freely wear their party regalia and vote for candidates of their choice, the President said.

“We want peace, let the people vote in peace,” Mugabe said in a speech delivered in both English and Shona to a packed National Sports Stadium. “We get reports from the police about clashes, usually the fighting is caused by people who don’t want others to wear their party regalia. Ko hamudi kuti apfeke uniform ye party yake? Ko imiwo pfekaiwo yenyu. Marambidzwa nani? Go and vote in your own way.”

He said the police have been instructed to make arrests of perpetrators of violence ahead of general elections expected later in the year, regardless of their political affiliation. Police have previously faced accusations from Mugabe’s opponents of protecting Zanu PF supporters.

“Naizvozvo tati kumapurisa vanenge vachidaro bamba lo, faka lapha mujeri. Of course tinenge tichiti vazotongwa, aiwa zvinotinyadzisa kuti nyika ine makore makumi matatu nematatu inoita izvozvo (So we have since instructed the police to arrests everyone who engages in violence and lock them away, of course they will be brought to the courts but that is just a shame for a country celebrating 33 years of independence),” he said.

Mugabe also railed against in-fighting within political parties saying such demonstrations of immaturity need to be discouraged, calling on the parties to join him in calling for peaceful canvassing.

Meanwhile, Mugabe said he welcomes the re-engagement with western countries which imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe. He hoped the reengagement will yield positive results for the country.

On Tuesday, he met a United States special envoy, Ambassador Andrew Young, for two hours. Young, the United States’ former ambassador to the UN, said “it took a decision-making process in the Congress and in the White House for me to come here. The decision for me to come here was made by the Secretary of State (John Kerry) and approved by the President of the United States.”

Accompanying him was the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Reuben Brigety, who said Young’s visit was “the highest in the level of engagement with Zimbabwe” in many years.

“Zimbabwe welcomes the re-engagement efforts that were recently initiated by Britain, the European Union and also now by the United States of America,” Mugabe said on Thursday.

“We hope that these efforts will lead to the unconditional lifting of the illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe. But what is crucial is that Zimbabwe, having attained our independence which we celebrate today, demands in accordance with the international law and international relations that these countries respect our sovereignty.”

The European Union recently lifted sanction on some members of Mugabe’s Zanu PF party, but the President and security chiefs remain blacklisted.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, his deputies Thokozani Khupe and Arthur Mutambara attended the celebrations which MDC leader Welshman Ncube boycotted.

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