Below is a statement by MDC-T vice president on the visit to the United States which has attacked spirited social media debate and condemnation by the government in Harare.
I AM so delighted to be on this hugely beneficial trip. We are on this vital global advocacy and diplomatic engagement programme to give Zimbabweans a fighting chance in the crucial and landmark 2018 general elections. This trip is about you and me and the future of our children and generations to come.
Our successful meetings are high level with the State Department, Congress, Global Business figures and US Civil Society. I’m with Mr Tendai Biti after Prof Welshman Ncube failed to make the trip since he had to deal with a sudden family tragedy.
This trip is the best platform for Zimbabwe’s restoration and reintegration efforts. Judging from our engagements thus far, Zimbabwe has phenomenal goodwill and an exceptional opportunity to rebound as an economic giant. As a people, we cannot afford to squander this merited goodwill through partisan and petty party political sandpit arguments, which have no material benefit to our people.
This trip comes as a continuation of diplomatic outreaches already under way focusing on SADC and the AU. Our overall persuasion and perspective is to state and restate our case for credible, free and fair elections in Zimbabwe, elections whose results are not contested.
I saw and read a false message that this trip was about sanctions. Far from it, the trip has all to do with our take on free and fair elections in Zimbabwe and our post-election reconstruction plan. As a matter of record, we are not here purporting to be representing government or the ruling party, we are representing all genuine peace-loving, freedom-craving and progressive Zimbabweans.
The objectives of the trip are as follows;
1. A push for a successful transition to a democratic order through Campaign restore legitimacy and democracy -stating a case for free and fair elections in Zimbabwe
2. Advocacy for political and electoral reforms conducive for free and fair elections.
- A credible voters roll
- An independent audit of the BVR
- A forensic audit of the ballot and all voting materials
- Having all parties to collectively agree on the ballot printing company and such procurement
- Mandatory diaspora vote in line with the Constitution of Zimbabwe and the SADC guidelines
- Mandatory international observation
- A fully independent ZEC including professional and non partisan ZEC secretariat.
- Media freedom and equal access to the public media
- – a stop and cessation of all forms of political violence and harassment
3. Advocacy for the need for international underwriting of free and fair elections in Zimbabwe.
4. Advocacy for Constitutionalism and adherence to, and respect for, the rule of law.
5. Advocacy for Economic and Social reforms, stabilisation and international re-engagement to give Zimbabwean people hope and a better life.
We used our meetings to underscore the need and importance of the removal of all obstacles to Zimbabwe’s full Integration back into the family of nations. I must hasten to emphasize that our primary and principal goal is to have happiness and peace in Zimbabwe anchored through free and fair elections in Zimbabwe.
My colleague and PDP President, Mr Biti, and Civil society leaders testified before the US congress, giving their perspectives. Being a serving and sitting legislator in Zimbabwe, I did not testify before the legislative committee.
It is our stated wish to have a country where everyone has a fair shot in life to thrive. We are patriotic and never shy of understanding that national interest comes first before party political gains. Zimbabwe is our only country and home and we love it and believe in it.
This global campaign has taken us to SADC and the wider African continent. We have already had teams emphasizing on the roadmap to free and fair elections in next seven months.
Apart from directly engaging our colleagues in the ruling party Zanu PF, we will spread our footprints to Europe and the whole world until legitimacy and democracy are restored in our motherland.
Campaign Restore Legitimacy and Democracy is a peaceful, all-inclusive citizen campaign for freedom and prosperity for a New Zimbabwe. On the home front, our party organs, cadres and all-party leaders are taking the real change message across all provinces, districts and wards in the whole country where the election will be decided. We are encouraging every Zimbabwean to register to vote and make a difference wherever you are in order for national prosperity and total happiness to prevail.
We have an alternative narrative and alternative policies based on alternative politics. We have a fresh narrative. We need a new revolution to defend our liberation struggle, it is a legacy we should all cherish and its restoration is an immediate issue that should be done through a free and fair election.
The nation needs new policies and new politics. We have credible policies. We are rolling out those powerful policies in a few weeks to come. We are cranking up our campaign machinery.
The people shall govern. Citizens must govern.
God bless you, God bless Zimbabwe!!
Advocate Nelson Chamisa, MP
MDCT Vice President