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Tsvangirai lays out vision

The MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai has laid out his vision for a new Zimbabwe under his rule, promising citizens justice, freedom and happiness.

Report by Jennifer Dube

Launching the MDC’s Agenda for Real Transformation at the party’s policy conference in Harare yesterday, Tsvangirai, who is also Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister, said his party would ensure that Zimbabweans enjoyed their country.

“We definitely have to ensure that the society which we are going to build has justice, freedom and happiness,” he said. “This society has endured a lot of trauma and it is time we enjoyed our country.

“The society of a centralised one man rule, impunity and inequality has gone and gone forever.”

Tsvangirai said constitutionalism will be one of the guiding principles of his rule, adding that his party counted on being loved by the people.

“The State has been very oppressive and that has to stop,” he said. “A good leader must be loved by his people. The greatest security you can have as a leader are your people and not all these entourages we see around,” he said.

Tsvangirai said contrary to some people’s beliefs, he had no personal differences with service chiefs. He believed that the country’s securocrats should be answerable to the civilian authority.

Tsvangirai said his rule will be guided by broad-based people policies which will ensure that citizens are empowered with necessary skills to perform jobs.

He said his party would also tap into the country’s skills currently being utilised in the diaspora to develop and modernise Zimbabwe.

“Devolution is our solution to the national question,” he said. “There will be no tribal enclaves. No region and no people will be left behind in development.

“No tribe is more Zimbabwean than the other and we believe that tribalism is as archaic as unbridled nationalism.”

He added that his government would promote a productive economy, which is anchored by the fundamental principle of respecting property rights.

Summing up the conference deliberations, MDC secretary general Tendai Biti said for the first time in the country’s history, there will be an Act of Parliament to regulate the activities of the central intelligence organisation.

“There will also be rebranding of the force [army],” Biti said. “There will be no more jambanja. Security forces will be de-commodified. They will keep to their business and not be found in diamonds and all these other businesses they are currently delving into.”

On national healing, Biti said the State, notwithstanding the fact that Tsvangirai would be the leader, should apologise, compensate and pay reparations to victims of the gukurahundi massacres of the 1980’s, Murambatsvina in 2005 and the 2008 electoral violence.

Biti said his party’s government will restore the glory of the education sector, building well- equipped learning institutions and supporting students with loans and grants.

“Zanu PF has made all our cities dirty capitals of the world and cleanliness will be one of the epicentres of the MDC government policy,” Biti said. “We will ensure that we keep our cities clean.”

ARMY TO BE RATIONALISED — BITI

Biti said the size of the army would be rationalised to reflect a peaceful society which is not preparing to go into war with anyone.

He said army officers will undergo compulsory lessons on the Bill of Rights, adding that the same lessons will be made compulsory at schools.

“We also need demilitarisation of the health services sector where we will have civilian doctors in charge and not army personnel,” he said.

“We will pay special attention to communicable diseases, which continue to affect many in our society.

“We will create awareness of these diseases while also promoting prevention as it is always better than cure.”

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