BULAWAYO — Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday said next week’s elections were a do or die poll where people would choose between “darkness and prosperity”.
The elections will be held on July 31.
BY SILAS NKALA & NQOBANI NDLOVU
Addressing several thousands of party supporters in White City Stadium in Bulawayo, Tsvangirai urged people to vote for MDC-T which he described as the party for the future.
The MDC-T leader said Zanu PF was clueless on how to end deep-seated suffering faced by Zimbabweans.
It is estimated that over 85% of the country’s population is living in abject poverty.
“What can they [Zanu PF] do in the next five years that they failed to in the last 33 years?,” Tsvangirai told thousands of cheering party supporters.
“Zanu PF is clueless and voting Zanu PF will be retrogressive. The July 31 election is a choice between darkness and prosperity for generations and generations to come.”
He added: “President [Robert] Mugabe should be grateful to the Sadc who rescued him after losing the 2008 election.”
Tsvangirai said future generations will remember Mugabe and Zanu PF for destroying the country’s economy. He said the MDC-T will be known for saving the country from total collapse.
“Mugabe’s legacy is not about the role that he played during the liberation struggle; his legacy will be his record in government since 1980. He will be remembered for causing the suffering of Zimbabweans,” said Tsvangirai. “The MDC-T entered into a unity government in 2008 to rescue Zimbabweans and save the country.”
The Prime Minister promised to re-industrialise Bulawayo and develop the whole of Matabeleland region that has faced years of neglect and underdevelopment. Thousands of companies have closed shop in Bulawayo in the past decade.
“The MDC-T has a plan to rescue Zimbabwe from a quagmire of poverty, quagmire of corruption, quagmire of impunity and quagmire of lack of accountability. At least 10% of the national budget will be set aside for the development of Matabeleland region,” said the MDC-T leader.
He promised to make Bulawayo “a free economic zone” that would attract investment and lead to the re-opening of companies and industries.
“Industrialisation cannot take place when there is no efficient railway system. The MDC-T will rehabilitate the railway system as part of the industrialisation policy,” he said.
Tsvangirai indicated that the MDC-T would ensure that victims of Gukurahundi were compensated “because the scars will remain with us forever”.
An estimated 20 000 people from Midlands and Matabeleland regions were killed by North-Korean trained Fifth Brigade during the Gukurahundi era in the 1980s.
Earlier on, Elizabeth Macheka, the premiers’ wife called on the people to shun political violence and urged Tsvangirai not to take for granted the support that he is receiving from Zimbabweans.