HARARE – Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai Sunday launches the MDC manifesto at Rudhaka Stadium in Marondera as he kick-starts the party’s campaign ahead of harmonised elections scheduled for July 31.
Tsvangirai will battle it out with President Robert Mugabe for the presidency.
MDC officials said the MDC’s manifesto launch, coming two days after Zanu PF launched theirs will provide Tsvangirai with a platform not only to hit back at his old rival but also to enunciate the party’s policies.
On Friday, Mugabe instead of espousing the party’s policies contained in the manifesto, chose to attack Sadc and in particular South African President Jacob Zuma’s international relations advisor Lindiwe Zulu.
The octogenarian leader described Zulu, who along with the Sadc facilitation team has been pushing for the 89-year-old strongman to implement the electoral roadmap before elections, as “an idiotic and stupid street woman”.
MDC’s secretary-general Tendai Biti, said today’s manifesto launch is historic.
“We are going to implement our agenda for action. Zimbabweans will be able to compare the chaos and mortuary atmosphere that characterised Zanu PF manifesto launch and our own event,” said Biti.
Among other policy issues that will be unpacked in Marondera today include the party’s prescription for a return to rule of law, an infrastructure revolution and economic policies aimed at addressing the plight of millions of Zimbabweans surviving on the goodwill of donors.
Zimbabwe is set to hold elections on July 31 and Mugabe on Friday sounded war drums warning his rivals-turned uneasy-coalition partners that this time around, the former ruling party will not enter into a coalition.
Mugabe and Tsvangirai were forced into a coalition government after the inconclusive 2008 harmonised election in 2008 — whose presidential election run-off was derailed by violence.
Zanu PF is repeatedly accused of political violence, intimidation and vote-rigging by opponents and civic society.
After Mugabe unilaterally declared elections should be held on July 31 ostensibly in compliance with a constitutional order, Tsvangirai asked the courts for a delay of at least 25 days to institute democratic reforms and changes to electoral laws to allow for a free and fair ballot.
Although Tsvangirai had the backing of Sadc and several democratic institutions, the court upheld its earlier ruling setting the stage for a potentially explosive battle for votes between the two protagonists.
Going into crunch polls, the electorate has a choice between the MDC’s election message, “Yes — Together we can complete the change” and Zanu PF’s “Indigenise, Empower, Develop, Employ.”