Qualitative difference is hallmark of MDC

HARARE - The MDC became part of an inclusive government in 2009 after trouncing Zanu PF in the election of 2008 and since then, the party has exhibited a huge qualitative difference from Zanu PF.

Only recently, the print and the social media were awash with a misleading story by the New York Times’ Lydia Polgreen to the effect that the MDC and its leader, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, have joined the gravy train.

The truth is that the MDC and its leader remain faithful to the party’s founding values and principles.

Our four-year record in the inclusive government has shown that we remain allergic to graft and our officials in government have never fallen for the trinkets and trappings of high office.

Those who have done so and were found out have been fired.

For the record, Tsvangirai stays in a State residence which he is entitled to as the Prime Minister of the country.

For three years, he stayed in his own house in Strathaven and he never insisted on a State residence to which he moved years later.

Now that he is in that house, there have been misleading reports that have sought to malign him and equalise him with Zanu PF.

The house he is staying in, remains State property even though he has the right to buy it. He has not bought it.

The PM has only one official vehicle, a second-hand Mercedes Benz vehicle allocated to him in 2009.
That vehicle has broken down and is now in the garage, but he has not insisted on these material things because it is just against his DNA, despite him sharing executive power and authority with President Robert Mugabe, whose lavish fleet is constantly upgraded.

The MDC ministers in government have largely delivered on their mandates within the limited constraints of this cash-strapped administration.

The inclusive government has reduced inflation from over 500 billion percent to a mere 4,5 percent.
Hospitals and schools that were closed are now open and the once-empty shelves are now full, thanks to Tsvangirai and the MDC.

We have given Zimbabweans time-out and for once, Zimbabweans have a reason to start believing in a government once again.

Polgreen cites in her article what she alleges to be massive corruption in the satellite town of Chitungwiza.

What she does not tell her readers is that the MDC was the first political party to fire a whole council for corruption.

In 2009, the MDC fired the entire Chitungwiza council for corruption, in an unprecedented move in Zimbabwean politics.

The party did so because of its qualitative difference from Zanu PF, which party had brought the country down due to sleaze, patronage and unprecedented corruption for which one minister committed suicide following the damning revelations that became known as the Willowgate scandal.

To date, the MDC has no single councilor in the satellite town of Chitungwiza but those it fired for corruption were protected by the Zanu PF Local Government minister, Ignatius Chombo.

They remain in office to this day, at the pleasure of the minister of course.

The MDC in government remains untainted by corruption and many of the scandals that have afflicted the opposition Zanu PF.

It is certainly not the MDC ministers who have been known for being multiple-farm owners.

It was not us who claimed to be 100 percent disabled and looted the War Victims Compensation Fund.

It is certainly not Morgan Richard Tsvangirai nor any of the ministers from his party who have prevented the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission from accessing documents when it became clear that  some ministers had benefitted as individuals from the so-called empowerment programmes that were supposed to benefit the entire nation.

Surely, given that the security sector ministries are dominated by Zanu PF, no MDC  official or minister could get away with any scandal considering that the Zanu PF side of government would want to score cheap political points by having any such MDC official arrested, even though they would be guilty of the same or bigger  crime themselves.

As the PM said two weeks ago in Chiredzi, corruption has no room in the MDC and we are ready to start on a new slate.

“There is no room for a corrupt councilor, a corrupt MP, or even a corrupt president,” Tsvangirai said in Chiredzi.

As a party, we have been arrested, harassed, maimed and killed because of our unstinting fight against the Zanu PF culture and we certainly cannot be part of the so-called gravy train, which train we derailed in 2008.

It was under the leadership of Tsvangirai that the constitutional movement was born.

Today, we have a new constitution that sets a new value system for the country and exposes government to many checks and balances.

It was Tsvangirai who addressed 13 meetings across the country campaigning for that constitution when other leaders folded their arms and left the Copac team to do the work.

This shows it is only Tsvangirai who is genuine about entrenching this new and positive era for our country.

The good news is that Zimbabweans know which party is the haven of scandals, corruption and grandeur.

They know that we are different and that is why they overwhelmingly voted for Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC in March 2008 — a feat they are certainly going to repeat in the next few months.

For us in the MDC, qualitative difference has been our hallmark in this inclusive government and our record speaks for itself. - Luke Tamborinyoka

*Luke Tamborinyoka is the  spokesperson to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. He can be contacted at mhofult@yahoo.comPM’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka.

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