A bleak Freedom Day: Opposition

HARARE - As Zimbabwe marks its 35 years of independence from Britain today, opposition parties say the time has come to take President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF head-on to engender meaningful political and economic freedom in the country.

Speaking at a joint Press conference in Harare yesterday, opposition leaders — who included MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai, Simba Makoni of Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn (MKD), National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) representative Madock Chivasa and his Zapu counterpart Njobisa Noku — said the sad reality in the country was that there was not much to celebrate in a supposedly free Zimbabwe.

Reading the four parties’ joint press statement, MDC secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora said Zimbabweans were living in “a sorry state” and now needed to engage in a new struggle to realise their liberties that remained a pipedream.

“You look at all those millions on the street-side in our cities, towns and villages vending to fend for a living for their families and you ask yourself, is this real independence?

“Did we fight for the freedom to flee our country and seek asylum in the Diaspora? Did we fight for the freedom to flee our country to become victims of xenophobic attacks in neighbouring countries?” Mwonzora said.

He added that Zimbabweans were longing for answers on the whereabouts of their economic dividend, including proceeds from diamonds.

“As we reflect on our struggle as a people and the current sorry national predicament, we must certainly conclude that the solution lies in none but ourselves.

“Just as we fought a brutal and protracted struggle against repression, so too must we always be ready to redeem ourselves from our current predicament of penury, poverty and deprivation.

“Independence is not enough without freedoms and prosperity and we must be ready to pay the ultimate price once again to save ourselves,” Mwonzora said.

It was also pointed out yesterday that the country was marking its independence against the backdrop of an economic meltdown, soaring unemployment and widespread hunger — as well as the mysterious disappearance of political activist Itai Dzamara and the xenophobic attacks on foreigners including Zimbabweans in South Africa.

Tsvangirai said many Zimbabweans had “paid the ultimate price” as the fight against the “tyrant” entered the homestretch.

“We are at the level of despair and despondence that grips people who do not see the end of the struggle but there is no timeframe. We have always resisted the calls to take up arms as we believe in the democratic mode. This is not a sprint this is a marathon,” he said, adding that “the fallacy that someone is going to liberate us is long gone”.

Chivasa, who represented NCA leader Lovemore Madhuku, said there was no need to attend the Zanu PF-sponsored Uhuru celebrations today as the day meant nothing for 90 percent of the people.

“We are not going anywhere to listen to Mugabe hallucinating,” he said.

Tsvangirai, who used to attend independence celebrations when he was the country’s Prime Minister during the days of the government of national unity, also said he would not attend this year’s commemorations because they had been reduced to political party events.

“When we were in the inclusive government we were humiliated when we attended the programmes. I will not attend such a function,” Tsvangirai said.

Makoni said the country’s independence was meaningless when the safety of its citizens could not be guaranteed.

“We are displaying to Robert Mugabe, (Defence minister) Sydney Sekeramayi and the service chiefs who must protect everyone, we are reminding (vice presidents) Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phekezela Mphoko that it cannot be a meaningful independence when one among us is missing,” Makoni said.

Meanwhile, the Zanu PF formation that includes liberation war icons and former ministers Rugare Gumbo and Didymus Mutasa said their erstwhile comrades in the ruling party should not waste the country’s scare resources celebrating failure.

Gumbo, who is spokesperson of the group and one of the few surviving members of the respected Dare ReChimurenga — the War Council that executed the liberation war while the likes of Mugabe were locked up — said his heart was bleeding that only a few people were enjoying the gains of the struggle while the majority were wallowing in “man-made poverty”.

“There is nothing to celebrate. We are concerned by the lack of support to the families of those who died. We should do more on the economy, service delivery and not to spend money celebrating nothing.

“We fought for this country for the benefit of all the people not just a clique. I am old and I do not care for a position but I want democracy,” Gumbo said.

Mutasa, a former top ally of Mugabe, said it was “painful” that such a significant day had been reduced to “nothing by the greediness of a few individuals.”

“There is nothing to celebrate. There is no money to pay civil servants and other workers because the economy is in intensive care. For the same reason our people are being killed in South Africa looking for jobs.

“We have looked east for too long with nothing coming from there for the good of our people. Wanhu wedu watambudzika (Zimbabweans are suffering) left right and centre.

“The situation has been getting worse all the time, which is why we find nothing to celebrate on an important day such as this one,” Mutasa said.

Comments (18)

Kupemberera hurombo nehudzvanyiriri hwa Matibiri Mugabe ava kutoita nyika seyake asina kana pfuti yeshanga yaakabata.

Ghitsiga - 18 April 2015

For one country to go up, another one has to go down. With what is now happening in South Africa, could this be the time for Zimbabwe to reclaim its long lost position? Only time will tell.

P Kisa - 18 April 2015

Many people were killed homes burnt down and many displaced during the liberation war to liberate Mugabe and his wife . During the war we were lied to that once the war was over we were going to live like whites little did we know that the whole purpose of the war was to make Mugabe owner of this country . Since 1980 the country is a private property which has been turn into a huge laughing stock of the world .We have become punching bags of black South Africans any time they feel like bcoz our country is totally ruined and have no choice but cross into hostile SA where at least one can get a job although he or she can be killed any minute . We have no jobs no clean water ,no houses , no proper hospitals we now spend nights day in day out travelling to SA to buy basic things which were manufactured here before Mugabe owned this country to sell back home what a shame .Before this country became Mugabe 's property we had our own currency which was 1 to 5 American dollar but now we have nothing . The independence is for Mugabe and his nephews zimbabwean independence will come after Mugabe goes he is the man depriving us of our freedom I am sorry i never wish him any good at all .

Diibulaanyika - 18 April 2015

Why do you not post current photos. Or is this the latest way to misrepresent opinions by others. This is bad and there is no justification to use pictures to promote your hate of other people.

John Gwizo - 19 April 2015

Dear Dr Tsvangirai, For how long are you going to talk about President Mugabe's failures? It really gives boring reading to see that whenever you open your mouth, it's about the same issue. You have failed too and should at least admit it. The splits that have happened in your party is are testimony of failed leadership. Why do you want to remove the speck in the President's eye before removing the log in yours? Unite with all the forces of opposition in order to defeat ZPF. You may be remembered as a uniter of the Zimbabwean contigent that defeated Mugabe. You aren't worth much else.

shungu - 19 April 2015

I am glad people in the eastern provinces are reaping what they sowed in 1980. When people tell you that a leader is bad, you must listen to advise even if you do not like it. Zanu was bad from the start, the tribalistic split from Zapu and the death of many luminaries in Zanu raised eyebrows! Gukurahundi was a wake up call, a jolt so to speak. It was supposed to shock you into reality but alas, it was not to be. Now you are soiling yourselves, shitting in your pants because of the monster you have been feeding, and that some are still feeding. Now we are being killed in South Africa. Where will we go? People think

Phaphamani - 19 April 2015

@Phaphamani well said but you see idiots will never change their ways no matter how you try to rehabilitate their brains which have been soiled by zanu shiite . As you can see one fool here trying to blame Morgan for merely saying what all zimbabweans know that Mugabe is a failure and he expected Morgan to worship Mugabe and say he is great as has been the case when in the 1980s the radio would play jongwe rakakunda music from morning to the next morning for 365 days and in that case Mugabe was totally flattered and became a fully fledged dictator we can not get rid of today .

Diibulaanyika - 19 April 2015

This is total nonsense; these people must think we are all village idiots. Simba Makoni was in Zanu PF for donkeys and he did nothing to stop the rot. If anything he did his bit to build the party into the de facto one-party dictatorship it is today. Tsvangirai and Mwonzora have five years to implement the reforms designed to dismantle the dictatorship but they failed to get even one reform implemented. And not they want to tell “the time has come” to take Mugabe head-on as if they had failed to in the past when they had a chance because it was not the right time! No you failed in the past because you sold out to the tyrant. You will never be elected to a position of trust ever again!

Wilbert Mukori - 19 April 2015

Nobody is blaming anyone Mr Diibu. Neither should anyone, least of all Morgan, blame the president. You should not blame Shungu. Solve the country's problems. Your first letter is full of blame. So is your second. Are you going to live your life blaming others??? What a life dear brother. You need deliverance, turn to Christ. He already carried all the four all of us. No need to live in shame now. No need to blame others. It leads you to nowhere. There's nothing more painful than living a life that leads to nowhere.

binya - 19 April 2015

Simba Makoni and the others shut -up ! Maybe Tsvangirai is qualified to say anything against Mugabe - I give him some benefit of doubt because he is the only political leader who has the balls to say NO to Mugabe. Unfortunately he fell by the way side before he achieved what Zimbabweans expected of him. You Simba we can see exactly what you are: read Animal Farm by George Orwell. You are Moses the tame raven (the priest) who shows up only when the going favours you. You want it all without a scratch. That being the case you automatically fall out in the race to run Zimbabwe. Munangagwa,whom you proclaimed will not rule Zimbabwe has the guts to dive into the mud - unlike you. In short you are of no use to the Zimbabwe political scene. Maybe kwaMakoni. But kwaMakoni is not Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is wider. Stick to your village politics and help people in Manicaland reap something from diamonds given away to the Chinese by Robert.

Chorosi - 19 April 2015

Zanu pf allowed corruption to take root, ZCTU engaged in mass demonstrations in 1998, and MDC invited sanctions. These are the three causes of our suffering. The problem is that none of the above will accept their portion of the blame, but I know these are the three major causes of our suffering.

machakachaka - 20 April 2015

@ machakachaka you an idiot how could you blame ZCTU for economical failure which office do they occupy in the zimbabwean government. Also MDC didnt invite sanctions but the west imposed restrictive measures to certain individuals as a measure to restore human freedom and democracy. Let me remind you that the economy failed not because of your highlighted opinions but because of useless and meaningless policies crafted by high office bearers in the nation. OKEY.

Dzungu - 20 April 2015

When you were calling for sanctions and dining with the devil, where do you think we were heading, idiot, those are the fruits of what you called for.

reason - 20 April 2015

@reason, not many people believe that old sanctions mantra some section of zanu members have used endlessly. I am pro zanu but would rather not blame our failure on sanctions. that we failed as a party is a public secret. its good to own up when we have failed so that tomorrow we can aim to improve. if you do not know that you are failing you may never now that you are a failure and continue to fail confidently. tsvangirai is equally a failure. tarirai kubatwa kwakaitwa musoro. adzibwa neiko mukuru uyu?

taurai - 20 April 2015

I need all MDC supporters to give me one policy that your party has to help the economic situation of Zimbabwe and also give reasons why you think it is a good policy by citing examples of where such a policy has been successfully implemented.

gandainyama - 20 April 2015

Dzungu, anyone who calls another an idiot for exressing personal opinion is not a democrat. I do not expect you to apologise for calling me an idiot, because I understand the mentality of people who want to hear only what they agree with. You are probably be proud of using such language to close open debating space for other citizens, but progressive Zimbabweans will continue to debate national issues on this forum, whether they belong to this or that party. Please write again and call me something nastier than what you called me before. That way Zimbabweans will be able to know you better.

machakachaka - 20 April 2015

There is one person who is free. pres Mugabe. free to do anything . No one else is . Economically politically socially you are in chains. There is no freedom today in Zimbabwe

Joma - 26 April 2015

what do you think about freedom ?

sheyake shake b j - 5 January 2016

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