MDC celebrates milestone

HARARE - The country’s biggest opposition political party MDC led by former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai will today celebrate 17 years of existence at White City Stadium in Bulawayo.

Formed in 1999 on the coattails of workers, the labour backed opposition party has proved to be a thorn in the flesh for President Robert Mugabe.

“The people’s project has come of age, it has matured into becoming the largest and most popular political party in Zimbabwe,” the party’s spokesperson Obert Gutu said in a statement yesterday.

With Zimbabwe in the midst of serious political, social and economic problems, Gutu said the country is now at crossroads.

“ . . . political and socio-economic situation in Zimbabwe has deteriorated to such an extent that at least 75 percent of the country’s population is now living in abject poverty and penury, meaning that they are living on less than $1 per day.

“This is a historic and momentous occasion for all of us in the MDC family and also for all Zimbabweans at large as we look back and re-focus on all the trials, tribulations, let downs as well as major successes of our mighty political party,” Gutu said.

In the face of worsening economic problems, the MDC along with other political parties, has been leading demonstrations against the seemingly out of sorts Zanu PF’s government.

The MDC has been piling up pressure on Zanu PF to implement electoral reforms, improve people’s living standards as well as respect for human and property rights.

But in its journey the MDC’s supporters have been victimised — while some have lived to see the party’s 17th anniversary —there are scores who died allegedly at the hands of Zanu PF and its functionaries.

MDC activists like Tonderai Ndira were abducted and only found dead — while some of its sympathisers like Itai Dzamara were abducted and are yet to be found.

As such, Gutu said, the MDC will also use the event to remember the victims of political violence.

Tsvangirai, the MDC founding president, has often accused Zanu PF of trampling on human rights and also rigging elections to perpetuate its controversial 36-year reign.

Perhaps the MDC most notable feat was when Tsvangirai handed Mugabe his first electoral defeat in 2008 — but failed to reach the 50 percent plus threshold that is needed to ensure absolute victory.

Tsvangirai was later forced to pull out of the presidential run-off that year which Mugabe went on to win.

Still, Mugabe’s victory was pyrrhic as the international community refused to accept his legitimacy — thus triggering the formation of a coalition government, where Tsvangirai served as prime minister from 2009 to 2013.

“Over the past 17 years, the Zanu PF dictatorship, fronted by . . . Mugabe, has harassed, beaten up, tortured, arrested and imprisoned our leaders as well as other ordinary party cadres but, collectively, we have remained solid as a rock, resolute and steadfast. We are now redefining the endgame to a new, prosperous and democratic nation State in Zimbabwe. Indeed, the MDC is poised to resoundingly win any free and fair election to be held in Zimbabwe. The MDC is the real deal, the only game in town,” Gutu said.

The celebrations will be held under the theme “Redefining the Endgame”.

Comments (2)

milestone of failure and corruption in municipalities

truth - 2 October 2016

Congratulations to a party formed from the voluntary support of mostly urban people who work for a living. There are some elements in this party that obviously came from the criminal party - please weed them out. Keep debate and sobre thinking clear and focus on the future. Makorokoto. Vavengi venyu ndevekwa Satani.

Sagitarr - 3 October 2016

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