My fellow Zimbabweans, today our great movement turns 21 years. For all these years we have travelled on a road with all its hazards.
We have been beaten and we fell down, but we managed to stand up, dust up and we continued walking hence why we have remained standing to this day.
Our destination is a New Zimbabwe with milk and honey. Our destination is a Zimbabwe where every citizen has a Better Life.
During our journey for the Democratization of our Country, we have had Trials, Tribulations as well as Triumphs.
I would like to pay tribute to our great men and women who spearheaded the formation of the Movement for Democratic Change from the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) in 1999.
These great men and women are, the late Gibson Sibanda who was President of ZCTU, the late Issac Matongo who was Vice President, the late Dr Morgan Tsvangirai who was Secretary-General, the late Nicholas Mudzengerere who was Deputy Secretary-General, the late Remius Makuwaza who was a General Council Member, Hon. Gift Chimanikire who was the President of the Post and Telecommunications Union and is currently the National Deputy Organising.
Secretary of MDC-T, Hon. Paurina Mpariwa who was the Chairperson of the ZCTU Women’s Advisory Council and a General Council Member, she is currently the Deputy Secretary-General of MDC-T and yours truly Dr Thokozani Khupe who was the Secretary of the ZCTU Women’s Advisory Council and a General council member. Currently, she is the Acting President of MDCT.
These 8 Women and Men then united with other groups that include but not limited to the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), Women’s Clubs, Students movement and the Church and met at a Working People’s Convention in February 1999, in Harare where various issues pertaining to Zimbabwe were discussed.
After unanimously noting the failure and inability of the Mugabe’s administration to govern the country in a just, transparent, honest, fair and equitable manner, the Convention noted the need and desire for the formation of a political movement.
On the 11th of September 1999, the Movement for Democratic Change was then formed which would advance and promote human rights and the setting up of a government based on the principles of freedom and good governance.
The MDC is a social-democratic party whose core values are solidarity, justice, equality, liberty, freedom, transparency, humble and obedient leadership and accountability.
One of its objectives is to pursue social liberation policies aimed at completing the unfinished business of the Liberation Struggle.
The character and culture of the party are that of being a pro-poor and people-centred, non- racial and non-sexist movement that strongly believes in gender parity and the 50-50 gender representation principle.
It is a movement that was built on a foundation of constitutionalism, democracy, non-discrimination and non-violence.
The MDC is against the use of violence as a means of attaining political power. It supports the emancipation of women and its leadership shall be accountable to the people and the leadership shall be at all material times be a Transformative leadership who will always move away from advancing their personal interests and move towards
working for the common good.
The MDC started participating in elections in 2000 when it was nine months old and it performed extremely well winning 57 seats out of 120 seats.
In 2008 the MDC-T made history and beat Zanu PF for the first time since 1980 with 100 seats against Zanu PF 99 seats and MDC Ncube 10 seats and one Independent, this lead to the formation of an Inclusive Government, with Dr Morgan Tsvangirai being the Prime Minister and yours truly Dr Thokozani Khupe being the Deputy Prime Minister.
The lives of many Zimbabweans changed during this period, hospitals that had closed, schools that had closed and shops that had closed opened.
However, a dark cloud befell us on the 14th of February 2018 when our founding President Dr Morgan Tsvangirai passed on.
Hell broke loose after his demise as our erstwhile colleagues decided to take over power through unconstitutional and violent means.
Some of the leadership were beaten and almost burnt in a hut in Buhera at the former President’s burial. After the matter was taken to court the Supreme court ruled that the MDC’s constitution be followed through, which clearly states under article 22.214.171.124 which says “in the event of the death or resignation of the President, the Deputy President assumes the role of Acting President, pending the holding of an Extra-Ordinary Congress that shall be held to elect a new President which Extra-Ordinary Congress to be held no later than a year from the death or resignation of the former President”.
This is where the party is at the moment and had it not been for Covid-19 the Extra-ordinary Congress (E.O.C) would have been conducted on the 31st July 2020.
The party has since approached the Supreme Court for a variation and the matter will be heard on the 1st of October 2020.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank MDC-T members for remaining resolute and firm under these difficult circumstances. Let me also thank Zimbabweans in a special way for observing the National Lockdown measures during these difficult times of COVID-19.
We stood united as a nation during the fight to save lives for it is the only way we could overcome and defeat the pandemic.
We stayed at home, embraced social distancing measures which are a new normal. We shall continue to fight until we arrive at our destination where every Zimbabwean has a Better Life. Forward Ever, Backwards Never.
We shall continue to fight using the spaces that we have which include Parliament and Local authorities we control. We shall continue to question government and hold them to account for their actions to the people, we shall challenge government policies and proffer solutions and we will continue to be the eyes and ears of the citizens regarding their concerns and challenge government to act and satisfy the needs of the people.
Let us unite as citizens and hold hands because one hand cannot move a mountain but many hands can do so.
Let us unite and move the mountain of Poverty,
Let us unite and move the mountain of Hunger,
Let us unite and move the mountain of Corruption,
Let us unite and move the mountain of disunity,
Happy 21st Anniversary MDC-T, Happy 21st Anniversary MDC-T
Guqula Izenzo, Chinja Maitiro ….
God Bless you All, God Bless the MDC T Family, God Bless Zimbabwe.!
I Thank You
Dr Thokozani Khupe
Acting President, MDC T