Zimbabwe: MDC-T to March Against Poverty

Zimbabwe: MDC-T to March Against Poverty – allAfrica.com 10 April 2016

It is not every day that the MDC and the police agree on a national programme, but a fortnight ago the unthinkable happened.

The police, or more accurately the Joint Operations Command (JOC) that approves our political programmes nowadays, agreed that the MDC peaceful march against the worsening poverty in the country can proceed on April 14 2016. The JOC is an assorted unit comprising members of the police, the army and the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO).

On Friday last week, the party had a discussion with JOC over the march, which is permissible under the new Constitution.

The MDC had written to notify the police of the march that was initially intended to take place on April 7 but was postponed by mutual consent to the 14th to enable the police to concentrate on providing policing services to the crunch meeting between President Robert Mugabe and the country’s veterans of the liberations struggle.

Having complied with the obligation to simply notify the police, the MDC and the police agreed that the MDC march could proceed under the escort of the police.

We in the MDC are exhorting Zimbabweans to join the march whose focus will be on five-key messages.

The people of Zimbabwe will be protesting on how a Head of State can reveal the astounding fact that $15 billion in diamond revenue simply disappeared without trace. With such an amount of money, the country’s problems would be hugely mitigated: indeed, “maproblems ese disappear,” as they would say in typical Winky D lingo.

Thousands of Zimbabweans are expected to join the march demanding their fair share of the money, equivalent to almost $1 000 per person, including every baby and school kid in the country.

l Another key message of the march will be the promised 2,2 million jobs, which has turned out to be a creation of 2,2 million vendors. Zanu PF has dismally failed to deliver on its election promises and through the controversial indigenisation drive, the dying party is even threatening the few jobs left in the country.

l On the 14th of April, the people will also be marching to demand the whereabouts of missing Zimbabweans, including Itai Dzamara, Patrick Nabanyama and many others who cannot be accounted for. We will be demanding that they be produced as it is obvious that they were abducted by State security agents. We must demand an end to this during the march, which is permissible in line with the provisions of section 59 of the Constitution.

l The other key message of the day will centre on the starvation facing the people of Zimbabwe.

The nation is starving and this government must ensure food is provided to the suffering millions in the country.

All we have seen are insensitive government actions, including Mugabe holding a $1 million birthday bash in the drought-stricken province of Masvingo.

l The other key issue will be the harassment of our war veterans. The MDC will be marching to urge this government to respect our war veterans who were brutally assaulted by the police. We in the MDC believe veterans of our liberation struggle deserve to be treated with respect.

So join the march and add your voice to the national chorus demanding food, stability and economic recovery.

The missing $15 billion remains a sore point. Come and join others in demanding your share of the diamond revenue.

Huya ubvunzewo kune thaza rako (Come and demand your $1 000!)

l Luke Tamborinyoka is presidential spokesperson and director of communications in the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai. He writes here in his personal capacity.