Zimbabweans independent but not free: Tsvangirai

via Zimbabweans independent but not free: Tsvangirai | The Zimbabwean 17.04.14 by Sofia Mapuranga

Zimbabwean citizens are independent but they are not free due to the continued persecution of innocent civilians on political grounds, says MDC- T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.

In his Easter and Independence day message to the people of Zimbabwe, Tsvangirai said although his party respected the commemorations, it was regrettable that the majority of the citizens were exploited and oppressed in their country of origin.

“We are independent but not free, as many Zimbabweans will testify.

“We are not free because we continue to be persecuted for our political choices. Thousands of innocent Zimbabweans have been murdered, raped and maimed for supporting the MDC while millions are failing to access government handouts of food and farming inputs because of their political affiliation,” said Tsvangirai.

He said many Zimbabweans failed to exercise their right to vote during last year’s general elections held on July 31.

“They were either deliberately prevented from registering or they found their names missing on the voters roll. They were disenfranchised in the process and prevented from exercising their right to vote for which so many died for,” he said.

The MDC leader said this was against the cause of the liberation struggle, which aimed at giving citizens the right to self-determination and freedom to determine governance..

“Millions of Zimbabweans overwhelmingly endorsed the new Constitution, but there is no keenness to effect the new people’s charter. The Zanu

(PF) government is taking long to align the country’s laws to the dictates of the new, democratic Constitution which affords many rights and privileges to the ordinary citizens of this country. We ask, is this why we went to war as a nation, to repudiate the people’s sovereign will and expression as enshrined in a Constitution made by the people themselves?” said Tsvangirai.

Zimbabwe will tomorrow celebrate 34 years of independence from British rule.

The day coincides with the Easter holiday, commemorated the world over from April 18 to 21 to mark the death of Jesus Christ.

He accused Zanu (PF) of prioritising party politics at the expense of the majority of the citizenry.

He accused the Zanu (PF) government of abandoning popular will for devolution, instead appointing provincial ministers instead setting governments in the provinces.

Said Tsvangirai: “This was a deliberate ploy to deny the power and authority of provincial councils, controlled by the MDC, that ought to be now in place in line with the new Constitution.”