Above all else, we wrote and affirmed in a referendum a new Constitution for the country; a Constitution that determined the way we want our affairs managed and our country governed. At the heart of this supreme law is a comprehensive Bill of rights almost second to none in Southern Africa and beyond.
The challenge for the new administration is to give life to that governance charter that we made ourselves.
That new Constitution was no mean task and we achieved it together.
Beyond what we have achieved together, we ought to leave a lasting legacy where the baton can be changed peacefully, in a tranquil and cordial atmosphere of unity and togetherness.
At a personal level, I am using this New Year not only to reflect on the onerous journey that we have travelled together but also to peer with renewed hope into a bright future.
I am looking at the imminent prospects of us as the older generation leaving the levers of leadership to allow the younger generation to take forward this huge task that we started together so many years ago with our full blessing and support.
It was therefore not by accident but by design that when I disclosed to you my health status, I also took a bold step to appoint an additional two Vice Presidents to assist me. As I have said before, while politicians only think about the next election, true statesmen think about the next generation, for current leaders are only but caretakers for future generations. We do not have any entitlement to lead but we have a duty to serve.
We must recognize the imperative that new hands, with the full blessing of the people, must take this struggle and this country forward with the destination remaining the same – a society that prides itself for not leaving anyone behind in their pursuit of freedom, prosperity and happiness. That is the only lasting legacy and precedence that we must leave to future generations.
As we move towards the upcoming elections, we must not lose sight and misinterpret what happened in November 2017. The departure of Mugabe resulted in a change of guard at the helm of our state but #ChangeIsNotEnough. This country requires transformation of both our governance culture and the way we do business.
Our war war cry therefore for the upcoming elections is simple “Munhu Wese Kubasa” – “Umuntu wonke emsebenzini” – “Everyone to Work”. Whether you are an investor, a commercial farmer, an industrialist, a teacher, a banker a worker or a peasant farmer, lets all go back to work in order to prosper. We need to produce in order to grow our economy and create new jobs.
For that to happen, we need both domestic and international investment capital which must be guaranteed a safe, predictable, secure and corruption free environment underpinned by the rule of law, constitutionalism, respect for property and human rights and freedoms. The starting point for this envisaged take off for our great nation is a return to legitimacy through a free, fair, credible internationally supervised and monitored election whose outcome is not contested.
Anything short of this will spell doom for our great nation. I therefore call upon the interim leaders of our country not to miss this opportunity by dipping their heads in the sand and wish away our crisis by not implementing the necessary reforms required before elections——for history will judge you harshly.
Lastly, I would like to urge those who have not registered to vote to take advantage of the extended registration exercise to register so that you can participate in shaping your new destiny.
God bless Zimbabwe.
President MDC-T/MDC Alliance