7 March 2013

Zimbabwe: Movement for Democratic Change Remains On Course As Zimbabwe Prepares for Yes Vote

press release

President Tsvangirai says the MDC is very confident that the people of Zimbabwe will resoundingly vote yes in the referendum on the new Constitution on 16 March. President Tsvangirai said this while addressing a capacity crowd at a town hall meeting in Glen View 1, Harare last night.

He said the new draft Constitution showed that the MDC remained on course with its resolutions of the 2006 Congress roadmap that Zimbabwe should hold free and fair elections after adopting a new Constitution.

"We remain on course. We are on the rail to achieve free and fair elections and this has been part of the MDC resolutions made at the 2006 Congress," said President Tsvangirai.

"The new Constitution has been an MDC agenda when we decided that we should drag a screaming Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF to the negotiating table that would lead to the creation of a transitional government followed by the holding of free and fair elections. This has happened and it shows that we are on track," he said.

At the beginning of the meeting, President Tsvangirai took time to reassure the residents of Glen View to remain resilient following the arrest in 2011 of 31 MDC activists from Glen View on false charges of murdering a police officer. Five of the members are still in remand prison after being denied bail on several occasions.

"Do not lose heart. They will be released soon as nothing lasts forever," he said. On the new Constitution, he said the people of Zimbabwe were tired of the Lancaster House Constitution as it was a transitional document, which had been amended by Mugabe 19 times.

"The new Constitution sets new values and respect for the people. The people are not enemies of the State. It has a comprehensive Bill of Rights and gives the people freedom to challenge the government. People should not be violated by the State and those provisions are in the new Charter.

"It also gives term limits not only to the President but all State institutions. There is need for renewal of leadership. In parastatals, we want performance not what is happening when Air Zimbabwe, National Railways of Zimbabwe and other State entities have been grounded," said President Tsvangirai.

He said the new Charter would ensure that Zimbabwe had checks and balances. "The country lost a lot of money when it went to the DRC because there was no accountability," said President Tsvangirai adding that the new Constitution would see a liberal Parliament which will achieve 50-50 gender representation.

Turning to the behaviour of the police on Tuesday who disrupted a similar town hall meeting at the Zimbabwe Hall in Highfield, President Tsvangirai said the move showed that there is a demonic spirit hovering around.

"What will happen when we are in an election? There is a demonic spirit that is pulling the country down. It is unfortunate when the people have no confidence in the police. The police should do their job without bias and follow the law.

"Despite the behaviour of the police, the MDC and the people of Zimbabwe will not tire at this moment when we are now seeing victory. We have been assaulted before but now we can see the final destination," said President Tsvangirai.

Today, President Tsvangirai will address a similar meeting at 5pm at Magamba Hall, Warren Park 1 in Harare.

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