Fellow citizens, revolutionary and convivial greetings to you all.
We are just coming from the Easter holidays and I am deeply pained by some of my colleagues in the political industry who continue to belittle God and the role of the Church in our communities.
They have turned the church into platforms for rallies, in the process bastardizing the sanctity of the church. This past Easter alone, we saw hordes of politicians pontificating at church gatherings in the process desecrating the true meaning of Easter and the Church.
1. Celebrating the resurrection power of the Cross
The new Zimbabwe that I envision will be characterized by a true and honest separation between the State and the church. I am a firm believer in the autonomy and independence of the church which must as an institution continue to be the custodian of a country’s values and the true moral compass of a nation.
The church must be a place of unity and peace. We have of late seen the church being reduced to a platform of hate and divisive language. The State or any political party for that matter must never be allowed to contaminate, weaken and compromise the church. Church capture must be vehemently resisted.
2. All roads lead to Bulawayo
On Saturday, the MDC and its Alliance partners move to Bulawayo, the country’s second largest city which features prominently in our vision as the hub and industrial capital of the new Zimbabwe.
In the Easter spirit of the power of resurrection, we are committed to resuscitate Bulawayo as the country’s industrial hub. The city of Kings and Queens has for long been abandoned, neglected and forgotten—thanks to the legendary ineptitude of the party now occupying the seat of government.
2.1 Devolution is our revolution— To devolve is to involve
In the spirit of devolution encapsulated in our Constitution, we will devolve power to all regions and communities so that local people are empowered to make decisions and to control and benefit from the resources around them.
Devolution is the true involvement of a people in the management of their own affairs and in the new Zimbabwe; we do not wish to continue this Hararenization of key national essential activities and services.
Indeed, to devolve is to involve and in the new Zimbabwe, devolution will be a reality so that all local communities are part of the national governance system.
For me, Bulawayo is special. Bulawayo reclaim its status as the industrial capital of the country and as the centre of innovation.
Zimbabweans need and deserve development. As a country, we need the strands of development to be felt in all corners of the country so that everyone feels they belong. As things stand, a lot of our communities justifiably feel left out of the government matrix of development.
We have to resolve that as a matter of urgency.
To the people of Bulawayo, come let us reason together at the White City Stadium on Saturday.
3. Redefining National Politics
3.1 My meeting with President Emmerson Mnangagwa
In the spirit of national building and promoting constructive dialogue in the quest to find solutions to national challenges, I have written to President Emmerson Mnangagwa requesting a meeting with him.
I have written to him with the aim of defining and framing the parameters and contours of a national discourse in our country’s politics.
It is important to eliminate insults, animosity and hatred in our national politics. We need neopolitics; the politics of ideas, solutions, policies and national strategies to develop Zimbabwe.
I am yet to hear from President Mnangagwa on the exact dates that we will meet. The MDC is a partner in national development and not a threat. Being on opposing political sides is not enemity but just an expression of the reality of diverse views. After all, it is diversity that makes a nation because diversity strengthens and does not weaken.
In that context, national holidays and national events should be inclusive and not be dominated by a single political party. Programmes must involve all the stakeholders including the official opposition.
In that regard, I will be initiating a courtesy call by the official opposition on government.
3.2 The national Independence in context
On the 18th of April, the country will be celebrating the country’s independence. This is the time to pay veneration to our hard-won independence and how the patriotic sons and daughters of this land fought a tenacious liberation struggle to rid the country of racism and colonial rule.
This is the time to seriously reflect on whether as a country we should have a national dress as this would be the fitting occasion to adorn an agreed national dress. In the new Zimbabwe, the celebration of our hard-won independence will not be a one-day event.
We will introduce an independence month of celebration whose key signpost will include festivities, discussions, seminars, lecture series as well as national tours to important national sites.
While the 18th of April will remain the day for the main event, we have declared April as an independence month to be marked by separate related activities that bestow honour to the sons and daughters of this land—departed or living—with some of them still serving in the country’s institutions such as the army, the police force and the rests of the civil service.
An independent people must think independently. Let it be truly a new dispensation. If we are open for business, we must be open for new and good politics for the merriment of all Zimbabweans.
At a personal level, I will be engaging in a plethora of activities to honour and commemorate our independence day.
One Zimbabwe, one people.
One Zimbabwe, one future.
One Zimbabwe, one vision.
Behold the new.
God bless Zimbabwe.
God bless Africa
Advocate Nelson Chamisa is the MDC President and the MDC Alliance Presidential candidate.