Eddie Cross; President Tsvangirai’s message to the people of Zimbabwe on the eve of the ZCTU organised action

Zimbabwean workers have a right to demonstrate and express themselves. In a situation where their condition and the cost of living continue to sky-rocket, the people have to exercise their democratic right to show their displeasure, suggest solutions and confront what is before them.

However, information reaching the MDC indicates that the regime wishes to suppress the planned demonstrations through brutality, massive arrests and state-sponsored violence. May I take this opportunity to warn Zanu PF and Robert Mugabe against making such a move? Any attempt to turn peaceful workers’ marches into chaotic scenes is counter-productive and unfortunate. For the past six months, we have openly advised the Mugabe regime that we are organizing mass protests as part of our comprehensive programme of democratic resistance. Since the ZCTU action is driven by the people and is a people’s project to address an obvious national grievance, the MDC is fully behind such an effort. Disrupting the planned action shall invite the ire of the party and generate the requisite response.

Come out in your millions and show the regime that you have had enough. We maintain that Zanu PF and Mugabe must be forced to negotiate Zimbabwe out of the national crisis. Already, we have put forward our suggestions on how to save our country and to start afresh. Our roadmap to legitimacy has what we believe are the necessary signposts to rebuild the people’s confidence to pull Zimbabwe out of the woods.

In any society, responsible stakeholders have a duty and a responsibility to proffer suggestions for change and to act, using universal habits of citizenship, to remedy an already deteriorating political, social and economic situation. I wish to congratulate the ZCTU and the entire civil society for their initiative and to inform them that as a political party we are fully behind their efforts. Nothing will stop the people from exercising their generic right to express themselves.

On our part, we remain on course. Our preparations for sustained resistance are complete. We are ready to roll-out our programme. We are watching the regime’s response to the ZCTU action with a keen interest.

Lastly, may I appeal to the church and the business community to work with us to save our country from the current uncertainty? May I extend the same plea to our security forces to refrain from acts that shall put them on a collision course with the people?

We respect the Constitutional and professional mandate of our security forces to protect the people and we look forward to working with you in this regard. We harbour no grievances against you. What we face is crisis of governance, initiated and perpetuated by Zanu PF, a failed political party. Resist abuse. Stay out of party politics.

Morgan Tsvangirai,

President

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