The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) will later this month hold a policy conference, as next year’s make-or-break national elections beckon.
Spokesperson for the Morgan Tsvangirai-led political outfit, Obert Gutu,said yesterday that the annual conference would culminate in the production of a policy document which would explain how Zimbabwe, under an MDC government, would prosper again and be a safe and attractive “investment haven”.
“This is an opportunity for the party to analyse the prevailing political and socio-economic dynamics, in order to craft appropriate policies on issues such as health, agriculture, education, the environment and the economy,” he said.
Gutu also said the MDC was mobilising the necessary material and financial resources for both the policy conference and the 2018 polls. The exact dates of the annual conference will be announced in the coming days.
In his Christmas message to the party’s Harare structures last month, Tsvangirai had also indicated that the annual gathering would take place this month.
Early next year (2017), we will hold our policy council, where we will unveil the policy programme of the new government, including what the new government will do in its first 100 days in order to positively impact on the lives of the people,” the ex-prime minister in the coalition government said.
“All provinces have to prepare for the next election, starting with a massive turnout when voter registration kicks off early next year. We will also raise the bar in the demand for comprehensive reforms ahead of the next election so that our polls become free, fair and credible,” Tsvangirai added then.
“I wish to urge the youth of this country to fully participate in the politics of their country. It is no use being lied to everyday that you are the leaders of tomorrow when tomorrow is under serious threat from the leaders of today. We run the risk of raising a lost generation — a generation that wants jobs but that is scared to demand them. Remember, this (Zanu PF) government promised to create 2,2 million jobs, but has instead created 2,2 million struggling vendors,” the former trade unionist said.
“I urge all the young people to take part in the affairs of their country by registering to vote and determining their own future. This is the time when we expect dancehall musicians to create new lyrics that urge the youth to register and vote. To the young generation, I say you can only deal with your dire poverty if you register to vote this government out of office in 2018,” Tsvangirai said.
“This is the challenge I give to the young people and to all Zimdancehall chanters. You must chat and tweet your way into a new Zimbabwe in a big way by urging each other to register to vote in your millions,” he said further.
“To all Zimbabweans in the villages and in the towns, I know the suffering we are all facing. I know that whole families are surviving on less than a dollar a day. I am aware of the grinding poverty in the villages and in the towns. Let us brace for an even tougher 2017. Let us shake the foundations of this repression and come out in our millions to register to vote and on the actual voting day so that we can collectively and decisively determine our future,” the MDC leader said.
Tsvangirai is also expected to enter into a coalition with former Vice President Joice Mujuru, who now leads the opposition Zimbabwe People First (ZPF), as well as with other smaller parties with a view to toppling President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF from power next year.