Delivered at the Bulawayo Press Club. 22 July 2020.
My fellow Zimbabweans;
This is the first time I address you as President of The Patriotic Front. And I do it with great honor and humility. TPF is a multiracial movement born out of a collective desire and vision for a better future for our country and its citizens. It spells a new milestone in our country’s politics.
I cannot however; for the love of my country, be proud of the stage in history that Zimbabwe Finds itself in.We are indeed navigating extremely difficult times, full of fear, economic hardships, with Covid19 making things even worse. Uncertainties of the future dominates the minds of all. My message for you today is one of encouragement and hope as we strive together with your support to convince all that hold authority the need for change and a different approach.
It is a well-knownfact that our economy is on the point of collapse in spite of the good intentions of our Minister of finance and the RBZ’s efforts. This has resulted in our once flourishing industries to falter with more and more job losses making things more difficult and with it more volatile. These are issues that need to be addressed and it is for this reason that we The Patriotic Front has been formed in order to bring together the great minds of the country in an all-out effort to bring in the change that is needed.
It is not as though it is impossible as we were once a country counted amongst the most successful countries in the world. We built it then so we can build it again. We tried to change things and have surely learned where we have gone wrong and must slowly move relavent things back to achieve the same success and pride amongst the nations.
Not to recognize and correct the erroneous decisions that have been made in order to achieve the change that the freedom was to bring and that was fought for, will continue the slippery slide into non-existent social services and inadequate health services, admitted to by our leaders every time one of them is ill and rushed off to China for the medical attention they need, which should be offered here to all, where our doctors and nurses are given everything they need to care for the health of all.
Not to recognize and correct the erroneous decisions made these latter years will simply mean that our infrastructure which is in a dilapidated state, will not be revamped. Included in this are our roads, especially those in our cities, which need constant maintenance which they are not getting. Infrastructure that is old and inadequate for our growing population needs replacing. This includes water supply pipes and facilities, Electricity supply to avoid power cuts which have become accepted as normal.
Not to recognize and correct the erroneous decisions may result in deaths from curable diseases such as Typhoid and Cholera being our reward along with the financial woes of our civil servants whose salaries are not commensurate with the service that they provide to us all.Most painful in all this is that the cry of the people is apparently not heard which results in anti-government forces easily amassing the crowds for intended marches and demonstrations such as those planned for the 31st of July of this year. This born out of the frustrations experience by the masses and apparently not experienced by the leaders as they lounge in the comfort provided for them by the very ones who carry the cross of suffering and who elected them to their high offices.
With out the desired change even our church leaders feel that they cannot freely preach the Word of God. They cannot truthfully reflect on the life of their congregations. They cannot express what the Holy Spirit visits to them without having to look over their shoulders. Certainly, Zimbabweans do not deserve all this pain. We are a skilled people; a peaceful people; a trusted people; a hardworking people; a patriotic people, yet we are wandering without finding peace.
In the midst of all of this The Patriotic Front has risen to give hope and encouragement to all, that problems can be solved by changing course where change is required. To this end we draw attention to the problems facing us and that need to be addressed in order to build a firm foundation for progress and advancement out of the misery that we find ourselves in:
serious ethnic tensions
systemic violence against opposing views
gross human rights abuses
selective application of the law
The above ills have had adverse effects on our social fabric. They have hounded millions of Zimbabweans to foreign lands. There, they do menial jobs; face all manner of insults; become falsely accused and live a life devoid of all human dignity. Some have even lost their lives for merely trying to put food on the table and feed their families, which they were unable to do in Zimbabwe. Their greatest desire is to return home to where they are loved but see that they cannot do so until the desired change brings hope and jobs and opportunities to express their creative spirits. The Patriotic Fronts greatest desire is to facilitate such change by being your voice of reason to our elected government between now and the elections in 2023.
The above are some of the ills that TPF seeks to bring Zimbabweans together to address. It is against that background that Zimbabweans from across racial, ethnic, religious and cultural divide are uniting for the common good of our beloved country.
Zimbabwe is a great country deserving of all sovereignty, patriotic leadership, peace, unity, democracy, economic success, dignity and national pride. These are the things TPF seeks to bring to the fore. The time is now for us to strive to fulfill our potential – as a people, and as a country.Working together, each according to their ability, we can make our country attractive again. We believe there is still a chance for us to rescue our country. There is still a chance for us to be the envy of fellow Africans, to attract investors, to appeal to the international community again and to restore the greatness that Zimbabwe has lost over the decades. There is still a chance for us to regain our human dignity and national pride, to be led by patriots; by visionaries; by servant leaders; people who value nationhood and humanity.
There is still a chance to make God look at Zimbabwe and get the satisfaction that He created a country; and that he staffed it with great people. It is not too late for us to press the self-correct button. It is not too late for us to rescue our ability to rebuild this country.
Nothing can stand in the way of 14 million people united for the common good of their country. This is time for every Zimbabwean, regardless of which era they were born into, to be part of this new dawn.
The road we have chosen is not going to be an easy one. Buta positive vision will see us through. It is the faith we have in God that – walking under the shadow of his wings, we will one day look back, smile and proclaim that: “WE DID IT!”
Our current predicament cannot be divorced from how we as citizens from generations ago previously treated one another and how we used to view one another. But it is now time we all united towards finding lasting solutions to our problems. We need to address our past mistakes without carrying that bad history in our backpacks. It is possible to learn from history without burdening our future with it. Now is our time to build an inclusive, united and progressive Zimbabwe without tainting it with nostalgia and regret.
It is possible for us to mend our ways and do good my fellow citizens; time to forgive those who wronged us; to unite and work towards national progress. This is the belief that seized me when I accepted my election as TPF’s Founding President. This is the belief that should unite us towards a different worldview of our country. This is the belief that should galvanize us to work towards Zimbabwe’s success.
Let us all use TPF as a platform to unite towards unshackling ourselves from racial division, ethnic hate and political and economic woes. Let us unite to improve ourselves as individuals, communities and country.
Make no mistake; We are not here to fight anyone. Ours is an attempt to create an empowered and progressive society out of Zimbabweans. We believe in an equitable sharing of Zimbabwe’s national and natural resources. We believe that Zimbabwean citizens must own and determine the distribution of their local resources and opportunities. We believe this should be done in a manner blind to race, ethnic extraction or creed. We believe that Zimbabweans across all divide must be economically empowered in their communities. This can be done by educating, resourcing and guiding them towards business principles that are built on innovation and creativity.
We believe in clean politics coupled with economic, social, religious and cultural emancipation of all Zimbabweans. We believe in the existence of only one deity – God the Creator of all humanity.
The clarion call therefore, is for us to unite towards constructing and developing our public infrastructure in our communities. Let us unite in our communities to create a successful, progressive and united Zimbabwe.
To fellow political leaders, let us be the leaders who unite the people of Zimbabwe and rally them towards a common national agenda. Let us anchor our country on the principles of social justice. Let us build Zimbabwe on the pillars of democracy, common patriotism and loyalty in which cultural, linguistic and religious diversity of the people is recognized and respected.
Let us eliminate all forms of discrimination based on race, religion, ethnic origin, sex or creed. Let us reduce the levels of brain drain in our country by creating a conducive atmosphere for Zimbabweans to thrive at work and in business. Let us brighten the lives of our youth by reworking the school curriculum from primary to tertiary level. Let us build a curriculum that produces skilled graduates: ready-made for work and business and open their minds towards innovation and creativity, equipped with the knowledge and resources to compete with the best in the world. Zimbabweans are intelligent; Zimbabweans are capable.
This is a clarion call to every Zimbabwean. We don’t care who you are. To war veterans; civil servants; members of the security forces; all professionals; the business community; commercial farmers; subsistence farmers; traditional leaders; fellow politicians; civil society movements; the media; artists; sportspersons; church leaders – pastors, prophets and congregants; fellow citizens; everyone; please heed this call.
No matter what position you have in society; your country needs you! No matter your cultural beliefs; your country needs you! No matter where you are in the world, your country needs you! No matter your current circumstances, your country needs you!
Let us stand and reclaim our self-worth; our personal pride; our national pride; our patriotism – that which makes us a unique people. We have fought among ourselves, doubted one another, envied one another, blamed one another and mistrusted one another for far too long. We cannot continue on that self-destructive path.
It is high time we realized and admitted, that division and lay-blaming have failed. Blame-shifting and lack of accountability have failed. Political polarization, insults, intimidation and violence have all failed. Now is the time for us to forget our differences and unite around that which makes ours a great country; and us a great people.
Let us unite and build our beloved country. Let us turn Zimbabwe into a model democracy: an ideal society for the current and future generations.
Non Racial! Non Tribal! Proudly Zimbabwean!
YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOU!
The Patriotic Front (TPF)