Margaret Dongo, Zimbabwean’s trailblazing politician, human rights activist and former freedom fighter, released the following statement introducing the Movement for People First:
9 August, 2015
Harare – In a unique commemoration of this 35th Zimbabwe Heroes Day Commemoration Anniversary there has emerged a great team of patriots driven by a very strong conviction that there is a need, a dire need, given this country’s prevailing political, social and economic circumstances, to come out with a truly and practically people-centred patriotic political formation whose premise is the people themselves. A formation whose focus is the people themselves, and whose cause and goal is again the interests of the people of Zimbabwe themselves as the mass of the people matter most. The Zimbabwe people come First. For us its people and not Policies that come first, for we hold the conviction, and we are driven by the conviction, that Policies are there to uplift, effect and promote and protect the people of Zimbabwe’s deserved aspirations. We believe in getting policies and guidance from the people.
And, guided by the liberation war tactic of provoking the enemy in order to engage the coward and fence-sitters among us into battle, we have, this anniversary, crafted a position, through a National People’s Board, to work hard collecting and collating input from the mass of the people in our effort to come up with a national people-centred draft Party Constitution for a Political Party whose policies, structure, aims and objects, and core values, shall be settled upon through direct consultation of the mass of the people of Zimbabwe.
Accordingly we have since registered with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission The Movement for People First as a direct provocation to engage in an open and democratic confrontation with the ruling political enemy ZANU(PF). Therefore for all those persons who have been enjoying it on the fence claiming they are out of ZANU(PF) we say this is the occasion for them to show where they really stand, whether they like it or not. The enemy has been provoked, it is time to engage.
The Movement for People First is set to bring new, committed and patriotic leadership which is untainted with the past. Therefore to those with any uncleared baggage we say declare them and clear yourselves before the mass of the Zimbabwe people. We clearly hold that Zimbabwe’s issues cannot be solved by replacing corrupt and arrogant persons with other corrupt and arrogant persons.
In the interim, the Movement will participate in any local government and parliamentary by-elections that, through advices of its National People’s Board, it may so decide to contest. The Movement’s Constitution is also readily available for those who want to go through its detailed aims and objectives.
The ruling party’s activities have sickened us to the core. Talk about indigenisation of the economy, whose and to what ends? Owning and partying on our behalf? We now also have workers who are being fired willy-nilly because employers conveniently chose to misinterpret the Supreme Court ruling. In any case it is very easy for Government, had they cared, to move in with a clear amendment of the particular sections of the law. But they will not because they do not care; in the same way that while we survived in the bush on second-hand clothes today they want to rob the ordinary person’s only means of survival. We therefore appeal to Government to allow vending to continue as is, not because we do not care about the dirt, health, and image issues involved, but because the times we live demand that vendors be allowed to remain on the streets up and until government attends to the needs of the economy of the country.
Talking about survival, we also call upon Government to remove the artificial distinctions they made between so-called ‘trained’ and ‘untrained’ liberation war fighters. Both the dependents of those who fell in the struggle and those so-called ‘untrained’ should also partake of the pittance that is being afforded the claimed “trained”.
Let us all therefore Zimbabweans, around and in the diaspora, commit ourselves to the promise, to the undertaking, that the Unknown Soldier did not spill his or her blood in vain. That we here are to rekindle the unfinished revolution’s aspirations. We deserve and need their guidance. Let the Movement for People First strike in the hearts of the thieves and liars. Let us all unite for the cause.
I thank you.
National Chairperson, Movement for People First
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