Full Text of Tendai Biti’s Address at the People’s Democratic Party First Policy Conference

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Vice President – Kucaca Phulu

National Chairperson – Mai Matibenga

Deputy National Chairperson – Thaba Moyo

Members of the Management Committee

Members of the General Working Council

Provincial Leaders

We gather today when we our country is facing great challenges.  Therefore, the policy conference comes at an opportune moment; it comes at an historic juncture.

There is a crisis of leadership in Zimbabwe.  A crisis where we have politcians who are running the country having no love and care for the people.

At the centre of these problems is one man, Robert Mugabe.  At 93 years Mugabe thinks that he can still run the country.  It is not possible.

We, therefore, have to provide an answer to the crisis of leadership.

The world is in a transition and we are on our own.
In June in Britain there was a vote known as the Brexit while in the United States of America there was Donald Trump winning the elections to be the president of that country.

These elections are similar as the countries as they are looking inwards.  They are becoming nationalistic.  We are going backwards.

 

That means we have to go through a transitional.

The PDP is a party for the young people.  We do not want to hear that the future belongs to you.  The future is now.  Today we want to define the future.

The challenge we have in Africa is that leaders do not want to pass the baton stick to another person. That is why we need transition in Zimbabwe.  The generation of Mugabe must pass the baton stick to the younger generation.  That is what we are doing in the PDP.

That is what we mean having a National Transitional Authority (NTA).  We do not want another Gukurahundi.  We do not want another Itai Dzamara to disappear. Enough is enough.

Zanu PF is a party of the past.  Problems are not solved by the same people who created the same problems.
It is our duty to solve the national problem.  The PDP is the party for change.  The PDP is the party for the future.  We are the drivers.

We have to come up with solutions of how we move the country forward.

We must build our party.  From the 1st January 2017, we are going to hit the road running.  There will be party activities in Mudzi, Beitbridge, Chivi, Dotitio, Nkayi, Bulawayo, Gokwe and in every district and ward.

We must make sure that we have councillors and MPs everywhere.  Let us not underestimate ourselves.  Last year, we had a national convention.  This month, we had a policy conference and no party in Zimbabwe has done this in the past 24 months.

Let us be different from other political parties that only have slogans.  That is why we have policy documents such as HOPE and ARREST.  We have a new NTA document.  Zanu PF cannot produce this.

On coalition – we genuinely believe in joining forces.  But we do not believe that we are going to change our identity as PDP.  We will continue doing our programmes.  We will continue having meetings with other coalition partners and we will continue working with others.

On elections – we want a biometric voters’ roll.  We want the international community including the UN, EU to observe the elections.  We want complete demilitarisation in our elections.  We want transparency on who prints the voters’ roll. We want reforms.

In HOPE we want to build a democratic state.  It is a vision, an aspiration.  We have a choice to choose the leaders we want.  That no one is left behind by the train.  We will create a government that cares about the people.

It is in the Constitution in Chapter 8, section 8 (1), “The objectives set out in this Chapter guide the State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level in the formulating and implementing laws and policy decisions that will lead to the establishment, enhancement and promotion of a sustainable, just, free and democratic society in which people enjoy prosperous, happy and fulfilling lives”.

That is all when everything is said and done, that is all we want.  We just want to be happy.  But we cannot be happy when we you have no roof over your head.

It will be for the upliftment of all the people of our country.

I Thank You

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