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We find no reason to celebrate Mugabe birthday

Press Statement

MDC–T SA Youth External Assembly statement on Mugabe’s birthday

Today the 21st of February, President Robert Mugabe turns 88 years old. We are aware that he has splashed millions of dollars in organizing a lavish party for himself and his group accomplices that have plundered our resources, killed our relatives, persecuted our leaders and destroyed our country driving millions into poverty.

Sleeping on the Job: Robert Mugabe
Sleeping on the Job: Robert Mugabe

We find no reason to celebrate the birthday of an old man who has destroyed lives and hope. As we speak today, we have many of our fellow comrades, democracy activists, and members of the civic society that are under relentless persecution by Mugabe and his securocrats.

Young people are jobless; our grain silos are empty; people die from curable diseases, investors have been chased away; violence is the sole grundnorm of efficacy that Mugabe rides on.

The Youth Assembly President Solomon Madzore and others are languishing in prison on fabricated charges; their offence is simply rallying young people towards a free Zimbabwe. We demand the immediate release of President Solomon Madzore and the forthwith arrest of Augustine Chihuri for crimes against humanity.

The release of President Madzore is a very serious matter. Although he is just an innocent young man, his importance in the political dynamics of Zimbabwe cannot be underrated. Mugabe cannot continue to deny President Madzore his fundamental freedoms.

Madzore was chosen by the people to lead. More people would rather vote for Solomon Madzore than Robert Mugabe today. SADC must accord the persecution of President Madzore the seriousness it deserves.

As he dines and wines on his birthday, Robert Mugabe must know that this is the last time he will celebrate his birthday as the President of Zimbabwe. We are in the process of completing a new Constitution for our country.

The people of Zimbabwe rejected Mugabe in the 2008 elections; they are rejecting him again through the new Constitution.

The people have spoken that they want a limit of two terms to the president and further that no presidential candidate should be more than 70 years of age. We are a people’s Party and we want the views of the people to be respected. The message for Mugabe is clear; please go now to save Zimbabwe.

As we head for the polls, we want a free and fair environment for all political players. The ZANU-PF character of violence must be brought to an end. A clear road map to elections must be put in place and all outstanding issues must be resolved to fully implement the Global Political Agreement (GPA).

Security sector reform is a pre-condition for any free, fair and credible election in Zimbabwe. The people must be given an opportunity to reject Mugabe for the last and final time.

Despite SADC`s insistence that there must be an end to violence, intimidation, hate speech and harassment, the MDCSA Youth External Assembly notes with regret that these have been on the increase, at the perpetration of ZANU PF relying on the organs of the state such as the state media and the notorious criminal enterprise Chipangano, but more critically the coercive organs like the army, police and state intelligence.

As we speak, dozens of MDC and other democracy activists are detained in various police stations in Zimbabwe on fabricated and vexatious charges. The negative role of the youth through the youth militia and other platforms is of particular concern to the MDCSA Youth External Assembly.

We have said it and will repeat it again, that in this coming election every vote shall count and the peoples’ will shall prevail. As young people we vow to defend the people’s victory. SADC must ensure that the wishes and aspirations of the people of Zimbabwe are respected by Mugabe and his accomplices. The youth of Zimbabwe demand jobs, food, health, investment and peace.

In light of this, the MDCSA Youth External Assembly upholds and wishes to remind Robert Mugabe and SADC of the important words of former President Rupiah Banda of Zambia who was also the then chairman of the SADC Troika organ at the Livingstone Summit in which he said:

“If there is anything that we must learn from the upheavals going on in the northern part of our continent, it is that the legitimate expectations of the citizens of our countries cannot be taken for granted. We must therefore continue at the SADC level to consolidate democracy through the establishment of institutions that uphold the tenets of good governance, respect for human rights and the rule of law”

We call upon all progresses forces to join hands with us and bid farewell to Robert Mugabe. Together we can complete this change.

Shumba Tapiwa, MDCSA Youth External Assembly
Secretary for Information and Publicity