*My Dear Comrades and Countrymen,*
I humbly write to you on the eve of the sitting of the nomination court to inform you that I have considered your plea for my return home to participate in our 2023 electoral processes. I accept the call to run for the Office of President of the Republic of Zimbabwe.
My decision to stand as an independent candidate, painful as it is, arises out of two missed opportunities. Both in December 2017 and September 2022, our party Congress failed to allow fair competition for the presidency. As a result, it failed to unite the membership, forgive the past, and reconcile for the future of our glorious revolution. Unfortunately, to this day, notwithstanding a promise to let “bygones be bygones” post-November 2017 and a pledge to “restore the legacy” and values of our liberation movement, we continue to witness exclusionary politics; persecution of members who loyally served the people, the party, the government, and the late founding President, Cde Robert Gabriel Mugabe.
It is unacceptable that the so-called new dispensation has exiled myself and many other comrades over one key disagreement about how the internal succession process ought to have been handled. Our position was and remains clear, that without intimidation, and abuse of state institutions, Cde Mnangagwa could never have won and cannot win any leadership position in a fair and open political process.
Post-November 2017, together, we all gave the “new dispensation” leadership space to govern and to make responsible decisions in uniting the party and the country. In his 2018 campaign, Cde Mnangagwa promised to deliver health care for all, electricity, he promised the youth jobs, he promised educational reforms; he promised modern railway system; he promised to mechanise, modernise and grow the economy; he promised to conduct social and security reforms that predicate our international reengagement needs. On all counts, he has failed on his own promises.
The question for the party is whether Cde Mnangagwa must be allowed to fail for another five years at the expense of the people of Zimbabwe? The country cannot afford another five years of toxic political differences, a failed economy, and social strife. It is time to settle this by throwing this matter back to the people through this election for them to make a choice between fear and hope.
His conduct as party leader and state president is averse to the core values of the liberation movement of inclusive, open, and transparent politics. His tenure and leadership style so far have left our party structures – the Main Wing, the Women’s League, and the Youth League – badly exposed and threatened by corrupt, foreign, hero-worshipping “for ED” structures, which undermine elected national, provincial and district leaders and are disrespectful to our traditional leaders. In his own words, he advised President Mugabe that “the party is not your personal property nor that of your family” and let alone the country.
The leaders of these dodgy “for ED” groups have unlimited access to Cde Mnangagwa and unlimited resources while the party structures remain unfunded. You have witnessed these developments; you have seen the photographs of their flamboyant lives and association with Cde Mnangagwa and you have not been allowed to openly question these shenanigans. We need to renew politics in our country, reassert and give back power to the people. Cde Mnangagwa must give the party a chance to choose between the future and the past, between hope and fear.
Among the issues raised to justify Cde Mnangagwa’s attack on President Mugabe was that the latter was surrounded by criminals. Ironically, the ‘Gold Mafia’ expose, the arrest of public figures at the airport over gold smuggling, the lavish lifestyles of his family, some of whom have never worked a day in their lives, shows that persons very close to Cde Mnangagwa engage in various illicit businesses. The allegations that his family and associates have preferential access to foreign currency at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe have never been challenged or disproved. It is known that from Sandawana to Makaha his family has taken over gold mining, including having shares in government companies.
The government is silent on diamond exports which are unaccounted for. You are all aware that his family has taken over imports, distribution, and sale of fuel. You are all aware that his family and associates are involved in almost all the multi-billion-dollar Belarus deals. You have seen the obscenity of their sudden wealth, yet they argued that President Mugabe was surrounded by criminals. Despite a ban on export of lithium, you are aware that persons surrounding Cde Mnangagwa are in possession of export permits and that they are exporting it without any money to the treasury. The looting from the state must stop.
The reversal of the indigenisation process and the quiet reversal of the landmark land reform process by returning vast tracts of land to only farmers connected to Cde Mnangagwa, contrary to party congress decisions, is yet another sign of Cde Mnangagwa’s unpreparedness to respect the party structures and resolutions. Such cardinal decisions and resolutions adopted at congress cannot be reversed at the whims and caprices of an individual no matter their designation. Zanu PF is not his personal property.
It has become common cause that once gold and other precious minerals are discovered, the Mnangagwa associates and family move in to claim the deposits ahead of others.
The lived reality of our people is that the RTGS has lost all value. It is simply untrue that the RTGS “is the strongest currency in the region” when its highest denomination cannot buy a loaf of bread. The government itself through the auction rate accepts that the exchange rate is over RTGS 7,000 to the US dollar and continues to free-fall. The Reserve Bank Governor, who promised to resign if his “Bond Note 1:1 gedye” project failed, is still in office. The Minister of Finance who lied to the public that “zvinhu zvakarongeka;” “we have a budget surplus” when in fact people are suffering. The point is simple, the Mnangagwa administration is trying to run the economy through propaganda and not through well-thought-out ideas, properly implemented policies, and government discipline. No one is held accountable for their failures. Cde Mnangagwa selectively rewards the elite of the public service, yet the generality of the civil service is wallowing in abject poverty despite their spirited loyalty and patriotism. No attempt has been made to explain why Cde Mnangagwa can buy over 800 campaign vehicles but cannot provide ambulances, cancer machines at our referral hospitals. This speaks to his indifference to the suffering of Zimbabweans.
Comrades, the problems associated with a Mnangagwa presidency are known; the solution is a return to the values of the liberation movement of; the right of our people to choose their own leaders – in and outside Zanu PF; unity; gender, racial, and ethnic equality of all Zimbabweans; the ownership of and benefit from national resources ahead of foreigners. The respite our people felt politically, socially, and economically during the Government of National Unity period of 2009 -2013 should be a permanent experience borne out of an inclusive governance culture, ushered in by a generational consensus. Zimbabweans must find each other through an Intra-Zimbabwe Dialogue process beyond the politics of conquest predicated by our highly competitive and often toxic and disputed electoral politics. I intend to lead or to be an integral part of this constructive engagement process beyond this bid for the highest office.
♦ It’s time to Renew the country’s leadership, enshrine a new vision and aspirations to restore Zimbabwe’s glory. Zimbabwe must take its place amongst the world’s community of nations and as a responsible member of the international community. We need to implement and uphold the Constitution and respect the rights of all citizens.
♦ It’s time to Reconcile. To put our past differences aside and embrace one another while acknowledging our failures and repair the damage that has been caused internally and externally.
We must ensure a united approach to combat the twin evils of sanctions and corruption. The Gukurahundi question requires a permanent resolution, and peaceful closure, as with other past conflicts in our history. As the saying goes, united we stand, divided we fall.
♦ It’s time to Reform our national institutions so that they deliver for the benefit of the majority in a transparent and accountable manner. We are called upon to strengthen institutions in line with the Constitution and in alignment with the Pan-African and international standards. Abuse of national institutions must stop.
♦ It’s time to Revive Zimbabwe in an inclusive economic renaissance that incorporates all and leaves no one behind. We must empower the majority to ensure that everyone plays their part as agents of development. Zimbabweans should be at the core of the exploitation of national resources and economic growth. Zimbabwe belongs to all of us.
♦ It’s time to Rebuild. Zimbabwe which has a rich heritage of builders manifest in the ancient city of Great Zimbabwe. Let’s ignite the full potential of Zimbabweans to participate in the infrastructural revolution that lies ahead of us.
My dear comrades, I have written to illustrate some of the challenges we face. In so doing, I have taken the extraordinary step in these extraordinary times to make myself available for election to the office of the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe.
I will be standing as an Independent Candidate in the August 23, 2023, national elections. In so doing, I will be proceeding to file my candidature in the nomination court in Harare on June 21, 2023.
Please join me in the fight against fear and the pursuit of renewed hope for our beloved country, Zimbabwe. God bless Zimbabwe and all her people.
It’s time for hope to take over fear.