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Nelson Chamisa’s Zimbabwe 2021 Agenda Full Speech



here is the video as well
Fellow Zimbabweans,
I come before you at a time when our nation and the rest of the world are facing a
deep crisis due to the COVID19 pandemic.
To date, the world has lost 2.54 million people to the pandemic, with 114 million
recorded cases of infection. Our continent has lost over 100 000 lives and we in
Zimbabwe have lost over 1400 people because of the pandemic. The last few months
have been particularly terrible for our communities. I commend our healthcare
workers and all those at the frontline in this fight against the pandemic.
All of us have been affected by the pandemic, due to the lockdowns and associated
rules which have been imposed as part of measures to curb the spread of the
pandemic. We are not alone in this fight. Virtually every nation has had to respond to
a scourge that became an existential threat to humanity.
However, it has reminded all of us members of the human family of our shared
vulnerabilities and the importance of enhancing our networks of cooperation and
assistance in the face of a common enemy. I commend the excellent work of everyone
who has worked hard and invested much to find solutions to protect humanity from
this pandemic.
In our context, Zimbabwe is weighed down by twin crises – the Covid-19 pandemic
and a bad governance pandemic. Rising authoritarianism has rendered the State
unstable and saddled with serious contradictions. Unstable oppressive regimes are
dangerous to their own citizens. The gross human rights violations against regional
and international instruments must be seen within this context. But we must not lose
hope. Storms make us stronger yet they never last forever.
It is in this context that I present to you Zimbabwe agenda for 2021. However, before
I do that, I must comment on how we fared in the past year.
We are Survivors.
2020 was a difficult year, but we survived adverse forces that we trained against us,
itself strong testimony of the strength of the idea that we represent and the undying
spirit of our people. In 2020, we faced crises from two sources: The first was the
crisis that I have already referred to, namely, the crisis of the COVID19 pandemic.
The second was the crisis of authoritarianism whereby the regime embarked on a
relentless assault and onslaught upon democracy and our party.
This assault involved the use of state machinery to subvert democracy and the will of
the people. The oppressors engineered the expulsion of our democratically elected 2
representatives from Parliament and local authorities. In their place, handpicked
individuals, some of whom we defeated in the 2018 elections were foisted upon the
people. Our party headquarters was forcibly occupied, depriving us of our home. The
regime also diverted our funding under the Political Parties (Finance) Act, giving it to
its surrogates.
The purpose of all this was to punish our party for resisting the illegitimacy of the
outcome of the 2018 elections, which lacked credibility and acceptability .
The oppressors believed by stripping us of our assets and entitlements under the law
would dampen our spirits and break us down. This has not worked. Zimbabwean
people are politically literate and advanced . They can distinguish between right and
wrong. They know that some are being used by the oppressor as a scheme to derail
the people’s struggle.
While other governments were working hard to contain the pandemic, the Oppressors
in Zimbabwe saw it as an opportunity to restrict political rights. They suspended byelections indefinitely under the guise of fighting the pandemic. Therefore, while the
Oppressors were allowing the removal of people’s representatives, they closed the
channel for choosing their replacements. This deprived the people of the opportunity
to reclaim and correct the injustice by ending the criminal abuse of office and blatant
theft. Despite all these attacks on our party, we refuse to be cast as victims. Rather,
we are survivors and winners, for when someone works so hard to destroy you and
they fail, it is because you are a winner and you are strong. We are invincible!
We are indomitable and unconquerable. We are grateful to you the citizens for
continuing to believe in us, even as oppressors and terrorists have ganged up against
the people and their project.
Consolidation, Resilience and Resistance
In 2021, we will consolidate our position as the movement that represents the dreams
and aspirations of all progressive Zimbabweans. Oppressors have tried everything to
decimate the us, but we have remained solid, and we are humbled by the fact that
your trust and confidence in the us remains unshaken. We do not regard those who
have left as losses, but as an important shedding off of elements that impede and slow
down the democratic struggle.
We have identified the strategy of the Oppressors is to create a controlled opposition,
a government controlled opposition under their command politics. This will
effectively establish a one-party state in all but name. We are back to the late 1980s
when ZANU PF tried to push the one-party state agenda. Now, Oppressors want to
create a façade, with a controlled opposition that obeys ZANU PF dictates and
commands. This is not only the year of consolidating citizen action but also the year
of resisting the creation of controlled opposition and the march towards one-party
state politics. It is the year of both consolidation of our party and resistance to the
regime’s agenda of controlled opposition. 3
The oppressor cannot reform. The oppressors have failed to reform and actually
proven to be worse than their predecessor. The year 2021 will be marked with
peaceful resistance and resilience. The language of the oppressed to resist the
We will peacefully resist and oppose evictions, demolitions and any violations of
people’s freedom and citizens’ rights.
We will peacefully resist and oppose sustaining businesses and companies that
oppress us the people.
We will peacefully resist and oppose institutions that oppress us the people
We will peacefully resistance oppose illegal enforcements.
We will peacefully resist and oppose unconstitutional laws.
We will peacefully resist and oppose weaponization of laws and judiciary systems.
We will peacefully resist and oppose the illegitimate Oppressors that stole the
The people’s agenda is to maintain the fight for democracy and to overcome the
obstacles that have been placed in our way. We will use 2021 to reconnect with the
grassroots which remains the anchor of the party, to embark on a major recruitment
drive, both at home and the Diaspora.
Gore reSungano ye vanhu ye Shanduko
Umnyaka wombuthano wabantu abalwela inguquko
Our agenda for 2021 is to bring citizens together under A NEW CONSENSUS, A
NEW CONVERGENCE, A NEW ALLIANCE a broad tent, to speak with one
voice, act and win Zimbabwe for change.
Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. You and I
are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.
The theme of Agenda 2021 is informed by three key words, namely, Citizens,
Convergence and Change (reforms). These three concepts are in turn informed first
and foremost by the party’s strategic thrust to locate itself and its program of action 4
with the people. Secondly, the issue of convergence of citizens talks to the party’s
strategy to initiate the formation of a broad alliance of citizen groups and democratic
forces to confront the national question as a collective of forces in a manner that
should result in CHANGE and REFORMS in the lives of Zimbabweans in particular
and the governance of the country in general. Thirdly, the theme is also informed by
the desire of the party to assert its leadership role i n the country as the main
alternative voice of both reason and transformation.
Our theme for Agenda 2021 is captured by those three key words – Citizens,
Convergence and Change.
• Citizens – are the lifeblood of all the work that we do. If I have learnt anything over
the years, it is that political power lies in the people. I will never leave the people
behind. In our programming, in our decision-making and in our messages – you, the
people come first. The MDC Alliance is the people’s party. It is your party. It is my
party. Together we must build it and strengthen it as a force for change. Do not get
left behind. Join the movement. Get involved.
• Convergence – Unity, collective action and nonviolence are our rallying cry and the
catalyst for change in our nation. The MDC Alliance will lead the formation of a
broad church of citizen groups and democratic forces to confront the national
question. When we demand accountability, speak with one voice and act collectively,
we will become a formidable force for meaningful CHANGE in the lives of
• Change – Democratic and Transformational change lies at the core of who we are.
Reforms and a People’s government are the substance of real change. Real change
means taking what is broken and creating something new. We are the alternative
voice and an alternative government for this great nation.
The party will through active citizen engagement and participation seek to achieve the
complimentary goals of winning elections, attaining state power, and transforming
the country.
The key areas of focus for 2021 are therefore as follows:
• THE PEOPLE AGENDA -Refocusing our fights as a means to mobilize and
energize the base and reassert our leadership role as the alternative government.
Building a mass based party through recruitment and mobilization. Mobilizing
resources to strengthen the party as an institution and to execute the struggle to its
logical end.
• THE CITIZENS AGENDA -Building a broad alliance of citizens for change
domestically and internationally in pursuit of the resolution of the national question.
• THE REFORMS AGENDA -We need electoral and political reforms. We need a
return to legitimacy and democracy (RELOAD).5
Pushing the REFORMS ROADMAP and pursing the reform agenda through our
zones of struggle; street (citizen mass action), elections, parliament, local
government, diplomacy, courts, media and the state.
• THE GOVERNMENT AGENDA -We will have an alternative Cabinet. We will
have a New Zimbabwe policy dialogue forums.
An annual policy conference shall be held.
We will have a legislative agenda and local government agenda.
• 2021 must and will be different because the steps we are going to take will define
the future of this country. It cannot and will not be business as usual.
• At all times, we will be guided by our vision – To dismantle autocracy and achieve
democratic change by transforming Zimbabwe to a sustainable, just, prosperous, God
fearing, ethical and democratic state.
Agenda for Young People
Zimbabwe is a young nation in terms of population demographics. Nearly 70% of the
population is under the age of 35, which is the maximum youth age under our
Constitution. However, young people remain on the margins of political and
economic spaces. We are not going to pretend that we know everything about the
challenges that young people face in this country. We will also not assume that we
know their needs and expectations. Instead, as a party that is built upon the values of
consultative politics, we want to embark on a major consultative drive, to engage
young people, both in the rural and urban areas, both young men and women.
Our agenda for young people is to construct policies that are informed by their needs
and expectations; policies that come from them rather than imposed from the top by
those purporting to know what they want. Young people are the future of this nation,
but that future is built now, in the present. We want to give space to young people, to
listen to them, and construct policies that respond to their needs. One of our nation’s
founding fathers, Dr. Joshua Nkomo once said young people will save Zimbabwe;
that they would not allow it to die. He was a man of great wisdom. He would be
proud to observe how young people are taking the lead to save this country from the
depths of authoritarian rule.
Resource Mobilisation
Consolidating our party is built on the recognition of our core strengths and
appreciation of points that require improvement. I have already stated how the regime
has sought to suffocate us by depriving us of our hard-won income. The MDC
Alliance was entitled to public funds under the Political Parties (Finance) Act.
However, these funds have been unprocedurally and unlawfully diverted to another
party that had no place on the ballot paper in 2018 and did not earn the right to those
funds. We must therefore rely on our members and supporters to mobilize resources
to fund their party. We are therefore going to embark on a major fund-raising drive. 6
We are confident that citizens will respond positively to the call. The resource
mobilization agenda will be implemented together with the massive recruitment
The agenda for political reforms has been on the table for many years. When the
MDC was founded two decades ago, the agenda was to reform governance in
Zimbabwe which was already in terminal decline. The transformation of governance
and society remains at the core of the party’s agenda. However, history has shown
that there are impediments to the party’s path to power, hence the need for political
reforms to level the political playing field. It is important to have free, fair, and
credible elections because they provide the basis for legitimacy.
We have seen that no matter how many elections are held if there is a legitimacy
deficit, the country will remain stuck in the doldrums. We need Zimbabwe to return to
legitimacy, openness and democracy. (RELOAD)
This is the reason why we continue to advocate for political reforms, chief of which
are reforms to the electoral system. Indeed, this is the principal reason for our call for
dialogue: it is not to find accommodation in this regime, but to play our part in
designing an electoral path that would prevent the risks of illegitimacy that have
dogged past elections.
Political reforms are not merely changing the rules of the game on paper. They must
be realized in practice. In this regard, human rights abuses and selective application of
the law must stop. There has been a spate of petty arrests and detentions of political
activists, human rights defenders, and journalists in recent years, all of them based on
frivolous grounds. This does not only damage the country’s standing in the
community of nations, but it also increases insecurity among citizens.
• We re-assert Zimbabwe’s 5 big, most urgent fights:
• One: The fight for a People’s Constitution and Constitutionalism. This fight will
focus on defending the preservation of the 2013 Constitution and demanding that it be
implemented with all laws aligned to it with particular reference to such governing
issues as devolution. We will strongly oppose Amendment No. 2 which seeks to
entrench and reintroduce an Imperial Presidency and reverse the gains of the
Constitutional referendum. We will demand of the executive a culture of respecting
the constitution.
• Two: The fight for Livelihoods, dignity and better life. We will champion
alternative policies and demands that address the needs and challenges of
Zimbabweans, in particular the working people in various sectors such as the civil
service, teachers, health workers, the private sector workforce, informal traders and
vulnerable groups in both ur ban and rural areas. The success of this fight will be
anchored on alternative economic policies. We will engage citizens to demand sound
economic administration.
The Economic Agenda
It is well-known that our economy is in the doldrums. This is a result of sheer
incompetence and corruption which leads to misallocation and misappropriation of
scarce resources. The national cake is increasingly being privatized into the hands of a 7
small cartel that is associated with the ZANU PF regime. Policy inconsistencies,
human rights abuses, insecurity of private property rights all combine to dissuade
investors to seriously consider Zimbabwe as a viable investment destination.
More significantly, we continue to hold the view that illegitimacy is a significant
barrier to Zimbabwe’s economic progress. As long as the regime suffers a legitimacy
deficit, the country will struggle to attract serious investors. To make economic
progress, we must resolve the political questions that have long affected the country’s
perception of the family of nations. We must have political reforms that will facilitate
legitimate electoral outcomes.
At a substantive level, the ballooning national debt remains a significant albatross on
economic recovery. We have been in arrears regarding our external debt for nearly
two decades making it extremely difficult to access credit and when we do, it is shortterm and expensive. This is unsustainable. Our economic plan involves
comprehensive measures to negotiate our way of these arrears.
However, as we have repeatedly said, our national case is made stronger when we
resolve our political challenges. When we resolve that we will be in a better position
to plead for better terms, even debt forgiveness to enable us to start afresh. As it is,
under a regime that has shown kleptocratic tendencies, our creditors think any deal is
akin to throwing money down a bottomless pit. We must reform politically and that
what we intend to push for.
Still, on the economy, we want to push ahead with better policies for resource
extraction, processing, and utilization. We are firm believers in the idea that local
resources should benefit local communities. It is a sign of incompetence and
unbridled greed of the elites that communities in places like Chiadzwa remain in
abject poverty when they were blessed with diamonds. These diamonds enriched
political elites and their foreign allies. Our agenda is to ensure that natural resources
yield dividends to the citizens of Zimbabwe. We will continue to resist the
mortgaging of the country’s resources in return for odious debt.
• Three: The fight against Corruption. Corruption is killing us. The people have a
right to a corruption-free and uncaptured State. Cartels must fall. The eviction of
villagers for commercial cronyism must end. Elite state capture must be dismantled.
The level of corruption in the country has reached alarming levels. The cancer now
permeates the whole body politic – from the rotten pinnacle of the state going down to
the lowest ranked employee in government and in the private sector. The cancer of
corruption has also now assumed another dimension, the dominance of toxic cartels.
All key business engagements by the government are now monopolised by a cartel of
a few individuals. This menace has milked the country and resulted in the
downstream suffering of ordinary people. The capture of the state also involves the
capture of other pillars of the state and agencies including the judiciary and
Parliament. They can never be an inclusive and shared growth in an environment
where the state is captured by a few. This fight will therefore be focussed on exposing
corruption in the country and demanding accountability from all.8
• Four: A Peoples’s Government and Reforms. We need a new way of governing
Zimbabwe. We need to restore the broken social contract. Consent must replace
coercion. The authority to govern is derived from the people. The people of
Zimbabwe and the international community do not believe that the government
formed after the 2018 elections represents the will of the people as expressed during
the 2018 elections. It is evident that this political legitimacy deficit notwithstanding
the legal legitimacy bestowed by the court has hindered the ability of the regime to
govern effectively because there is no trust between the governed and the governors.
This has caused a massive performance legitimacy crisis and an insurmountable trust
deficit. The trust deficit has in turn created a confidence crisis in an economy that is
now shunned by both domestic and international investors. This fight will therefore be
focused on bringing to the fore the political legitimacy crisis which has led to a
performance legitimacy gap manifest in a non-performing and non-delivering
economy with the objective of soft landing the crisis through dialogue and a return to
legitimacy. At the heart of the resolution of the national question is the urgent need
for the country to embark on and implement a raft of political reforms. The country to
date has failed in its re-engagement efforts with the international community because
it has been paying lip service to the urgent need for political reforms. The fight for
political reforms will therefore be informed by the party’s policy document PRICE
and contributions from alliance partners in the envisaged broad alliance through the
exertion of both domestic and international pressure on the regime to reform.
• Five: People’s rights, freedoms, security of persons and rule of law. There has been
a marked deterioration in the respect for people’s freedoms and rights and the respect
for the rule of law since the Nov 17 coup. Democracy has been bludgeoned by
Mnangagwa’s corrupt, violent dictatorship. Our fight for freedoms will focus on the
deteriorating human rights situation which has seen the state using law-fare to
persecute dissenting voices in the country including the leadership of the party.
The Diaspora
It is common knowledge that our country has experienced an exodus of large numbers
of citizens over the last two decades forming a large Diaspora population. These
citizens remain closely attached to their country. They are dedicated members of our
nation. Indeed, last year the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe reported that diaspora
remittances were up 45% between January and September 2020. Diaspora remittances
are a major source of foreign currency for Zimbabwe. Therefore, although we lament
the loss of skills, we are also benefitting from the remittances from our people.
It’s very good that our Constitution recognizes dual citizenship, something that we
fought hard to have despite resistance from ZANU PF. However, the country still
does not give enough respect to our fellow citizens. The electoral system, for
example, remains exclusionary meaning that these fellow citizens still cannot enjoy
one of the fundamental rights: the right to vote. We will push the agenda for more
inclusive policies for the Diaspora, not only in political participation but also in
economic participation beyond remittances. If we can have policies that are friendly
to foreign investors, there is no reason why we cannot have targeted policies that
promote investment by members of the Diaspora.9

3.THE CITIZENS AGENDA -National agenda
Nation building – BBI
New consensus
Intergenerational consensus
As the alternative government, we are always in a state of readiness to take over and
govern when the opportunity presents itself. Our party will continue to develop and
update its readiness to govern. This is also an on-going agenda which we must
demonstrate through performance in the formal theatres of power such as Parliament
and local authorities. A combination of the two pandemics – authoritarianism and
COVID19 has impacted our activities on both platforms over the past year. The
pandemic has led to the closure of these formal theatres, reducing their effectiveness.
However, in the case of local authorities, the problem is a system of government that
results in the capture of local government by the central government. This is a
structural problem that affects the efficacy of local authorities. The Oppressors have
no incentive to make changes that would free local government from the clutches of
the central government. This explains why the fight for change at the central
government level remains the foremost objective in the people’s struggle for change.
As part of our work regarding government, we are going to raise the level of
resistance to the proposed changes to the Constitution, which are retrogressive. We
have to ensure that the Constitution is respected and that its terms and values are
implemented. The attempt to change our young Constitution is retrogressive because
it reverses the political reforms that were made in 2013 when it was adopted.
Oppressors want to change provisions that have not even been implemented. We are
going to lead and resist Constitutional Amendment (No. 2) because it is unilateral,
reactionary, counter-revolutionary and retrogressive.
We believe in both internationalism and Pan-Africanism. We are part of the family of
nations. We believe that despite our differences, we have a shared common interest.
Indeed, our national interest is best served by working together and cooperating with
other progressive nations. We believe in a NEW AFRICA. As Africans, we recognize
our shared history not just of subjugation but also of resistance and triumph against
the odds to govern ourselves. Nevertheless, despite heroic struggles against the
colonial order, Africans continue to suffer from the twin challenges of authoritarian
rule and a global governance system that still subordinates our nations.
We, therefore, support the struggle of African nations to be recognized as equal
partners in all spheres and call upon our fellow brothers and sisters to support
democratic growth and economic prosperity for all. We detest rigging of elections and
dictatorship. We reject efforts to entrench authoritarian regimes on the continent and
to this end, we will forge solidarities with states and progressive movements that are
advancing the democratic ideals that we identify with. For Zimbabwe to boost its
prospects of recovery, it needs to be fully reintegrated into the family of nations. This
is not achieved by performing a window-dressing exercise or undertaking false 10
reforms. Rather, it needs real and substantive ‘root and branch’ reforms that
demonstrate a commitment to good governance, transparency, protection of human
rights, rule of law and adherence to the norms that are generally accepted in
progressive societies.
I propose three broad focus for our diplomatic agenda for 2021

  1. Global Advocacy Campaign-mobilizing the international community in support of
    the struggle for democracy in Zimbabwe in line with our RELOAD and with an Afrocentric focus ( targetting Regional Economic Committees – SADC, East African
    Community, ECOWAS, IGAD, African Union and individual countries). Key
    messages to be around comprehensive reforms.Other areas to be targeted include
    Russia, China, EU, US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Latin America, Eurasian
  2. New Africa Focus: we shall emphasize the vision for a New Africa. We shall be
    building strong networks with emerging young leaders on the continent centered on
    shared democratic values such as respect for human rights, free and fair elections (
    guarding against electoral authoritarianism-elections without democracy) We have
    upcoming elections in Zambia, South Africa, Congo, Ethiopia, Libya etc and the
    international community must not endorse fraudulent elections, another area to focus
    on in the context of building a new Africa consensus is on transparent governance
    especially in the extractive sector- illicit financial flows, yo also locate the New
    Africa focus in terms of integration and how governance reforms in undemocratic
    countries like Zimbabwe will be key for successful integration and meet milestones
    set by agreements such as the African Continental Free Trade Area, Agenda 2063 etc.
  3. International Solidarity: We must not expect to just receive solidarity but to
    provide solidarity to other pro-democracy struggles globally eg. Myamar, HongKong etc.We should also work closely with our international partners through eg. The
    Progressive Alliance to strengthen multilateralism – lobbying for equatable
    distribution of vaccines in these Covid 19 era( vaccine diplomacy) , dealing with
    climate change and speaking for those contributing less in terms of emissions and yet
    suffering more due to limited adaptation capacity.
    Let’s join hands to build a united, prosperous Zimbabwe and never tire in the fight to
    win Zimbabwe for change

The MDC Alliance President adv Nelson Chamisa is set to make a national address.

Top amongst the issues expected is their party position on the Bishops, Zimbabwe socio political environment, current politically motivated arrests and the way foward for Zimbabweans.

The video is live below

Staff Writer

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