the Vice President Ambassador Dr J. S.Mvundura.
the Vice President Dr Samuel Sipepa Nkomo.
the National Chairman Dzikamai C.Mavhaire.
the Secretary General Gift Nyandoro.
the Treasurer General Wilbert a. Mubaiwa.
the Head of the Freedom Fighters' Wing Major
the Head of the Women's Wing Mai M Chombo.
the Head of the Youth Wing Lloyd Masiya.
the Provincial Chair Persons of Provinces and Your
the Constituency Chair Persons and Your
the Ward Chair Persons and Your Executives
Our Builders from the Eleven Provinces Including
Your Excellencies Members of the Diplomatic Corps.
Members of Civil Society.
the Midea Group Ladies and Gentlemen.
Welcome to Our Party Inaugural National Elective Convention
Our day has come for me to say siyabonga, ndinotenda, thank BUILDERS from Bulawayo, Harare, Manicaland, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West, Masvingo, Matebeleland North, Matebeleland South, Midlands and the Dispora PROVINCES. Had it not been for your efforts I wouldn't be standing here today welcoming you to our long waited INAUGURAL ELECTIVE CONVENTION AND LAUNCH OF OUR NATIONAL PEOPLE's PARTY. It has taken us months to be where we are today, they say patience is a virtue, or patience pays. As duly elected President of this Party I therefore declare Nationl People's Party officially launched.
Background of the Party
Distinguished guests, your excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, Let me now give you a brief background of who we are. National People's Party (NPP) was born out of a need to bring about a transformation leap that will put our nation, Zimbabwe, back on the right track of socio-economic and political governance. NPP was established in February 2016 because the founding membership believe that ZANU PF has negated the obligations aimed at fulfilling the ideals of the liberation struggle. The vision for a successful, prosperous and just Africa has been hijacked by self-serving opportunistic capitalists that have, particularly in Zimbabwe, traded the revolutionary and Nationalist ideals to those of individual, corrupt, autocratic and elite serving ones. NPP takes heed of the gains of liberation that Zimbabweans courageously fought for and successfully liberated themselves from minority rule and discrimination of one race by the other. To that end, NPP was formed to fulfil the principles and values that have been abandoned by the former liberation movement ZANU PF.
NPP's founding membership is of diverse composition. The party has strong roots in the war of liberation and hence the party's aims, objectives and principles are anchored on the ideological foundation of being National Democrats. As National Democrats, we believe in a people centred and people driven democracy, focused on providing leadership which genuinely puts people first in all social, economic and political spheres. The Party has in its rank and file former ZANLA and ZIPRA combatants, retirees, Ex-detainees and Restrictees, Women, Youths, church leaders, students and workers from different labour organisations.
In NPP we envisage a sovereign, peaceful, democratic and economically prosperous Zimbabwe in which every citizen, who calls Zimbabwe home, is free and enjoys the fruits of the liberation struggle without discrimination, oppression and violation of one's fundamental rights as constitutionally guaranteed by the Law.
Our mission being to promote, coordinate and mobilise people so that National People's Party becomes the party of choice that promotes accountability, transparency and tolerance through its participation in all aspects and levels of the political framework of Zimbabwe. Our Party ideology is anchored on the core values of; Inclusivity, Devolution of Power, Accountability, Equity, Constitutionalism, Transparency and Loyalty.
The symbol of our Party is the bridge supported by four pillars in Party colours. The pillars represent the four wings of the party namely, the Main Wing, the Freedom Fighters Wing, the Women's Wing and the Youth Wing. The bridge symbolises the link between the past, the present and the future, as a symbol of hope. Our main colour of the Party as you can see is blue, symbolising life sustained through water.
Position on Freedom Fighters & Political Victims
As a liberation movement, let me speak about the issue of freedom fighters. You may have noticed that we are the first Party to have a special wing for freedom fighters. Having them as a unique wing helps us align our policies to meet their needs and as such we don't discriminate freedom fighters who are in other political affiliations. The right to choose a party of choice was one of the causes we fought for. National People's Party will support war veterans and victims of the war of liberation from colonialism. NPP will push for improved coordination of welfare services for former freedom fighters like housing, employment and health services to name but a few.
I am aware that our country and our people have gone through numerous traumatic experiences; first at the hands of imperialists and later at the hands of their own, postindependence. These issues have remained unresolved over the years and any development model that ignores that reality is bound to fail. In seeking to heal the wounds of past injustices, NPP will push for a Peace, Truth, healing and Reconciliation Commission to ensure there is closure to these sad political episodes of the history of our country.
The trauma also included those induced by economic hardships arising from economic mismanagement. Urban citizens have not been spared and survivors of that were hard hit by hyperinflation which eroded people's savings and the hardest hit were pensioners who may never recover given that they have gone past their productive years.
We believe the process of national healing, peace and reconciliation should be guided by our national ethos and our traditional ways of resolving such issues, which we believe are effective enough to help us achieve our intended objectives. We will also be guided by the bible as a God-fearing nation. In this respect, the doctrine of restitution will take precedence ahead of retribution. Where compensation is due, it will be made and in some cases where reparations are necessary the same will be administered. Our traditional institutions will guide the process until full healing is achieved.
Governance & Rule of Law
Ladies and gentlemen; impunity and a disregard for our own constitution and laws is sadly at the core of our problems as a nation. NPP respects the will of the people as reflected in the 2013 constitutional referendum. We know, in a way, it was a compromise document but albeit a huge leap from the battered Lancaster House version.
The current regime has been reluctant to align the rest of the laws with the new constitution with even attempts to start subverting it for their own selfish needs. Parliament will fasttrack the alignment of the laws to ensure the protection of civil liberties and properties as guaranteed in the constitution. We believe in the doctrine of separation of roles amongst the four arms of government i.e. the executive, the legislature, the judiciary, and civil society.
At the centre of government dysfunctionality is corruption and impunity. The corruption tax/ premium has meant that almost anything produced in Zimbabwe is not competitive globally. In seeking to correct the damage of past corrupt practices, the doctrine of restitution will take precedence over that of retribution. Past corruption related offence will not necessarily lead to imprisonment but the government will ensure that what belongs to Caesar is returned to Caesar using legal means. The wealth that has been externalised will be repatriated back home in a carefully managed amnesty program that will ensure the wealth returns home on a no questions asked basis during the prescribed period, after which it becomes a criminal matter. Thereafter, anyone caught on the wrong side perpetuating corruption will be punished without fear or favour, with no one being immune to prosecution.
Strategic institutions that had been rendered dysfunctional due to partisan staffing will be reformed towards efficiency and
increased accountability. Priority will be given to institutions providing basic social services and those in the value chain of investment facilitation. The oversight role of parliament as an accountability institution will be strengthened, ensuring a functional parliamentary committee system.
Position on Land & Agriculture
Ladies and gentlemen, you will recall that the land issue was at the centre of the war of liberation. As a liberation movement, we recognise the need for equitable distribution of the same. We know that central to a dysfunctional Zimbabwean economy is the unresolved land issue that has acted like an unending funeral where there is no burial to bring closure. The problem has manifested in the form of poor yields in agriculture hence policy interventions will be targeted at raising productivity in the agricultural sector.
While acknowledging that the land reform could have been handled differently, we also uphold the current constitutional position that land reform is not reversible. The sequence for correcting this agrarian mess will be; audit, rationalise, compensate, title and capacitate. No one will be kicked out of their farms. We did not fight to have land for the sake of owning it but to have it as a means of production and economic empowerment. Thus, our agricultural policy is informed by the need to make farming a more viable venture to the empowerment of our people.
Let me now speak a bit on the subject of the economy. As a Party, we are disheartened that Zimbabwe is rich yet poor. We seek to unpack this apparent paradox. It appears as Professor Patrice.O. Lumumba argues, that the biggest problem in Zimbabwe is corruption. Corruption has rendered all the instruments of fiscal and monetary policy management dysfunctional. We will seek to
pursue vigorous institutional reforms to free the economy from the effects of state capture. There are inspiring cases of successful fight against corruption that we can learn from as a nation.
Pursuing a developmental state model, markets will be given fair space to operate with the state only intervening in extreme cases of market failure. We recognise that the task of rebuilding the economy of Zimbabwe will not be a small one and will require all the helping hands both from local and the international community.
We, however, recognise that from a bilateral and multilateral perspective the issue of debt has been an albatross. Suffice to say our debt situation when compared to the rest of the world is not a serious issue. We should be able to negotiate with our international partners to manage our debt in a way that does not impede our development efforts.
On the private sector side, we recognise that the controversial indigenisation policy has hampered the free flow of private capital, literally incapacitating industry. The law, in its current state, will be discarded. A new law will be enacted that is probusiness. The concept of empowerment of locals is not a first in Zimbabwe but there are tried and tested ways of achieving these in the various sectors especially those involving natural resources.
While we believe the private sector is the most sustainable generator of employment, government remains a significant player in that regard. The civil service has for long been viewed as the most stable employer, at least until recently. Those offering credit would offer zero deposit facilities to civil servants reflecting the perceived low risk, but not anymore, as announcements of pay dates monthly has sadly become nothing to celebrate. We believe calls to trim the civil service are not informed by the reality of service delivery on the ground. While there may be scope for rationalisation of the civil service, we don't believe government is overstaffed. Inability to pay should not be confused with overstaffing.
Yes, self-employment is good and indigenous empowerment is great but without a functional viable formal employment sector, most of these self-employment ventures will not be sustainable. We don't believe in a world of vendors only, not everyone can be own employer. In fact, being formally employed is not a bad thing economically and otherwise. Citizens are already feeling the futility and deception of self-employment without a functioning formal sector.
Youths need to enjoy what we adults enjoyed in our heydays; they need to access a job of their choice, gain experience and decide when to pursue entrepreneurial ventures and selfemployment, as a matter of choice not an act of desperation.
They cannot be reduced to celebrate accessing crumbs at the table of the elite when they could be having their own buffet. The so-called facilities for the youths and facilities for women, are nothing but attempts to deceive the citizens and divert their attention from the real issues. We believe in real and sustainable empowerment not manipulative handouts from the state masquerading as Father Christmas/Mother Christmas.
The mining sector has largely been the basis for the industrial development of Zimbabwe, while exports of minerals have been a key economic driver in terms of foreign currency earnings. Zimbabwe is known to have over 40 different mineral occurrences, some of which have not been exploited to any meaningful degree. While in the past, minerals anchored the development of the dual economy, there has been little broad9 based beneficiation from minerals for the majority of Zimbabweans.
NPP will seek to avoid the resource curse and consider unlocking the economic potential of the mining sector through promoting investor friendly policies. We will also seek to curb corrupt tendencies that led to the massive leakage of mineral resource through illicit deals.
The country's manufacturing sector is in a crisis because it has not adapted to new technologies following lost decades due to bad governance. The performance of the manufacturing sector is closely linked to competitiveness influenced by the business environment within which industry operates.
The Government will seek to revive the traditional synergies and linkages between the manufacturing sector, the agriculture sector and the mining sector for value addition and subsequent global competitiveness. The spatial development and cluster initiative will ensure shared benefits of the growing and diversifying industrial sector.
Zimbabwe has the resources for tourist attraction with the world acclaimed Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and other major tourist attractions, including the Great Zimbabwe, Hwange National Park, Gonarezhou National Park, Lake Kariba, Mana Pools, and the Eastern Highlands, a number of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites.
The nation has not been able to enjoy the dividend from these largely because of poor country image arising from a number of issues. With a legitimate government, serious rebranding efforts will be pursued to attract back the millions of tourists. The government will promote pro-poor tourism so as to increase the positive impact of tourism on poor people.
Infrastructure & Social Service Delivery
Coming to infrastructure and social service delivery; we will seek smart partnerships in the development of sound modern infrastructure and social infrastructure. We believe in promoting the common good over vested interests and that the work on infrastructure development requires significant technical and financial resources, both of which are beyond the scope of the Government alone.
Zimbabwe's health indicators are embarrassing for the size of our population and the abundance of resource the nation boasts of. A root based development will seek, among other issues, to bring access to quality healthcare to the root through an appropriate national health insurance scheme. The dedicated health workers will be capacitated with the right tools and drugs that make their life vocation of saving lives enjoyable.
We recognise that, it is the primary duty of any caring government to ensure the basic right to decent shelter is met. We believe in planned settlements in both rural and urban communities. Our government will seek to regularise the unplanned settlements where possible and where there are gross violations of settlement regulations and etiquette, the affected settlers will be relocated to more suitable locations. Efforts will be made to provide basic infrastructure in already settled communities with emphasis on building standards that are in keeping with modern technologies.
We do not subscribe to the demolition of people's homes under the disguise of cleaning up and regularisation when in fact those structures would have been okayed by someone in authority. This kind of corruption will be dealt with accordingly. As a Party, NPP is strongly opposed to the never-ending experiments on the education system that seem to have done more harm than good. One of the acknowledged early successes of the post-independence government is the investment in education that saw Zimbabwe rise to become one of the countries with the highest literacy rates in the world.
Post 2000 developments in this sector have reversed most of these gains. Ill-timed reforms have caused a lot unnecessary anxiety to the pupils and parents. Failure to finance tertiary education has compromised the quality of graduates coming out of our universities whilst also compromising the social aspects of our students.
NPP seeks to restore the glitter of Zimbabwe's education system by providing and promoting sustainable funding solutions anchored on a functional economy in which the traditional student grants, loans, apprenticeships, and scholarships will be restored. The obsession with regional balance regarding access to university education has unfortunately seen the disappearance of the important technical and vocational training institutions which played a critical role in providing the skilled human capital critical for industrialisation. Most of those trained have been absorbed by fast developing economies, leaving a huge gap that needs attention if industrialisation efforts will succeed. A more balanced curriculum and education system that is prodevelopment will be pursued.
Position on External Relations
Let me now turn to you, Your Excellencies; I know that since 2000, Zimbabwe has been isolated from the family of nations because of some of the government's policies. In 2003, Zimbabwe decided to disengage from the Commonwealth and this further compounded the situation as member states enjoy many trade opportunities and other benefits like education. The government, while cherishing and nursing relations with the East, it will seek to re-establish relations with countries in the Western world and re-join the Commonwealth. In other words, we believe in a 'look everywhere' policy. This strategy will ensure that Zimbabwe has trading and bilateral relations in all parts of the world.
We recognise the symbiotic relationship with South Africa and therefore will seek to maintain the same. We will also maintain strong relations with SADC and AU in keeping with African renaissance. Elsewhere, we will pursue and maintain strong relations with like-minded countries without having to interfere with their sovereignty.
Position on Coalition
Finally, ladies and gentlemen, let me speak on the topic of the moment, coalition talks. That there is need for a coalition of progressive forces to unseat the ZANU PF regime, is no longer an issue we need to convince citizens about because you all know what you want. Zimbabweans are clear on what to do for us to win these elections. For once, you want an opportunity to air your views on what type of a leader you want if boardroom decision are not dictated on you. NPP as a people centred Party believes in that. We know we have over stretched your patience but remember we are different parties with different backgrounds and negotiations seem to take a bit longer than anticipated. We appreciate that time is of essence but at least people should be heard.
We are working on the modalities of this grand coalition and I can assure you that this time you will cross to the promised land flowing with milk and honey. Yes, you have been long in the wilderness but do not despair. You should know that registering to vote in our multitudes is the first battle we must win, going to inspect the voters' role is another battle that must be won and eventually go out in the same numbers to vote is the altimatum. Let us all support the candidates for both parliamentary and local government whom we will have agreed upon, it could be by consensus where necessary by having primaries. You don't want to be remembered as that cadre who frustrated the struggle and stood on the way of freedom for the people of Zimbabwe, one who would want to stand as independent. There is going to be a lot of compromises for us to come out victors in these elections.
In conclusion, BUILDERS, Your Excellences, ladies and gentlemen, let me assure you that NPP as a party is here to stay. We are not a fly by night outfit. We come to occupy a unique space blending the liberation movement agenda and the democratic reform agenda. We have our origins and roots in the masses, and the masses we will seek to serve whenever given an opportunity. We say we are the bridge to the future. We cannot and will not trade our birth right for a bowl of soup.
We Are National Democrats,
We Are Patriots,
We Are the Future.
We Have the Solutions.
Together Lets Make Zimbabwe Great.
God Bless Us All.
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