THE Nelson Chamisa-led opposition MDC Alliance yesterday took an unusual step and, for the first time, hailed the ruling Zanu PF party’s 2018 election manifesto, saying it “speaks to people’s issues rather than the red-herring” continuously foisted on Zimbabweans over the past 38 years.
MDC Alliance spokesperson, Welshman Ncube told NewsDay that the opposition grouping was now fine-tuning its own manifesto to match Zanu PF blow-for-blow, ahead of the polls expected not later than end of August this year.
“What is beautiful this year is that for the first time in 38 years, Zanu PF has a manifesto that speaks to people’s issues rather than the red-herring that it has foisted on our people for nearly four decades, Ncube, who doubles as MDC party leader, said.
“Zanu PF has a manifesto that speaks to infrastructure, transformation of the economy, social delivery and the general issues that confront our people. They (Zanu PF) have made these their issues and they are our issues too,” he said.
“It will be now up to Zimbabweans to judge whether the old and tired personalities in Zanu PF can deliver or the energised opposition is the best vehicle to take this country to the next level.
“We welcome this new thrust and new political trajectory and are ready to fight for the people’s hearts and minds in the coming election. Zanu PF has a manifesto that speaks to people’s issues and we will match them. We are certain, however, that Zimbabweans will elect the MDC Alliance. We do not see how they can elect a tired leadership that has no clue as to how to implement even what is before its eyes.”
The MDC Alliance is an electoral bloc comprising seven opposition parties, namely Chamisa’s MDC-T, Ncube’s MDC, People’s Democratic Party, led by Tendai Biti, Transform Zimbabwe, led by Jacob Ngarivhume; Zimbabwe People First, led by Agrippah Mutambara, Zanu-Ndonga and Multi-Racial Democrats.
Ncube defended the alliance’s delays in launching its manifesto, saying: “We are working on two documents simultaneously, a detailed policy blue-print that will speak to the alliance’s thrust on a broad range of the country’s governance, economic, social and political direction we would want to take Zimbabwe should we win the elections.
“The manifesto will be an abstract brief of the policy document and without pre-empting it, we are looking at the major issues that our presidential candidate (Chamisa) has been talking about at our rallies — issues of infrastructure including roads, social delivery as well as the economy in a transformative environment.”
MDC-T national organising secretary Amos Chibaya, however, indicated that the alliance manifesto could be launched in two weeks.
“We will launch it after the primary elections. We are yet to confirm the venue, but it should be in Harare. The alliance will produce a manifesto that speaks to the people’s bread and butter issues,” he said.