MDC-T president Douglas Mwonzora has said Zimbabweans are fed up with engaging in daily, deadly, and partisan political fights and now yearn for jobs, food, and better medical care.
He accused political leaders across the divide of continuing to believe that Zimbabweans were only interested in politics instead of development.
“That’s not the case,” Mwonzora said in his vote of thanks address in Kwekwe last week where he had accompanied President Emmerson Mnangagwa to get his Covid-19 vaccination jab.
“The mistake that many political leaders make in this country is to think that Zimbabweans think of politics every day; that is a mistake.
“What are Zimbabweans thinking of? They are thinking of putting food on the table for their families, they think of jobs for loved ones and they think of the health of their loved ones. They don’t think about politics every day.
“The onus that lies with us as political leaders is to redress the people’s issues. That is the essence of being a political leader. This is politics based on mutual respect and tolerance.”
He told the gathering, mainly Zanu PF supporters, that the MDC-T had entered new politics informed by the people’s need for a paradigm shift in the country’s body politics.
“Our people are tired of fighting amongst themselves. They are tired of brawling and quarrelling leadership. They are tired of polarisation, violence, hate, acrimony, intolerance, and Cyber-bullying,” he said.
Mwonzora, elected at a controversial MDC-T congress last December as party president, said Zimbabweans now yearned for nothing but freedom.
“Every Zimbabwean, irrespective of political persuasion, deserves freedom, justice, equality, and solidarity. Every Zimbabwean deserves the right to constitutionalism and respect for the rule of law.
“To that end, we are determined to get rid of the politics of hate, the politics of acrimony, and replace it with the politics of rational disputation and tolerance.
“I know we are members of different political parties. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying you love your Zanu PF less, or you love your MDC-T less, or you love your (Zanu) Ndonga less, or you love your other political party less, but that you love your Zimbabwe more,” he said.
Zimbabweans have for the past 20 years, been engaged in fierce rivalry along political lines often involving the governing Zanu PF and the main opposition, MDC.
This contestation has led to loss of lives, injuries, and the destruction of properties and incomes.