MDC leader Welshman Ncube has said youths must seize the opportunity presented by the next elections to help remove President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF from power and build a new future for the country.
Addressing supporters in Bulawayo at the weekend, Ncube said young voters, increasingly seen as a key demographic ahead of crucial elections next March, should register to vote and help determine a new course for the country.
“You cannot afford to let this opportunity go by because doing that you will have to wait for another five years and that is a long time. You need to make a stand and say enough is enough,” he said.
“President Robert Mugabe has robbed the elderly of their past and now he wants to rob you of your future. You need to fight for a better future and the only way is to retire the old man is by voting him out.”
Political parties have lately been shimmying up to young voters who are seen as essential to success in next year’s proposed elections.
With the so-called born free generation – young people born just before and after Independence – now constituting a key part of the voting population, gaining traction with this demographic is now seen as crucial by most party strategists.
“Right now you are jobless, you can’t find money to marry and you can’t get a wife on credit. It is the responsibility of the youths more than anyone else and it is to your benefit that you bring to an end the rule of Mugabe,” he said.
“2013 is really your last chance. Why would you want to elect a 90 year old who would end his term at 95 years? Certainly he will make it to the Guinness book of records on two grounds; firstly for being Africa’s oldest President and secondly, as the only President to have run down his country.”
Ncube slammed Zanu PF for refusing to take responsibility for its mistakes and, instead, loading the blame “imaginary” enemies and sell-outs.
“In Zanu PF everyone is to blame, from the whites, the Europeans, so-called saboteurs to imaginary sell-outs-anyone under the sun but not them. So why do you want power if you have enemies all over? Surrender power to those who have no enemies,” he said.
The party’s legal affairs secretary and Education Minister David Colart added: “Power should not change you, it should reveal you. What we have in Zanu PF is greed and nothing else. That is the fruit they want to defend.
“If you go to the northern suburbs you will see big houses and expensive luxury vehicles; that is what they want to defend. The last three and a half years has given you the glimpse of what Zimbabwe could be if governed better. So youths you have a responsibility.”
Ncube also accused Zanu PF of shutting down parts of the country to other political parties as campaigning for the new elections steps a gear up.
“(Mines Minister Obert) Mpofu has been inviting me to come and challenge him in Umguza Constituency but when my people go there, their cars are stoned and are chased away. Why? Aren’t you the one who invited me there?,” quipped Ncube.