By Tidi Kwidini
“ZIMBABWE is in need of young, dynamic individuals who will take the country forward,” MDC-T leader Nelson Chamisa told party supporters in the UK on Sunday.
He was addressing a huge crowd in Bedford as he continues his campaign for crunch elections expected in July.
“Many of you are wondering where we are presently, where we are going and when we will get there, but I want you to know that my arrival in the UK signals that Zimbabwe needs, among other things, peace, love and unity.”
Chamisa, who will challenge for president as leader of the opposition MDC Alliance, said his visit was aimed at outlining his party’s manifesto to the UK government.
“We were in America last December and we gave them our action plan as a government-in-waiting and we are in the in UK to do the same.”
He added that his party are not the opposition but an alternative government with clear ideas on policy measures that will bring Zimbabwe out of its current slump.
The MDC-T leader however warned that he would not be “tricked or fooled into standing in an election” without measures in place that will guarantee a free and fair contest.
Indicating that his party had put together a list which addresses key concerns and issues, he added that there was a need for a global coalition for free and fair elections.
The ballot needed to be legitimate and not be subject to any form of tampering.
“There needs to be a restoration of good governance or the same old system will never change,” he said.
“At present, we do not have a working nation. A nation is about values, a solid citizenry and institutions that are strong.
“We have not had strong institutions for a long time, and part of being a nation is having a shared vision by the people of the country.
Regarding past outrages and abuses by the Zanu PF government, Chamisa said it was important to apologise to those who were persecuted during Gukurahundi.
“Victims should also be compensated because national healing and forgiveness are required if the nation is to move forward.
“We need a collective vision that has been lacking for 38 years. It starts with new governance and with being accountable for issues that remain unresolved like Gukurahundi.”
The MDC-T leader expressed gratitude for the support of the diaspora and urged them to be part of enacting change in Zimbabwe.
“I am overwhelmed and very impressed by the turnout; you’ve made the party proud.
“I wish Dr Tsvangirai had been here to see the fruits of the journey. He did a lot of work to lead us to where we are.”