I add my voice to Godfrey’s in both welcoming you all here, and thanking you for honouring us with your presence.  I particularly thank the diplomats who are here, for choosing us, in preference to another event which we believe they were notified of late yesterday, and whose timing we are not sure was with good intent.
Today marks the tenth anniversary of the death of Dr Joshua Nkomo, Father Zimbabwe.  We are excited by the coincidence of our launch with this anniversary, which reminds us that we have had towering visionaries and dedicated patriots, whose example we are inspired to emulate.
We also recall that it was ten years ago when the broad family of civic organisations launched the Movement for Democratic Change, whose contribution to the advance of democracy in our country also spurs us on the journey we are embarking on today.

Why Another Party?
As we launch our Party today, we understand that the question may arise, indeed, has been posed to us, … “Why another party in Zimbabwe”?
First, because we believe it is necessary to open up the democratic space some more.  We read the reaction of the people to the entry of another credible candidate into the March 2008 presidential elections, as testimony to their yearning for truly competitive politics. We believe that the original de facto one-party state, in the first twenty years of our nationhood, which was succeeded by a decade of a two-horse race; have not served Zimbabweans well. The two-horse race for power, control and command has not brought to Zimbabwe, the benefits of democracy and pluralism.
mavambo and culture fund 108That is why we believe that, for the advancement of the frontiers of democracy, for the deepening of the content of democracy, it is necessary that our country has more choice than just two parties.

Indeed, as Godfrey has observed, now there is just choice between two parties-in-one.
We acknowledge the efforts of others who came before us, notably, Mr Edgar Tekere, who formed ZUM, the late Justice Enock Dumbushena, who formed the Forum Party of Zimbabwe, Mrs Margaret Dongo who formed the Zimbabwe Union of Democrats, and Mr Morgan Tsvangirai who formed the Movement for Democratic Change. We appreciate their contributions to the opening up of political space. They prepared the ground for us, not only to be in the contest in the March 2008 elections, but also to be here today.We commit ourselves to advancing further those frontiers, and to widen further that democratic space that they opened up.

Why Us?
Another justifiable question which has been posed is, if indeed there is need for another party, why M.K.D?
Our response is, because we are committed to raising the content and practice of national politics from mere contests for power and positions, to participation, contribution and cooperation.  The platform of the independent candidates in the March 2008 elections, viz; national reconciliation, healing and re-engagement, remains very relevant.
We are also fired up to introducing a concept of leadership that is committed to serving the people, rather than commitment to power, command and control.
That is why we believe that the other party should be us, the MKD.
Whilst we are committed patriots, we also understand the meaning of national sovereignty in a global village, not as insularity and isolation, but as engagement and cooperation with regional and global partners.
We value our history, as a tool for shaping our future.  Our history teaches us the folly of prejudice and bigotry, and our history measures the costs of greed and cruelty.  We understand and empathise with young people who do not want to be prisoners of the past; young people who are proud to be Zimbabwean, but want to play on the global stage with peers from other countries.
Because we understand all that, we can also offer all that to the young people of Zimbabwe. That is why we believe that that other party should be us, MKD.
Our vision is for a stable, peaceful, united, progressive and developed Zimbabwe, where the rights and freedoms of all citizens are respected and protected.

Philosophy and Principles
We seek to create an open, accessible, accountable, responsible and responsive governance system that provides genuine empowerment to the individual, to the family, to the community and to the nation; a governance system that does not shackle its citizens, or drive them into dependence and despondency, to the extent that they end up asking, “Dai Hurumende yatipawo magejo”.
We believe in a governance system that is caring and compassionate, not cruel to its own people; and provides equity and fairness for all Zimbabweans, regardless of region, ethnicity, religion, gender, race, class, disability and age.
We are committed to the promotion, extension and defence of the following:
A democratic non-racial party and country, promoting the welfare of all citizens.
The supremacy of and respect for the constitution and laws of Zimbabwe, at all times, not selectively when it suits us, but at ALL times,
The separation of responsibilities between the institutions of state (i.e. the executive, legislature, and judiciary), while engendering effective co-operation between them.
Clear division between the office bearers, functions, institutions and resources of political parties, on the one hand, and those of the State, on the other hand. We do not wish to see perpetuation of the deliberate confusion between what is Party and what is State. What is State is for the nation as a whole, and what is Party is for the party members and adherents.
Representative, responsive and accountable government, chosen through regular, peaceful, free and fair elections, not imposed by the application of violence and force.
The rights of all citizens of Zimbabwe, particularly those resident outside the country (the Diaspora), to participate in national affairs, including elections. It is their right to participate in all the affairs of Zimbabwe. We are also committed to assuring their safety and security in those places where they happen to be domiciled for the time being. We want them to know that we are concerned about the conditions of privation and insecurity that they have been forced to endure by Mugabe, particularly during the course of the last three years; when their suffering became intolerable.
Decentralisation of government authority, and according responsibility to the authorities that are closest to the people, so that the people get direct, swift and efficient service and assistance, closest to where they are.
mavambo and culture fund 072Respect for all legitimate rights, including religious and cultural rights, of individuals, associations and communities within a secular state.
The right to work, the dignity of work and high work ethics. No Zimbabwean should be subjected to the indecency of begging, when they can provide for themselves.
The right of all people to property and assets, in a regulated market economy with protection for vulnerable members of our society.
Improvement in the quality of life of all Zimbabweans, through increased access to housing, health, education; and the protection of all people from crime and violence. When a minister of state and their property are violated in the manner that the headlines have depicted in the last week, it is gruesome testimony of a situation where protection of citizens from crime and violence is deficient.
Balanced national development, with equal and very close attention to regional and especially rural development. This whole nation of Zimbabwe needs to move forward together, at the same pace and to the same extent. It is time to bring all our people into the 21st Century. No Zimbabwean should feel excluded. No Zimbabwean should feel discriminated against. And no Zimbabwean should feel undermined and deprived.
Protection and enhancement of the quality of the physical environment and natural resource base.

Guided by respect for human rights, freedoms and the rule of law, we uphold the following values:
Service and Servant Leadership.
Honesty and Integrity.
Ethics, Equity and Fairness’
Competence, Entrepreneurship and Meritocracy.
Democracy, Diversity and Genuine Tolerance.
Patriotism, National Participation and Representation.
These are the values that differentiate us from the other political players in the country.

Some of our key objectives are to:
Redefine the role of government and leadership to incorporate the values and principles of service to the people, competency, accountability, transparency and respect for the rule of law.
Advance leadership as a convening authority that diligently listens to all peoples and accommodates all views, even those that diverge from their own, coordinates and respects diversity of ideas. We are committed to a leadership that will strive to bring out the best of every Zimbabwean citizen, rather than trying to clone them into uniformity.
Vigorously combat corruption and pave the way for good and responsible government and ethical business and social practices. That is a commitment we make to the people of Zimbabwe, which commitment we know others cannot make with a straight face.Advocate for a competent, efficient and non-partisan civil service, including the security sector, which will serve the interests of all Zimbabweans.

Mobilize the nation’s skills and intellectual resources and carefully apply them accordingly. The ignominy of classrooms that have no teachers and hospital wards that have no doctors, when thousands of Zimbabwean teachers and doctors are suffering abject poverty outside our borders, is an indecency that we cannot afford.
Create meaningful opportunities that reward talent, innovation, skill, expertise and creativity, and facilitate individuals, families and communities to work towards self-reliance.
Increase investment in the education and health of the people of Zimbabwe, for stability and prosperity.
Affirm the developmental and enabling role of the state, ensuring that the state is a strong facilitator for development, not an overbearing and imposing state. A state that enables the private sector and private initiative, including individual initiative, to be the engine for growth and development for our country, in a manner that is regulated to avoid excesses and avarice.
Encourage domestic and foreign investment.

mavambo and culture fund 111Our Immediate Priorities
We have four immediate priorities, viz:
The promotion of national reconciliation and healing.
The restoration of civil liberties, freedoms of speech, assembly, association and choice; and return to the rule of law.
The restoration of the economic and social viability of Zimbabwe.
Depoliticisation of the civil service and the security organs so that they serve the interests of the state and the Zimbabwean nation at large.

Real Change
What I have outlined above is what we call the platform for real and genuine change for Zimbabwe.
As Godfrey said, on February 13 2009, an inclusive government, consisting of two MDC formations and ZANU-PF, was inaugurated. We welcomed then, and we welcome now, that Inclusive Government, formed now by a structure we call the MDC-PF.
Because we are committed to the welfare of the people of Zimbabwe, we want that Inclusive Government to succeed, in order to alleviate the extreme suffering that the people of Zimbabwe have endured unnecessarily and undeservedly for well close to a decade.
We, therefore, offer ourselves, in our individual capacities and collectively, as the new MKD party, to support and assist that Inclusive Government.
We say to President Mugabe and Prime Minister Tsvangirai, we have the resources at our disposal to serve the interests of the people of Zimbabwe, so that we can Get Zimbabwe Working Again,  efficiently and effectively and for the benefit of all citizens, so that we can bring real change to Zimbabwe.
However, we note with serious concern that, on a track record of five months, the Inclusive Government is not responding to the genuine needs of the people; it is not acknowledging the gravity of the crises facing Zimbabweans every day.
When the priority of an Inclusive Government which purports that its primary concern is to solve the country’s problems, is bickering and fighting over motor cars, we cannot help but express disquiet and discontent. When an Inclusive Government which professes commitment to resolving the country’s problems decisively and quickly, engages in bickering over which document will form the basis for constitution making; it doesn’t give us confidence that they have the will to solve the country’s problems.
The people of Zimbabwe are ready for real change, and MKD is offering itself as the vehicle for the people to achieve that real change.
Because we are not in the politics of power, we are not in the business of command and control, we want to reaffirm our availability, our willingness and our readiness to support the Inclusive Government, so that it serves the people of Zimbabwe genuinely and honestly, with integrity and without corruption.

The Activists
Let me take this opportunity to thank the activists of MKD, for their commitment and their resoluteness in staying the course. I am aware of the rocky path we have traversed in the last eighteen months. I have heard, and in many cases have also felt, your frustration at the slow pace of transformation of the Movement of Volunteers into a fully-fledged political party.
I understand and I share the frustration. However, I say to you, “Kumhanya hakusi kusvika.
Today, we are here, we are launching our party. I take this opportunity to thank the National Steering Committee of our party, who have paved the way for us to be where we are today. They have worked diligently, quietly and effectively to bring us here today.
I say to the activists and members-to-be of our party, let us be guided by our key values, of service to the people, honesty and integrity.
Let us bring out the best of the skills and competencies amongst us, so that we can make a difference to our national politics.

A Mission to Clean Politics
If I talk like a missionary, it is because I believe we are on a mission, a mission to clean up the politics of Zimbabwe; a mission to make politics the art of service, to remove from the vocabulary, the phrase, the cliché, that “politics is dirty”; so that everyone will accept that the politics of service is clean, honest and has integrity.
I believe in politics that is driven by competence, and the need and commitment to serve.

The Team

mavambo and culture fund 066On February 5 2008, I offered myself, Simba Makoni, as an individual, to the service of our people, when I launched my campaign for the Presidency of Zimbabwe. Today, on behalf of the activists of MKD, the Movement of Volunteers, activists who started by supporting an individual, an independent candidate, and worked to create a new party that the people of Zimbabwe deserve, I now offer not just an individual, Simba Makoni, but a team of leaders.
It is a team of largely young leaders, a team of relatively unknown leaders, a team of leaders who come without baggage. It is a team of leaders who carry no prejudices, a team of leaders who have nothing to hide. It is also a team of leaders who are not motivated by greed and power, but by service to the people. We offer Zimbabwe a new leadership, which is fresh and untainted, and brings new hope for the future.
To the team, I say thank you, for offering to help get our country working again.

A Young Lady
It would be remiss of me not to publicly acknowledge the support that I get from this young lady here called Chipo Makoni, – my wife. Life has not been easy in our household in the last eighteen months. She has carried it all cheerfully. Thank you dear, for everything you have in the past, and more that you will do in future.

Party of Choice

In conclusion, I say to all of us who are coming forward to join Mavambo.Kusile.Dawn, and to the people of Zimbabwe, to whom we are offering our service, that let us build a party with a difference, a party of service, a party that will create a new brand of politics, not only in Zimbabwe but also on the African continent; a party that will get our country working again and a party that will facilitate real change for Zimbabwe.
Here ends the Movement of Volunteers, and here begins the Party of Choice for Zimbabweans
Ngiyabonga, Ndatenda, I thank you