MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa yesterday said his party is ready to deliver tough solutions, which will resuscitate the crumbling economy, while transforming lives of the poor, but hardworking citizens of Zimbabwe, forced into poverty by the Zanu PF government.
Launching the MDC Alliance’s policy document ahead of the July 30 polls, Chamisa promised his government would fix all the ills created by Zanu PF over the past 38 years.
“It is not an illusion that we are going to face one of the worst challenges ever to be faced by human kind,” he said.
“The level of joblessness, the level of despair the destruction of our companies our factories, the dilapidated roads that we have, the absence of cash in the banks, the hospitals that are mortuaries, the challenges that we face as broken families, those are tough challenges.
“They also require a tough leadership and we are here to provide that tough leadership.”
In a first since independence, State broadcaster ZTV broadcasted the opposition party manifesto launch live and Chamisa captivated the audience with his oratory skills, promising to deliver Zimbabwe from Zanu PF stranglehold.
“We are launching a great programme that is going to liberate our country from the manacles and shackles of poverty, dictatorship, past politics, politics that is sterile politics of old ideas, politics of personalities ahead of institutions,” he said.
The MDC Alliance policy document dubbed A Sustainable and Modernisation Agenda for Real Transformation (Smart) proposes among a raft of measures, to build a $100 billion economy, create jobs, reward civil servants handsomely, cut corporate tax, increase income tax thresholds and improve pensions.
Chamisa accused the government of having a huge appetite to spend, while doing less to reduce national debt.
“We don’t have appetite beyond what we kill, which has been the problem of this government. There is too much appetite, but little capacity to deliver,” he said.
“So, as we form the next government, what are we going to deliver?
“We are trying to constitute a government that is going to work for the people.
“It is a government for those with disabilities, a government of the war veterans, a government of all races and tribes, an inclusive government, an innovative government, a responsive government, an accountable government, a peace-making government not a peace-taking government.”
The MDC Alliance said with a debt hovering above $20 billion, there was need to provide a solution to the debt crisis in the country through sound economic policies.
One of the MDC Alliance principals and People’s Democratic Party leader, Tendai Biti said the plan involved giving title deeds to resettled farmers and declaring that Zimbabwe was a low income country, so that it benefits from debt relief, while growing the economy through sound management.
“The epicentre of the crisis that our country is facing is economic mismanagement.
“The Zanu PF government has put our country in a position of massive disequilibrium underlined by poverty and underdevelopment,” he said.
“Ninety five percent of our people are unemployed, 79% of our people are living in extreme poverty, living on less than $1,25 per day.”
The MDC Alliance said it will do away with bond notes, ring-fence the value of bank balances and join the Common Monetary Area with Botswana, Lesotho, Nambia and South Africa.
“When President Chamisa assumes office, before we go and embark on the full administration of our economic programme, we have to deal with the mischief created by Zanu PF in the last five years, we need an emergency stabilisation programme,” Biti said.
Biti said he will unroll a Zimbabwe economic emergency rescue programme expected to deal with challenges of economic disequilibrium created by Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa.
“Fiscal consolidation, Zanu PF is running an economy that is on a deficit which is 30% of gross domestic product, the resolution of the cash crisis, and building revenue capacity,” Biti said.
MDC Alliance had been questioned on why it was delaying in launching its manifesto, but the launch may have been worth the wait.