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MDC postpones 20th anniversary to make way for Mugabe’s funeral

…the party will not use Mugabe’s death to score political points

Zimbabwe’s main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has postponed its 20th anniversary to make way for the late former president, Robert Mugabe’s funeral service.

MDC was set to celebrate its 20th birthday this Saturday at Rufaro Stadium, the same day slated for Mugabe’s funeral service at the National Sports Stadium, a few kilometres away from the venue.

Addressing press at the Morgan Tsvangirai House Tuesday, MDC president, Nelson Chamisa, said the party’s leadership had agreed unanimously to postpone the anniversary celebrations and not compete with funeral arrangements.

“We met to examine the direction the country is taking and to articulate the position of leadership but we took opportunity to reflect on important event in the country.

“As you may know the MDC was due to hold its important 20th which was a national event to commemorate and celebrate two decades of existence under theme ‘Celebrating courage, growth and people’s victory.’ But we have decided to postpone to allow the funeral proceedings and events not to compete with our anniversary celebrations,” he said.

Chamisa said the party’s 20th anniversary celebrations had been moved to September 28, 2019.

“The postponement is a gesture of nation building and to respect principles of Ubuntu. As you know we are MDC, a party of excellence and do things that are consist with values of social democracy,” said the party president.

He highlighted that despite differences, which are well documented and recorded, with the late President Mugabe, this was not the time to rehash those differences. 

“This is the time to join the former President’s relatives and friends in mourning. In order to give peace a chance and allow for nation building in the context of tolerance and human dignity, we continue to deploy our might and main to things that unite us than those that may divide us.

“The MDC does not make profit out of tragedies. For that reason, the party would not use Mugabe’s death to score political points. We have sufficient avenues and platforms to address the huge challenges facing the motherland outside funerals,” Chamisa said.

“As a Pan Africanist and Social Democratic Party, we don’t take our differences with our political adversaries to the grave. Hurt and hatred is not part of our agenda.”

He added that the passing of the former strongman should remind other leaders on how we must treat fellow country people.

“The position we take today is not to wish away issues of transitional justice to do with past injustice but to exhibit that as the MDC our role is to heal, unite and bring freedom and justice to every Zimbabwean.

“To all Zimbabweans, this is an opportunity to reflect on values of nation building, national healing, democracy, tolerance, justice, equality, freedom and solidarity that are central to our democratic struggle.

“Let us take this moment to build upon the positives of the past and negate its negatives to build a better nation and a better future. We must correct past mistakes and right the wrongs. We must learn from the omissions and commissions of the past,” Chamisa summed.

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