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Tsvangirai: Freed Activists Must Continue Fighting for Democracy

  • Irwin  Chifera

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai addressing fred activists in Harare on Tuesday. (VOA photo/Irwin Chifera)

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai addressing fred activists in Harare on Tuesday. (VOA photo/Irwin Chifera)

Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) president Morgan Tsvangirai says he remains committed to achieving real change and transformation in the country.

The founding MDC leader made the remarks when he met 21 party activists who were acquitted last week by the High Court on charges of murdering Police Inspector Petros Mutedza in 2011.

Mr. Tsvangirai urged party activists to remain resilient in the fight for democratic change in the country which he says continues despite his party’s dismal performance in the July 31 general election the movement says were rigged by the military in favour of President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party.

He said state agents will continue to arrest and intimidate opposition activists but noted that this should not demoralize them.

The former prime minister, who was accompanied by the party’s welfare secretary, Lucia Matibenga, national organizing secretary Nelson Chamisa and Harare provincial chairman Paul Madzore, told the activists they were targeted because they were pillars of the labour-backed movement.

He said their incarceration for more than a year on what he claimed were trumped charges should not demoralize them but bolster their resolve to continue fighting for change.

Mr. Tsvangirai said the loss to Zanu-PF in the July 31 elections is demoralizing, especially as he believed his party had more support than Zanu-PF. But he added the MDC-T will fight on until it achieves its goal of creating a new Zimbabwe which he says would be democratic.

He was optimistic that the seven remaining activists, who are scheduled to go for trial soon, will be also be acquitted.

The 21 were freed last week after the court ruled that the police had failed to provide evidence linking them to Mutedza’s murder. One of the 29 activists, Rebecca Mafukeni, died in remand prison last month.

Matibenga said the 21 will go for psychological tests this Thursday.

In other news, the first session of the eighth parliament resumed sitting Tuesday following last week’s official opening by President Robert Mugabe.

The House of Assembly session started with Clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma administering the oath of parliament to two MDC-T lawmakers Joel Gabuza of Binga South and Arnold Tsunga of Dangamvura/Constituency who missed the event two weeks ago.

Chikomba East lawmaker, Edgar Mbwembwe of Zanu PF, immediately moved a motion inviting members to debate President Mugabe’s official parliamentary speech.

In the Senate, a similar motion was moved by Senator Monica Mutsvangwa and seconded by Senator Daniel Mumvuri. Both are Zanu PF lawmakers.