Tsvangirai throws an open invitation to members of Zanu-PF

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Morgan Tsvangirai says an MDC government would be prepared to work with progressive and”reformed” Zanu PF members but would punish those who wantonly murdered its supporters.

In his recent State of the Nation Address to the MDC parliamentary
caucus in Harare, the MDC leader said not all Zanu PF members were killing opposition supporters.

He said there were Zanu PF members being victimised by what he called
the “violent hawks” who have hijacked the party.

“In the spirit of moving our country forward, let us seek out those
peaceful members of Zanu PF whose eyes are open to the disastrous state of our nation,” he said. “Let us listen to their views. Let us invite them in where we have policy agreement,” said Tsvangirai.

The MDC has said more than 60 party supporters have been murdered and 25 000 others displaced since the 29 March polls.

But no tolerance or amnesty would be extended to those who are involved in direct violence such as rape and murder. “We consider these criminal acts, not political acts. Criminals will be prosecuted.”

The MDC government would establish what Tsvangirai called a Truth and Justice Commission (TJC) to look at human rights abuses, corruption, asset stripping and looting, mostly by a clique of Mugabe’s loyalists.

Tsvangirai has launched a President Fund for victims of political
violence. He said that since March over 50 lives have been lost, 25 000 people have been displaced and some 1 000 homes burnt down.

On the party’s land policy, he said his party would establish a
commission to conduct a land audit to ensure the land question is solved
without negating equity and justice.

“Measures must be put in place to either compensate or reincorporate
into productive agriculture, those who lost their land during the Zanu PF
land grab programme, depending on the findings of the land commission,” Tsvangirai said.

He said he intended to reform the civil service, judiciary and security forces.

He outlined an economic revival plan to reverse a sharp drop in
agricultural production, the scarcity of foreign investment and soaring
inflation, now pegged at more than 1 700 000%.

“Since 2000 Zimbabwe has been transformed from the jewel of Africa to
a tragedy. Let me stress that our objective must not be to merely restore the Zimbabwean economy to its former glory but also to take it to new heights,” he said.

Meanwhile, in an unrelated development, soldiers are the biggest beneficiaries of the government’s latest surprise salary windfall for civil servants with the least paid getting a whopping $130 billion, up from $10 billion last month.

This latest hike has been described as an attempt by the government to
buy the loyalty of the armed forces ahead of the 27 June presidential
election run-off.

The salary increase – like the one before the 29 March general
election – is double that for teachers.

Teachers had their salaries increased to about $63 billion from below
$5 billion a month and the militant Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) dismissed it as a slap in the face for the perennially underpaid government workers.

According to pay advisory slips of junior soldiers, the least paid
received $130 billion, before deductions.

In what was criticised as an election ploy, the government awarded
civil servants a massive salary hike before the 29 March elections.

But again soldiers were awarded the lion’s share, as they received a
raise of between $1 billion and $3 billion, depending on rank, while
teachers received an average of $500 million.

The top military brass have pledged their undying loyalty to Mugabe
and have said they would not back Tsvangirai even if he won.

Soldiers have also played a decisive role in ensuring Mugabe wins the
vote in the past two elections through establishing “bases” in rural
where they have led party militia as coercing agents to intimidate and
harass the rural electorate.

Army units were deployed in rural areas after the March elections and
have been accused by the MDC of leading attacks against its supporters in a bid to intimidate them into voting for Mugabe.

In the 2002 presidential elections, the then army chief, General
Vitalis Zvinavashe warned that the army would not salute MDC leader, Tsvangirai if he won as he had no liberation war credentials.

The current army chief, General Constantine Chiwenga, before the 29
March harmonised elections gave a similar warning.

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