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Home | ZimCrisis#40 -- Use the PTC to get the MDC Message to the Rural Areas

Date: Wed, 14 Jun 2000 03:13:30 -0700
To: "Zimbabwe Crisis Mailing List":;
From: Zimbabwe Crisis
Subject: ZimCrisis#40 -- Use the PTC to get the MDC Message to the Rural Areas
Cc: Press:;

Hi everyone,

The information below is compiled from two similar messages I received. In compiling them they have been edited slightly, but the I's and we's refer to the authors of the original messages.

Time is getting short, so please forward as soon as possible.


Lately we (the MDC) have received e-mails and phone calls from people who are frustrated and who feel powerless in the current situation in Zimbabwe. I believe that we can empower ourselves through direct action.

As you may well know, it is becoming more and more difficult for the opposition to lobby the support of rural constituents. The recent wave of intimidation has directly targeted opposition co-ordinators and their supporters. We need to continue to find ways to reach the rural areas, particularly at a time when traditional methods are being shut down.

You will be aware that most people in Zimbabwe do not have access to any information regarding the election or the parties contesting it, other than that from the state-owned media and the "re-education" camps. One way of getting such information to these outlying areas is to use the postal system which, despite fuel shortages and other disruptions, still works.

We include below a collection of pamphlets from the MDC. They are in English. If you have Internet access, they are available in Shona and Ndebele at http://www.in2zw.com/mdc . We had hoped to include a list of addresses to which these pamphlets could be sent, but we have unhappily had technical difficulties in receiving these from Zimbabwe, and with time growing shorter, we urge you to do the following :

For those in Zimbabwe:

1. Please print out the pamphlets below -- all, or part, but please include the message at the top.

2. Select some addresses from the Zimbabwe telephone directories -- outlying areas please, and as many as you can manage.

3. Use plain envelopes if possible, to avoid drawing attention to the contents.

4. Post from several post offices.

For those outside Zimbabwe:

1. Please do not delete this message.

2. Please pass it on to anyone on your mailing list who is in Zimbabwe, urging them to take part.

Rural outreach project:

- Get 10 people together.
- Each person brings 50 envelopes (plain brown) and 50 $2 stamps.
- Gather press cuttings (the independent papers, particularly the letters pages are a wealth of critical analysis and insight; I got about 150 cuttings from only a few papers; cartoons are a great way to get the message across)
- Download opposition materials from the MDC Web site at http://www.in2zw.com/mdc (these are in Shona and Ndebele) or collect them from 8th Floor, Eastgate.
- If dealing with identifiable opposition materials is a problem for you, make up your own slogans
- Make photocopies
- Get several out-of-Harare phone books and target addresses of beer halls, butcheries, general dealers, schools, hospitals, clinics, etc.
- Target ZANU(PF) strongholds; for instance Mashonaland East and Gutu (where Muzenda has been campaigning) are good areas to concentrate on.
- Mail them out from a variety of post offices on different days.

The benefits:

- If you've been feeling vulnerable about being seen to be involved with the opposition, this is low risk, private activity. You can make a difference from the safety of your own home. No danger in being seen receiving an ordinary letter.
- Let the PTC carry the message of change around the country.
- People can take part in this initiative all around the country; it's not limited to Harare.
- I'm not too sure how the calculations work but our group mailed out about 400 envelopes. Each person receiving information is likely to share it with at least 5 others. In real terms our mailing is likely to reach 5000 people. If groups of people around Zimbabwe follow this example, it is quite possible that millions of Zimbabweans will end up, if not personally receiving and reading alternative views, certainly discussing them. In some rural areas, Zimbabweans aren't even aware that an alternative to ZANU(PF) exists.
- It is a simple idea that doesn't take much effort; I think that we can all spare $300 and an afternoon in this time of crisis.
- Getting together with friends, having a beer and actively doing something does wonders for the spirits.

Of course, there are likely to be wrong addresses and various other factors that may hamper the efficacy of this project but I don't believe that we should let potential negatives lull us into apathy.

If we all post a few letters, or encourage those we know in Zimbabwe to do so, we can flood the country with pamphlets. Time is short. Get licking! Yes, let's go for it! This is our only chance! People who either don't bother to vote, or vote ZANU(PF) are signing their own death warrant.

The only way to save ourselves, and those we care for, is to vote MDC and make sure everyone else does the same. If ZANU(PF) win, they will conduct a campaign of revenge, the likes of which has never yet been seen in this country, despite Gukurahundi. We cannot let them do this to us. Please therefore tell everyone you know what the situation is, so they can vote wisely -- for the MDC!

Remember, despite what ZANU(PF) say, your vote is precious and secret. Use it wisely -- VOTE MDC. Now is the time for positive change.



Fellow citizens of Zimbabwe. It is with a mixed sense of anxiety and anticipation that I lay my message before you. All Zimbabweans at this juncture in our history, are distressed about the chaotic state of our economy and the pariah status of our political leadership and culture of governance. After twenty years of independent rule we should have more to show for our collective efforts. Today, we stand facing each other, immediately recognising the pain and disillusion that are etched on the faces of the majority of Zimbabweans; a veritable portrait of the betrayed. We are staring into the abyss of despair.

Yet in the face of this oppressive condition, there is for the first time in our post- independence history, the real and substantive possibility of change. Change may come in many forms. At one level it relates to the manner in which we govern ourselves, and in this endeavour there is much to be done. We need to move away from the culture of politics which places patronage before patriotism, corruption before collective ownership of the system of governance, treacherous irregularities before transparency, and an unethical use of legitimacy from the past in order to rationalise the plundering of the present.

One of the greatest failures of our government has been its failure to put in place democratic procedures that could engender the values of accountability, and lay the basis for both the possibility and the capacity for governmental change.

There is also the change that is required in the way we administer our economic affairs. It is not enough to boast about the quantitative changes that have taken place in the fields of education and health since 1980, if your government has failed to develop a sustainable basis for such changes and the capacity to move on to more qualitative developments in these areas. Moreover, buying of sections of your support base may contribute to the possibility of short-term political survival, but it is at the expense of long-term economic growth. Furthermore it is a shameful disregard for the other sections of our society that constitute the majority of Zimbabweans. Unfortunately, such is the irresponsible behaviour of an isolated state, increasingly isolated from its historical moorings, and spiralling towards political oblivion.

The leadership of Zimbabwe is at war on many fronts. Domestically it has declared war against its own people in the form of a genocidal war in Matabeleland; an authoritarian political culture; economic policies that have violated the basic rights of its citizens; and a short-term land policy that threatens to destabilise the food security of this country for the foreseeable future. In the region, the President has led us into a war that cannot be won, in support of a politician whose legitimacy in his own county is balanced on the bayonet point of a foreign army.

In the international sphere, ZANU PF has transformed a country, once much respected in the community of nations, into a state whose leader is commonly perceived as a deranged despot. No amount of rhetoric about nationalism will detract from the disreputable manner in which the possibility of dealing with national issues has been undermined by the arrogance of the present leadership.

In order to tackle such issues, there is need, firstly, to create the conditions for a broad spectrum of consensus. The only consensus that the government understands is that dictated from above; a militarist mentality continues to pervade the structures of the ruling party.

Finally, let me say that change, and more particularly the will and capacity to bring about change, is a gift that we as Zimbabweans have given ourselves. Faced with a greedy, corrupt and insensitive leadership, we have dug deep into ourselves and our daily struggles, in search of a renewal of hope and a replenished desire to say "NO". The rejection of the government's fraudulent draft constitution was more than just a rejection of that entire exercise. It was a refusal of political harassment, a demand for an overhaul of the laws by which we are governed, and an insistence on a re-negotiation of the terms by which we agree to belong to Zimbabwe as a nation.

The roots of these grievances can be found in the colonial period, but in the last twenty years the call for their redress has reached a crescendo which has resonated in every corner of the country. Today we face a government that is threatening war on its own citizens if they fail to endorse its survival. The signs of this threat have been apparent for some time as the President has increasingly militarised the political structures of the state, and given a free hand to the militarised sectors of his support base. He has in effect created the conditions for the militarisation of our politics. This is the ultimate admission of political failure.

Our response as a people must be to mobilise for peace and democracy. Through peaceful campaigning, demonstrations, public meetings and prayer, and most importantly, the use of our vote, we will usher in a peaceful political transition in Zimbabwe.

The time for change is now.


We are approaching a crucial moment in the history of Zimbabwe. A time when we have the opportunity to change the things that are going wrong with Zimbabwe. A time when we have the chance to improve our lives.

But beware of those who are trying to hijack the process of freedom that is the right of every Zimbabwean. ZANU PF knows that it has broken its promises to the people of this great country.

- Because of ZANU PF prices have risen so high that all of us are suffering.

- Because of ZANU PF there are not enough jobs for ourselves or our children.

- Because of ZANU PF the land that was meant to go to the people has been given only to friends of the government.

- Because of ZANU PF the health system can no longer care for us.

- Because of ZANU PF the standard of our children's education is falling.

The MDC knows that it has the support of the people. The MDC has the expertise to change all of these problems if the elections are held in a free and fair manner. The MDC will form a government that cares for all the people of Zimbabwe.

- But ZANU PF is resorting to fear and intimidation to try to stop people from supporting the MDC.

- ZANU PF has stopped the police from carrying out their duty to protect the citizens of Zimbabwe.

- ZANU PF is using their newspapers and the ZBC to spread lies about the MDC.

- ZANU PF is printing MDC posters and T-shirts with false messages.

- ZANU PF is using the threat of war to scare the people of Zimbabwe.

Don't let ZANU PF do these things.

The MDC appeals to all Zimbabweans to protect the rule of law and the principles of freedom which are our right. Together we have the power to change. Together we have the power to improve our lives. Together we have the power to ensure a better life for our children.


In a futile attempt to win the forthcoming elections the ZANU PF Government is resorting to lies, intimidation and violence. ZANU PF knows that Zimbabweans now realise how the government has failed the country and the people.

- Because of ZANU PF prices are too high, there are not enough jobs and the land has been given to friends of the government and not to the people.

- Because of ZANU PF the hospitals cannot care for the people and the schools do not have enough money.

ZANU PF is scared of the MDC. This is why the government is trying to spread lies about the MDC. ZANU PF knows that the MDC is the only party that can bring about positive change in Zimbabwe and improve all our lives.

- The MDC will restore the economy to the benefit of every Zimbabwean.

- The MDC will provide an environment where there will be more jobs for all Zimbabweans.

- The MDC will set up an independent land commission so the people that deserve the land are the ones that get the land.

- The MDC will put an end to the culture of corruption that is stealing money from the pockets of every Zimbabwean.

- The MDC will ensure that education and health are restored to the level necessary to care for the people of this country.

But to stop the MDC winning the elections ZANU PF is spreading lies about the party and it's leaders. It has originated a fake document entitled "MDC Undertakings in Exchange for Anglo-American Sponsorship". In response to this document the MDC wants to assure the people of Zimbabwe that:

- The MDC will not repeal the War Veterans Act.

- The MDC will not sell parastatals to foreign governments.

- The MDC will not cut civil service salaries.

- The MDC will not restructure the police force on the lines suggested by ZANU PF.

- The MDC will not abolish the minimum wage.

- The MDC will not favour whites.

ZANU PF is also paying thugs to cause violence and intimidate the people. These tactics will not work. After 20 years the people can no longer trust ZANU PF and they see through the desperate measures of a desperate government.

People of Zimbabwe, we have a chance to improve our lives. Let us not miss this opportunity. We must beware of the lies spread by ZANU PF and we must be brave in the face of intimidation. We have suffered for the past twenty years. With an MDC government we will not have to suffer any longer.


- MDC is ready to lead Zimbabwe and has worked out a comprehensive economic recovery plan focused on stabilising and reconstructing Zimbabwe's economy. The plan will see the country being able to create jobs, pay off its debts, stabilise prices of basic commodities and provide health, housing and education services to the citizens.

- MDC strongly believes in land reform. It is offering to implement a genuine well planned land reform programme that will see land acquired for resettlement going only to those that are in need of it and not politicians.

- MDC will set up an anti-corruption commission to deal with corruption both in government and in the private sector.

- MDC will, soon after getting into government, begin a people driven constitutional reform programme that will ensure that fundamental rights of citizens will be respected that government will not be able to abuse its power and that tyranny will never return again.

- MDC is committing itself to the elimination of all forms of discrimination. In particular MDC strongly believes that women must have the same rights and opportunities as men.

- MDC identifies with and is committed to the protection and advancement of the interests of the workers, peasants and ordinary Zimbabweans.

- MDC will put an end to lawlessness. It believes that everyone should be equal before the law and that the law should be administered by impartial courts.

- MDC will ensure that public broadcasting media such as radio and television give a fair and balanced coverage of different views including those views which may not be shared by MDC when it comes into government.

- MDC is firmly committed to genuine democracy and will ensure that before the MDC government takes important decisions, the views of the people are fully taken into account.

- MDC is committed to national integration and will cultivate a culture of co-existence of communities that celebrates our diversity.


Priority 1: Address Current Economic Crisis

- Withdraw troops from DRC.

- Privatise government parastatals.

- Address government expenditure.

- Reduce head count & increase efficiency within civil service.

- Solicit international support, including I.M.F. and World Bank, to address foreign exchange shortages and economic management credibility.

- Implement export and investment incentives.

- Review local money markets and tax legislation

- Implement effective self-help schemes for rural community empowerment.

Priority 2: Land Reform Policy

- An equitable, transparent and economically sound land distribution policy.

- Establish an independent Land Commission encompassing all concerned parties.

- 5 to 10 year plan to convert communal areas to title holdings.

- Establish sufficient and viable support infrastructure in resettlement areas.

- Utilise the land already acquired (over 2 million hectares).

- Scrutinise multiple farm holders.

- Protect the existing commercial and communal farming sectors.

Priority 3: Address Wide Spread Corruption

- Assess the level of prejudice through a National Audit.

- Implement strict controls to abolish corruption.

- Establish independent anti-corruption units.

- Establish independent Tender Board.

- Implement nation-wide crime reduction policy.

Priority 4: Revisit the Constitution

- Implement a democratically sound constitution, compiled on a transparent, irreversible and accountable framework.

- Ensure the constitution is embodied in an appropriate legal framework.

Priority 5: Address Social Issues

- Education

~ Principle Focus on education as the foundation of Zimbabwe's future.

~ Rehabilitation of existing educational infrastructure to address quality issues, and ensure global relevance.

- Health

~ Rehabilitation of current health delivery system.

~ Implement a campaign for preventative health care.

~ Health Education for all.

- Housing

~ Key area for economic development and employment generation.

~ Establish National Housing Fund.


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Brief list of helpful sites on the issue:
- Comprehensive news updates -- http://www.1freespace.com/beetee
- Offers of and requests for help for Zimbabweans -- http://pub9.ezboard.com/boffersofhelp
- Commercial Farmers' Union -- http://www.mweb.co.zw/cfu
- Movement for Democratic Change -- http://www.in2zw.com/mdc
- Zimbabwe Democracy Trust -- http://www.zimbabwedemocracytrust.org
- BSAP Pursuit of Zimbabwean Criminals -- http://www.bsaphq.f9.co.uk