• 16 Mar, 2022
  • Office of the President

Speech by President Elisabeth Valerio During the 16 March 2022 Media Launch

Ladies and gentlemen, fellow patriots, statesmen, United Zimbabwe Alliance Executive, National and Provincial Leadership, Representatives of Civic Society, Captains of Industry, The Clergy and Members of the media fraternity, leaders of other political parties and our traditional leaders.  All Protocol observed.

We are in a time when as a nation, we need to come together and realize our power, and unite under one vision with a mission and purpose to safeguard and secure the future of our country. Our work will not be meaningful without acknowledging the contributions of our brave liberation fighters. They are the reason we have our freedom as a nation. We remain indebted to them. They sacrificed and  risked their lives, left their homes for the realization of an idea that Zimbabwe should be free and be for Zimbabweans with liberty , justice and sovereignty being the chief cornerstone to our society.

We are gathered today in difficulty times, in a very unusual phase of our life as a nation. Times like these call for decisiveness and require us to be intentional. Our gathering here is no coincidence.  The independence of 1980 was to many the dawn of a new Zimbabwe - under majority rule, with freedom, equality before the law, equal access to resources, equal access to means of production, equal access to land. This remains a dream in the hearts of many. That Zimbabwe was never delivered. Many of our mothers and fathers died before that Zimbabwe was fulfilled.  It has remained a promise which was never delivered.

On the 29th of May 2021, gathered in one place - people of diverse backgrounds sat and had a conversation. An extraordinary conversation which gave birth to a plan of action. The whole idea was to create a conduit through which an all-time dream of a successful Zimbabwe would become a reality. Common among us, the men and women on that day, the 29th May 2021, was the idea that Zimbabwe must be preserved for Zimbabweans.  During the period when we gathered - foreigners were being granted special grants to explore and mine in conservation areas - in sacred areas. Our people - forcefully removed from their ancestral homes - from their culture. Not to mention the adverse impact of such activities on the tourism sector in our country.

As a nation we were all facing serious challenges. Water shortages, poor roads, inadequate public transport, unjustifiable and entrenched privilege and inequality, inconsistent policies, human rights abuses, lack of independence of our judiciary, manipulation of our security forces, unemployment, looting of natural endowments, manmade poverty and more. Some people in our country have never had a job – not because they don’t want one - but because - there are no jobs.

The conversation on 29 May escalated to a plan of action to create a citizens engagement platform that would build a new government in waiting. Suggestions were put forward to establish a pressure group that would compel the government to formulate policies and structures for economic recovery and equal distribution of resources, but we unanimously agreed as we were constituted then that what Zimbabwe is lacking is political will among the current leadership. That cannot be achieved by pressure groups. What the situation requires is the rise of a government with people at heart, willing to bring all the people of Zimbabwe on board and build our country. Zimbabwe is undoubtedly in crisis and we need to be our own heroes and heroines. Our predecessors played their part well and now the onus is on us to play ours.

On 29 May 2021, the United Zimbabwe Alliance was formed, and I was elected the President. As President of United Zimbabwe Alliance, I pledge to the nation of Zimbabwe that when I’m elected President in 2023, I will be a President for all the people of Zimbabwe.  I will bring equal treatment to every citizen regardless of their political affiliation past and present. That’s why if you look at our slogan, it says, Ngatibatanei tichivaka Zimbabwe. Let this message of unity be in all our hearts. 

Before we belong to different political parties, we are all Zimbabweans, before we belonged to different political views and ideologies, we are brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces. We are all Zimbabweans. Zimbabweans must no longer be divided.  No one must die because of different political views.  We must nurture a politically plural Zimbabwe based on ideas and ideologies. The use of blackmail, intimidation and coersion is regressive and detrimental to our social development.  No Zimbabwean must die or be hurt because of elections.

United Zimbabwe Alliance as a citizens engagement platform is bringing all Zimbabweans together for the purpose of building our country and our communities. We, the people know what they want and we have the capacity - no one is coming to save us.  Only Zimbabweans can build Zimbabwe.

United Zimbabwe Alliance as a citizens engagement platform comes at a time when there is no other party with an agenda that is genuinely for the people of Zimbabwe. There have been some with political chants “simba kuvanhu” or “amandla ebantwini” by a number of political parties but there has always been a consistent lack of genuineness and intentionality of consciousness. United Zimbabwe Alliance is a political party which champions genuine and practical citizen engagement in the process of building the country. We are redefining democracy to reflect the true desires of our people.

In this regard our vision statement brings to the fore the following:

Active participation in public affairs and nation building by the people of Zimbabwe and the achievement of sustainable economic growth commensurate with our natural endowments.

 Some politicians make political statements at rallies, claiming they represent the true desires of the people. This has always been a political play. True citizen engagement is what United Zimbabwe Alliance is doing as a government in waiting. We, as UZA have spent the past nine months meeting with and engaging citizens in all 10 provinces and those in diaspora to shape an agenda for building Zimbabwe. Our nation is blessed with skills and great minds which when engaged will positively contribute to the development of our country.

Central to our message is the need to ensure sustainability is achieved in all our political and economic activities across the nation. We are a practical political party, with a roadmap for what we are going to do for our nation’s economic recovery. We have a robust plan of our Priorities, Anchored on Sustainable Development. We strive to see people working, building better lives. Not waiting until 2023 - doing it now. We believe in shared responsibility and action. We are a party of action - not mere promises like those that have been made before. We will start to develop Zimbabwe now before we are even voted into office.

The 2023 election is going to be one of the most unusual elections of our time. For the first time in history the citizens of Zimbabwe will be accorded the opportunity to elect a government that genuinely represents the will of the people. For the first time the Zimbabwean people will have an opportunity to elect leaders who are solutions driven - not mere public speakers, orators or career politicians. Zimbabwe needs solutions not sheer regurgitation of the problems. People have come to a realization that the messiah is one that comes with solutions not a commentator who repeats what is already common cause. We all know what we are going through.

We are committed to solving once and for all the problems we face in Zimbabwe. Together with the citizens of Zimbabwe, we will build a first-class nation which the world will respect. Our country is blessed with everything it needs and has the resources  necessary to ensure that every Zimbabwean has a decent standard of life. The UZA government will make sure that every Zimbabwean is given an equal opportunity to succeed regardless of who they are, where they come from or what their backgrounds is.

We know that there is no country in the world that can prosper without it’s own currency. We cannot bank on someone else’s currency. As it stands, we are not truly independent as we don’t control our fiscus. The UZA government will implement economic policies (both fiscal and monitory prudence) that will ensure that we have our own strong and stable currency. We will revive existing industries and build innovative new ones in various sectors of the economy. We will place greater emphasis on local manufacturing – reducing the import of goods and services that can be developed and provided locally.

Every child must be given an equal start in life, with a quality education. The UZA government will provide every primary school student with the same standard of education, in well-equipped classrooms, no matter where a child lives.  Schools in the rural areas will be just as good as schools in towns, and education will be free for every primary school child. 

We support innovation, research and development, science, technology, engineering and math learning – the tools needed to create and build the Zimbabwe we all want.

We will build top tier universities, technical training schools and research facilities.  We will bring our teachers back, we will bring our scientists, we will bring our doctors, we will bring back our engineers.  Working in Zimbabwe will become a highly sought-after opportunity in an economy where families can thrive. We will restore the dignity and integrity of our governmental institutions and of our society.  We will rebuild and modernize our infrastructure, our roads, our hospitals, our local governments. 

Zimbabweans will no longer cross borders in search of a better livelihood. Our children will no longer go abroad in search of a higher education. We will have all that we need here.  But..  none of this will be possible Zimbabwe, if we don’t register to vote and turn up to vote.  As citizens, we must all do our part to elect a new government, the UZA government. 

For the 26 March By-Elections, UZA has 4 candidates standing for MPs.  In 2023, we will ask you the citizens to elect an entire UZA government – we will have candidates standing as MPs and councilors in all constituencies throughout Zimbabwe.  As UZA, we will ensure that voting is strictly monitored. We will make sure that we have polling agents at each and every polling station. We will defend UZA votes.  We call upon the international community to bolster our efforts by monitoring the election process.

Ladies and gentlemen, fellow patriots and statesmen, esteemed leaders and change makers let these words be the beginning of a new hope and a reason to once again believe, in our country, our freedom and our vision of a united and prosperous Zimbabwe.