Zim ex-finance minister launches political party

Zimbabwe’s former finance minister Simba Makoni on Wednesday launched a new opposition party that promises to “clean up” the country’s political landscape.

Mavambo Kusile Dawn (MKD), meaning “The Beginning of a New Dawn” in the Shona language, was launched at a low-key event in Mbare township, southwest of Harare.

“We are launching this party on a mission to clean up the politics of Zimbabwe,” Makoni, who is the party’s interim leader, told a group of supporters.

“We offer ourselves to support and assist the inclusive government, we have resources at our disposal so that Zimbabwe can get working again,” said Makoni.

In 2001 Makoni publicly admitted that Zimbabwe’s economy was in a state of crisis as poverty was spreading at an alarming rate.

“I would have to be foolish to deny what is evident to everybody in broad daylight, even in the darkness of night,” he said at the time.

The following year he quit his position as finance minister, citing policy differences with President Robert Mugabe.

The 59-year-old Makoni has been denounced by Mugabe as a “prostitute” of the West and a “bloated frog” following his resignation from the Zanu-PF in 2008.

He then wanted to contest the controversial March 2008 presidential election as an independent candidate.

He landed third behind Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai and Mugabe.

Zimbabwe was then forced into a June runoff plagued by political violence and Tsvangirai pulled out of the race.

“I offer a team of fresh leaders, largely young leaders, a team of leaders who come without baggage who are motivated by serving the people not power, not greed,” Makoni said.

The party’s policies aim to guarantee the rights of citizens in the country, decentralise government operations and improve the quality of lives for all citzens.

The Leeds University-educated Mukoni holds a degree in chemistry and zoology.

Makoni has escaped accusations of corruption which have bedevilled most of Mugabe’s inner circle over the last decade.—Sapa-AFP

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