Saturday, April 30, 2011

Address by the President of the Movement for Democratic Change, The Right Honourable Morgan Tsvangirai welcoming the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya, Mr. Raila Odinga to the MDC’s Third Party Congress

Bulawayo, Friday 29 April, 2011

The Right Honourable Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya, Mr. Raila Odinga
Members of the National Standing Committee
Members of the National Executive and Council
Representatives of the Trade Unions and Civil Society
Members of the Diplomatic Corp,
Invited Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Comrades and Friends,

Ladies and Gentlemen, our party and indeed Zimbabwe, is blessed and chosen.

It is with great pleasure that I welcome to this historic Congress, our beloved brother, Comrade, an Icon and Friend of our struggle, The Right Honourable Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya, Mr. Raila Odinga.

Prime Minister Odinga was born on January 7, 1945, in Maseno, Kisumu District, Nyanza Province. He has served as a Member of Parliament for Langata since 1992, was Minister of Energy from 2001 to 2002, and was Minister of Roads, Public Works and Housing from 2003 to 2005.

He was the main opposition candidate in the disputed 2007 presidential election. The Right Honourable Prime Minister Odinga took office in April 2008 and served as a supervisor of a national unity coalition government.

Prime Minister Odinga is the son of the first Vice President of Kenya, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga; Raila's brother, Oburu Odinga, is also currently a Member of Parliament (MP).

Out of the 2007 elections, his party, ODM, got 99 out of 210 seats in the parliament, making the ODM the single largest party in parliament.
Right Honourable Prime Minister, we in the people’s party of excellence, MDC and indeed all Zimbabweans, are proud to have you at this Congress.

The people’s party of excellence, MDC, the majority party in parliament today, is a pro-poor, people-centred social democratic and non-racial movement.

We believe in Constitutionalism, the rule of law and the respect for all the basic freedoms that make a society vibrant. These are the rights that we in Zimbabwe are fighting to enjoy.

Mr Prime Minister, I can assure you that the struggle of the people of the Republic of Kenya and Zimbabwe is the same.

And indeed we share the same goal and objective, that is, to democratize Africa and to make our motherland successful and prosperous and to be counted among many.

We have seen in recent years the rise of post-liberation parties, in Kenya, Zimbabwe and recently in Ivory Coast. This is a sign of generational transformation, the rise of a new group of African leaders concerned with the welfare and future of their people.

A new group of leaders that forms new, dynamic partnerships and embraces new technology to improve the lives of their people.

You are one such leader Mr Prime Minister and we thank you for joining us today at this historic Congress.

With these few remarks, it is my singular honour and privilege to invite you, Right Honourable Prime Minister Odinga to take the floor.

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