MOST people, myself included, were relieved by Professor Arthur Mutambara’s acceptance speech in which he said his mission was to reunite the MDC.
Most of us were wondering how he was going to achieve this, considering that he had already taken sides by accepting the
presidency of the pro-senate group.
Even within the pro-senate group itself, Mutambara’s decision to accept the post did not go down well with others, among them Gift Chimanikire, who could have been promised the presidency.
He did acknowledge MDC president, Morgan Tsvangirai, as a hero and spoke strongly about the need to forget the past and move forward.
A week or so later, Mutambara was quoted in the media saying: “How do we talk about a regime which is criminal and violent when we ourselves are carrying out violent acts and violating our own party rules? We won’t be qualified to fight Mugabe if we are little Mugabes.”
His statements were obviously aimed at Tsvangirai.
Mutambara has obviously not had time to do a careful analysis of the situation, and must have relied more on information supplied to him by officials of the pro-senate faction.
He obviously has not heard about the acts of violence committed by members of his own faction against members of the other faction.
He should certainly have heard about people who lost their eyes and teeth at the hands of activists from the faction that he leads.
I personally do not condone violence — whether committed by Zanu PF, the MDC or the faction led by Mutambara, who should refrain from laying accusations before verifying his facts.
Mutambara clearly stated his position on the senate and other government institutions, saying: “My position was that the MDC should have boycotted those senate elections. Not only that, I was for the total withdrawal from parliament and all the other election-based institutions.”
The hope of many Zimbabweans was that he would quickly consult with his colleagues with a view of persuading them to pull out of the senate, parliament and all other offices obtained through dubious elections.
However, a few weeks down the line, Mutambara talks of preparations for elections: “Even if we have to fight elections under the current constitution, we will build an opposition so strong and formidable that if Mugabe tries to rig elections, it will be impossible for him to get away with it.”
Has Mutambara already been convinced that his party will contest any future elections, even if Mugabe calls for an election for a toilet care-taker?
Some will argue that Mutambara needs more time to put his house in order, but so far, he has not yet lived up to his acceptance speech.
The best is for us to watch and see.