PEOPLE who have reacted to Jonathan Moyo’s series of articles on events surrounding the Tsholotsho Declaration, “Tsholotsho saga: the untold story”, (Zimbabwe Independent, April 14, 21 and 28) have almost always failed to confront the fact and substance of the articles, preferring i
nstead to attack the man and question his integrity and motives.
It is easy for armchair critics to punch their keyboards and write opinion pieces criticising the government and the ruling party when they have a very faint understanding of how the system operates.
I personally found Moyo’s chronicle of events to be enlightening, as they clearly show us how Zanu PF can abuse power and use fear as a weapon to silence dissent.
The fine details of what really transpired in Tsholotsho would obviously be of interest to Zanu PF enthusiasts, but the fact that the party had to bend the rules to please President Mugabe and powerful people in the party shows us that as a country we are still miles away from understanding the meaning of democracy, let alone embracing all that it entails. It is difficult not to draw parallels with the events leading to the split of the opposition MDC.
While I do not agree with Moyo’s verdict that had the Tsholotsho Declaration been adopted, Zimbabwe would have been a better country, I believe his exposure is a valuable lesson for Zimbabwean politics.
For as long as we are afraid of challenging the status quo and allow leaders to do as they please, we will forever be taken for granted and our miseries will never end. If one is comforted by the knowledge that there were some people in Zanu PF who tried to make a difference, one is quickly disappointed to learn that the “dissidents” were swiftly silenced and never did anything about it.
People can accept that power and politics are always inseparable. However, I do not believe that wilful violation of rules and protocols is acceptable under any circumstances.
In the MDC, those who strongly felt that rules had been bent decided to break away from the powerful bloc. That the breakaway faction proved to be less popular than the powerful bloc is immaterial. Sometimes politics is not just about numbers, it is also about principles.
Hudson Yemen Taivo,