DUMISANI Muleya and Joram Nyathi’s commentaries on MDC goings-on, “MDC in shambles: what is to be done?” and “There is room for synergies”, (Zimbabwe Independent, March 24), made very interesting reading.
I could not
agree more with the two for dismissing both Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara and their respective factions of MDC as full of “hot air” and empty “rhetoric”. However, their call for MDC unity is illogical and bizarre to say the least.
Zanu PF and PF Zapu saw the suffering and humiliation of the black majority because of the injustice of white colonial exploitation and racism and used these grievances to demand political change.
President Mugabe and his fellow nationalists got the political power they wanted. People however did not get basic freedoms, human rights and the economic prosperity they had yearned for.
Today the MDC too is using the suffering and despair of the ordinary Zimbabweans to justify their demand for political change after years of Zanu PF mismanagement and political tyranny.
In 2000 and 2002 Tsvangirai came very close to winning political power. There was every sign then and now that the people would not get the freedoms, among other things, they had yearned for.
The MDC, like Zanu PF before them, has always suffered from a lack of political credibility. Whilst they were quick to point out the injustice of the white colonial regime or that of the ruling Zanu PF, they all failed to say how their regime will end the prevailing injustices.
The sheer hostility to any opposing point of view even within the individual parties themselves leaves the whole nation in no doubt that the parties do not care about such things as freedom of expression. What both Zanu PF and the MDC care about is political power, full stop.
Zanu PF’s love of political power is etched in the country’s history and (we) the people have paid dearly for it. Elias Mudzuri, fired former executive mayor of Harare, showed us all what he stood for — the mansion, posh mayoral cars, etc.
He wanted all that his Zanu PF predecessors had. Of course that was the last thing on the ratepayers’ mind and this paper tried to point that out — repeatedly — but to no avail. Mudzuri’s shameless greed did not do the MDC any favours. Given his recent election within the party ranks, he is now organising secretary of the Tsvangirai faction — proof of the party’s low values and principles.
Both Zanu PF and the MDC know they have a credibility gap. Their answer was to fill the gap with “hot air” and “rhetoric”.
Zanu PF has one advantage that the MDC does not have in their fight to get public support — fear. The country’s armed struggle waged by Zanu PF served the purpose of forcing the whites out of power, but even more significantly, the party’s military prowess helped cow the public.
Whilst many Zimbabweans would agree that there was no quality leadership in both Zanu and Zapu before and after Independence, unfortunately that did not dampen calls for the two parties’ unity.
There was the half-hearted unity before Independence that gave the two parties the Patriotic Front “tail”. The two signed the unity accord in 1987 following the bloody fight for political dominance. What did that achieve? Nothing! We still have an incompetent, corrupt and tyrannical regime following the unity of Zanu PF and PF Zapu.
Zimbabwe will not be any better off under a united MDC than it is under tyrannical united Zanu PF rule.
I would be the first to admit that there are some quality individuals in the MDC just as there were in Zanu PF. The late Bernard Chidzero is one example. The trouble is, these quality individuals compromised their principles, I suppose in the interest of unity. Half a glass of milk plus half a glass of sewage does not equal a full glass of milk, but a full glass of sewage!
If there was quality in any of the MDC factions, then calls for unity would be relevant. Indeed, if both factions had quality, then the nation would greatly benefit from the creative competitive spirit that would result. With a bit of luck, even the present lot of the MDC factions may benefit from the competition.
If a united MDC with its current crop of leaders with dubious democratic values was to win political power, my guess is Muleya, Nyathi, and many Independent reporters and critics who have contributed to your paper would not sleep easy. The many Zanu PF oppressive laws would be used by the MDC to silence us all. Think about it!