IT is not often that Zimbabweans are spoiled by politicians who take their chances to engage them directly, eye-ball-to-eye-ball, talking straight the way Arthur Mutambara, president of the MDC pro-senate faction, did in London on May 9.
Those interested in numbers were not disappointed, it was a full house.
Much has been covered in the media about Mutambara, but one has got to see him in person to make a better judgement of the man.
When Mutambara and his delegation comprising Welshman Ncube and Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga arrived at the venue in Wood Green, it was apparent they knew that the gathering was expecting them to articulate issues, so they refrained from sloganeering and singing.
Misihairabwi-Mushonga highlighted the dilemma the MDC encountered after the infamous October 12 national council meeting.
She expressed her disgust at how Morgan Tsvangirai had made reference to the possibility that the party could split because of the decision he was going to take on the way forward in respect of the senate election.
She appealed for Solomonic wisdom in solving the issue of their differences with the Tsvangirai-led MDC.
Ncube conceded no one was perfect in the MDC dilemma, but added that lack of accountability and transparency in the way Tsvangirai was operating had reached unacceptable levels.
He made reference to investigations by the MDC into alleged violence perpetrated against party members and flouting of their founding principles and values.
He said it was increasingly getting difficult to point out the wrongs without being labelled a sell-out, Zanu PF sympathiser or a tribalist.
Ncube said it was becoming impossible to hold Tsvangirai to account without risking the wrath of rogue youths at Harvest House who have access to party resources, thus making them susceptible to abuse, given their economic vulnerability.
Ncube’s position could thus be summed up: “You can’t run with the hare and hunt with the hounds indefinitely.”
Mutambara urged Zimbabweans to stand up and be counted. He told the gathering: “Zimbabwe is in a crisis that requires generational intervention. A new generation of Zimbabweans must step up to the plate and be counted. History will never absolve them if they do not rise to the challenge.”
Mutambara asserted that there was enough space for everyone in his party and encouraged the gathering to “join my brother Morgan Tsvangirai if you wish or Zanu PF if that is where you find resonance, but the ‘do nothing’ years are over”.
Mutambara said diasporans had a role to play in the development of their country by leveraging their remittances, expertise and networks.
Mutambara said people should challenge politicians over content of their change agenda and called for consultations to strengthen and sustain the resultant change.
After discussions with other Zimbabweans who attended the meeting, I was persuaded to think that breaking up could be a healthy sign of growth, and out of splits emerge great parties.