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MDC faction putting itself above people’s interests

FROM latest media reports it would seem that the struggle within the leadership of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is not going to be resolved.

The funda

mental issues facing the MDC are about leadership and the strategy needed to remove dictatorship from power.

The process by which the MDC’s national council reached its decision to participate in the senate election demonstrates, yet again, the ineffectiveness of the MDC leadership as presently constituted.

If there is a single so-called leader within the ranks of the MDC who believes for one moment that continuing with the farce of electoral politics will in any way address the real issues facing this nation then they are either Zanu PF infiltrators, self-serving parasites wishing to live off a life in politics or are so politically naïve as to be useless to the struggle.

The only half-hearted argument I have heard in favour of participating is to defend “political space”. That some genuinely well-meaning persons can hide behind this absurdly naïve argument is doubly frustrating.

Have those “leaders” who want to participate in these elections learned nothing from the experiences of the past five years? If they have not, then they should either resign or be removed from office.

Following the inevitable passage of the constitutional amendment by our “rubber-stamp” parliament in which the word “honourable” has lost any semblance of meaning, the task of the MDC leadership was to explain to the people why participation in the elections for this senate would be fundamentally wrong and counterproductive.

At the same time they had to offer the people, especially those in areas of strong electoral support, an alternative programme of action to combat this evil regime.

Let those who claim that Morgan Tsvangirai has “placed himself above both the council and the constitution of the MDC” be reminded that they in turn are putting themselves above the interests of the people – people who have no jobs, people who are hungry, people who are homeless, people who have no hope, people who are dying, people who have been looking to the MDC for leadership and direction.

Let the opposition regroup and rededicate itself to the fundamental task of removing this regime and introducing a new constitution. But let them this time learn from the mistakes of the past and let them abandon the political charades of Zimbabwean parliamentary politics in favour of the politics of mass action.

I have often referred in the past to the lessons that can be learnt from the courage and leadership provided by the likes of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King. There is another lesson from history that is perhaps of relevance to the present situation within the MDC: the removal of Neville Chamberlain as British prime minister because of his naïve and ineffective attempts to oppose a regime whose ruthlessness he could not comprehend.

Would Hitler have been defeated if Winston Churchill had not raised the flag of defiance and committed the British people to effective opposition to a dictator?

Let a people-driven leadership begin by organising a boycott of the senate elections. Let it demonstrate its capacity to mobilise the masses.

RES Cook,


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