By Phillip Pasirayi
ONE of the stories that made the headlines on national television on Monday was the misleading claim by the MDC deputy secretary-general Gift Chimanikire that Morgan Tsvangirai destroyed
There are many flaws in this statement which I wish to highlight.
It is wrong in the first place to argue that the MDC has been destroyed.
There is nothing that points to the demise of the party because its organs are still intact despite the bickering by an MDC minority, that is, members of the so-called “Top 6” that in the past, I and other writers have equated to an undemocratic institution such as the politburo in Zanu PF.
The grassroots of the MDC is well-oiled as exemplified by the number of people who turn up at Tsvangirai’s rallies countrywide, except that it is continuously betrayed by a tribalistic, timorous and incompetent leadership.
We have not heard about defections of MDC members since the 2002 Zanu PF-concocted resignations from the opposition party.
Leaders of the MDC must be clear in their intentions rather than take the people for granted. What is baffling about Chimanikire’s claims is that they came barely two days after he declared his ambitions to challenge Tsvangirai at the MDC congress.
It is wrong for Chimanikire to challenge Tsvangirai in a manner that weakens the MDC and takes away people’s trust in the party.
Chimanikire has adopted a “scorched earth policy” by destroying everything in his way so that he gains pre-eminence in the MDC.
Members of the pro-senate faction, who until recently, used to argue that they had lost confidence in the country’s judiciary, must also be honest with Zimbabweans and explain why all of a sudden they now say the courts can impartially resolve MDC problems.
It is a pity that one member of this faction, himself a professor of constitutional law, still can trust the courts and want them to adjudicate in MDC disputes. The implications of taking Tsvangirai to court on the allegations that he is flouting conditions for his suspension are far-reaching and may see the complete demise of the MDC, which is what people like Chimanikire want.
There is a possibility that Tsvangirai is going to be barred from conducting party business on the basis of his suspension. If he defies this order, he will be arrested around the time that the MDC should be going to congress so that he does not seek re-election as MDC president.
This will be done so that presidential aspirant, Chimanikire, who so far has proved a willing tool of Zanu PF, emerges the winner.
Zanu PF is more comfortable with Chimanikire as MDC president than Tsvangirai because they know that he is an “ignoramus”. No serious electorate would entrust power in such a person.
The other likely scenario from the court challenge is that the battle will be protracted and be manipulated by Zanu PF to suit its own agenda. If Tsvangirai refuses to surrender party assets, police will intervene in the name of enforcing the law and as such expose the MDC regarding what it has and what it does not have, including where it got some of the assets.
We are certainly poised for more interesting times ahead of the MDC congress but we might be going there without the man who is a hero to many people fighting for democracy in Zimbabwe!
* Phillip Pasirayi is a civil rights activist.