POLITICAL violence and godfather politics and general impunity threaten the stability of the MDC today.
The “restaurant elections” in Bulawayo give us a lot of lessons. In fact this indispline on the part of Thokozani Khupe and
Theresa Makone brought to the fore the existence behind the scenes of powerful political sponsors/godfathers to whom it seems the MDC leaders are beholden. Why is the Theresa Makone circus being allowed to show when its crystal clear its destroying the party?
Political violence it seems has also become an accepted way of winning elections and maintaining power. Survey after survey underscores the declining respect for our leaders among party supporters. The treatment of Lucia Matibenga helps explain why. The methods of our leaders have left so many people feeling disempowered and excluded from the national project.
Our leaders are leading by hectoring sidelining and stifling rather than by inspiring. They want us to believe that a leader should lead and followers follow.
They now believe that politics is the domain of the few to be conducted in corridors and behind closed doors in “restaurants”. They now believe that power is won and lost through conspiracy. But this style of politics, because of the rise of mass participatory democracy, cannot work anymore.
Democracy created with care can also perish. Democracy cannot be imposed, it seems. Therefore the MDC should seriously embark and insist on the tradition of collective leadership.
Our leaders should seek the cooperation of actual or potential allies of all hues and sizes. Our leaders should always insist that their achievements are attributable to the collective with whom they serve.
Restaurant coups, backbiting and godfather politics should be discarded with the contempt of political rubbish.
By nurturing the best of our traditions the MDC through self-renewal, trials and tribulations will ensure it remains relevant to the national project.