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MPs must not take politics as life career

WITH only two months left for the historic harmonised elections — providing a chance, God willing, to liberate Zimbabwe hopefully once and for all — I am surprised that the MDC leadership is still dithering on whether to unite before the polls.

I read almost daily that the issue stopping the potential unification is that some sitting MDC MPs want to cling on to their constituencies without going through primary elections just for the silly reason that their terms were cut short by two years. These are the people who cry for democracy day in and day out while they are trying to hang on to their dear “jobs” as MPs.

Politics is not a life career; it’s not employment. Politics is service to the people, whether for one day or for 10 years. But politicians must get the mandate to serve from the people.

It is a shame that the noble idea to achieve unity will be scuttled by a few selfish people. I doubt very much if some of our politicians are there to serve Zimbabwe and its people.

Power indeed corrupts. One point that the MDC MPs should remember is that people did not elect them because of their election promises or their standing in society. People voted for the party above individuals.

They should ask former MP Munyaradzi Gwisai. He will tell them the truth about MDC supporters.

Although there is a great potential of dividing votes in favour of Zanu PF in the event that Arthur Mutambara and Welshman Ncube choose to cause confusion through fielding separate candidates, I don’t think it will be of great significance.

I am sure the people of Zimbabwe know what they want, who they want to govern them and in the case of the MDC I am sure there is no need for debate. MDC supporters know their leader in Gwanda, Matobo, Nyanga and Buhera, and across Zimbabwe people only know Morgan Tsvangirai.

So if the MDC unites it is only because some members of the breakaway faction now realise that their political careers could be over within two months.

Take Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga in Glen View. Can she stand a chance against any candidate supported by Tsvangirai and Tendai Biti?

Take Job Sikhala in St Mary’s. Does he stand a chance against any candidate representing the mainstream MDC of Tsvangirai?

People have short memories. I remember in 2000, soon after elections we had to move around with Remius Makuwaza introducing him to the people way after he had won the elections. When the people voted they were just looking for the MDC symbol, not the individual candidate.

The MDC started as a project to liberate Zimbabwe and that dream goes on with or without anyone who thinks he or she is so important that Zimbabwe cannot do without them. The struggle continues, driven by people.

With or without unity, the people must decide who represents them through primary elections to avoid in-fighting and permanent damage within the movement. Anyone who dreams of retaining a seat unopposed must join any undemocratic party they want.

I am confident that the Tsvangirai MDC will never allow people to hang on to their seats without going through primaries. Nobody should be above the MDC except for the masses.

Elijah Mangwengwende,


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