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Politicians Cutting Deals For Themselves

I AM terribly sorry Joram Nyathi that I have procrastinated in respect of responding.


I hope you will be kind enough to indulge me this time as I have been under various pressures from all angles so that my correspondence has suffered.

You and I agree on a number of things, not least of all the need to keep a vigilant eye and not become advocates for politicians.

I have, I like to think, a healthy scepticism in respect of politicians, whom I have often referred to as a tribe on its own –– no matter their political affiliations.

For me these talks are yet another manifestation of this “tribe mentality” –– they are cutting deals for themselves and I only worry when I see ordinary men and women fighting each other physically or verbally, putting their lives on the line for politicians.

This trait I have seen in Zanu PF supporters but also more worryingly, in MDC supporters also.

The levels of hate that I often see worry me because it seems to me that we have not moved an inch from the Zanu PF political culture.

I sometimes say, we claim we are fighting to get rid of ZPF but there is a ZPF in every one of us!

Now, the points you mention are right although I would protest that if I appeared indulgent it was not by design and I would raise my hands and take it as an error in my expression.

I think you recall that I have been critical of the MDC and Mr Tsvangirai –– indeed some of his most ardent supporters would have thought I am against them! Yet the Herald’s acid-tongued Nathaniel Manheru would attack me once or twice as an indefatigable Tsvangirai supporter. These attacks being marks of battle that we both have in common!

So it’s almost a lose-lose situation but I have always been guided by my desire to contribute to the development of good politics and individual personalities are the least of my concern. I think a lot of mistakes were made in the last election, not least the arrogance that caused a failure to unify the two formations.

That cost the MDC very dearly, even though fanatical supporters, guided only by their hatred of personalities in the other formation would protest that it did them no harm but deep down, the leaders must know they made mistakes.

The hand of the foreigners has never been a good sight in the MDC and this seemed to influence decisions in the run-up to June 27.

If I can predict one thing, it is that the MDC might face great difficulties reconciling its local position, as agreed with ZPF and the interests of its foreign benefactors.

Managing that balance will be crucial to its very existence going forward.

As for vacillation –– I was one of the first to accuse the MDC of “flip-flopping” and failing to have consistency.

I have also criticised its poor handling of information given its multi-mouthed character –– this spokesman here and another spokesman there –– each one saying a different thing! So, I understand your concern and the points you raise –– I can only say that since you probably come across some of my other work you will understand that I have also raised similar concerns elsewhere but I admit that this single article may not have been critical enough of the MDC.

Thanks a lot for the dialogue and keep up the good work!

Alex T Magaisa,



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