Candid Comment: Hell Hath No Fury Like A Sister Insulted

Sister Petina,
THANK you very much for your comments (BOTTOM OF PAGE).

 

I have received dozens this week, some quite insulting. But I have ignored most. You are not so lucky because you are not just one of those as far as I am concerned.
   

First, let me apologise for letting you down.
  

I however want to state that I am very disappointed by what I feel is a deliberate misreading of my article, especially where the criticism has to be laced with insinuation of either love or hatred for the person of Morgan Tsvangirai and not his errors of judgement. To me that is tragic coming from you.
  

It is also fodder for tribalists in the MDC who can never see anything wrong in their leader, the same things we criticise Zanu PF followers for, the very reason Margaret Dongo is so famous for calling them Mugabe’s wives. We are following close behind.
Then there is the stereotypical Zimbabwean argument. When you criticise the MDC, you are Zanu PF and vice-versa. There are no Zimbabweans — you are either Zanu PF or MDC or you don’t exist. So people are always looking for where you fit in and you are done. And you too Petina of all the people?
The “social ministries” were used merely as a reference point. It derives from the MDC policy document and manifesto in which their priorities have been simplified to “food”, “health” and “education”. Go to their rallies.
That to me should be the core aim of any political party which wants my vote. That is also why I have always voted for the MDC, and whatever reasons you have for it, I have been let down.
There are reasons ascribed to violence etc, but there are also errors of judgement by its leadership. What party quarrels with its women’s wing on the eve of a national election?
Let’s minimise the culture of pointing fingers. We have had enough of that with President Mugabe and colonialism and imperialists. We are now being psyched up for another 30 years of blaming Mugabe. Then when Tsvangirai leaves, somebody jumps in to blame him. How convenient!
Finally, the import of my article. Your reasoning is no different from the dozens I have received since Monday, which is what worries and angers me most.
The import of that article was simply that ALL government ministries are the same. It is unfortunate that we are having to deal with a monstrosity called unity government where two political parties must share portfolios. I stated clearly in my article that we have a stalemate because of “mutual mistrust and suspicion” between Zanu PF and the MDC and that this is not something Thabo Mbeki could cure. That is why our people must continue to suffer.
It is the mistrust which is refocusing the parties on the CIO, police, army and away from the core business of government –– service delivery, a social role which doesn’t need an army. That is my point.
I didn’t say Zanu PF should get security ministries. I said the parties are behaving as if Tsvangirai will only supervise ministers from his own party in the Council of Ministers. My understanding is that in any government ministers execute cabinet decisions, not party ones. But like you say, if the aim is to exact revenge and win the next election, then I am genuinely sorry. In short, it simply means replacing Zanu PF with the MDC. There is no respite. Is that what the people understand by “change”? I thought democratic change meant something nobler than that.
So if MDC supporters were beaten and arrested, we don’t need a truth and reconciliation commission to seek justice but outright retribution! If that’s your point, I give up Petina.
I admit I am in the middle of the storm and am daily buffeted by it, but I can’t lower myself to a level where revenge is elevated to national policy through the allocation of ministries.
What message are we sending to the less sophisticated who have no qualms about killing just as they have been deployed by Zanu PF at every election? That it is the right thing to do if your party is in charge of the police and the army to beat up and kill your opponents!
For I know it is leaders ultimately who decide what needs to be done, not necessarily the people. If Mugabe had opted for retribution and revenge in 1980, I can tell you there would have been millions of people supporting him. He opted for reconciliation; the same people plus erstwhile enemies supported him. “People” is a very delicate and fickle substance and a ready resource for political mischief.
Let me restate my point: revenge and mistrust between political parties should not form the basis for the allocation of ministries. All ministries are the same, but unless you are at war, social ministries are closer to the needs of the people. Service delivery is not a factor of the army or police. Is this another maguta project?
I will conclude with some observations by my one time lecturer in a philosophy course at the University of Zimbabwe, David Kaulemu on the two main political parties. He says in both, the party has replaced the state. In the current contest, the MDC sees itself as the only “authentic” voice of the people. Each party, says Kaulemu, is trying to convince the people that the other party is not a legitimate part of the nation-state “and people are morally required to reject the other party”. This view, he says, is inimical to multiparty democracy in the two parties’ worldview you don’t share anything.
“We have not seen in word or in deed the acceptance by one party of the legitimacy of the other. Each defines the nation so narrowly that it excludes the other,” he says.
His further comments have an ominously true ring in the current dispute between the two parties. He sees no attempt by Zanu PF and the MDC to build “party-political neutral” national institutions. “It is difficult to imagine Zanu PF and the MDC collaborating in creating such structures even as they battle to occupy them. And yet this is what should happen.” These comments were made way back in 2004.

 

Nyathi’s analysis leaves a lot to be desired

 

WHILSt I respect your freedom of expression, I don’t agree with your reasoning that allocation of social ministries should be seen as a measure of who is a genuine leader to lead the masses of Zimbabwe out the current economic crisis.
 

You don’t seem to acknowledge that there is both a political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe. There is need to address both issues at the same time, so as not leave a vacuum which may be detrimental to stability.
 

Zimbabweans have been tortured and brutalised  by Zanu PF for nearly three decades. The police have stood by and let down the people they are supposed to protect. .Zanu PF and Mugabe have been using the security agents (including the police) to hold onto power for so long.
  

I am a Zimbabwean born British, who is looking forward to investing in Zimbabwe on a small scale, and like me, there are many potential investors who would not feel comfortable to invest in a country where there is fear of security apparatus even though there might be clean streets and schools as you suggest.
  

I want to invest in a country with law and order, where I know the police will protect me if I am mugged, where the police will assist me if someone beats me because of my political belief, NOT where the police will stand aside and watch me being raped.
I am sorry, but your reasoning is a bit shallow. State security is a vital ingredient for investment. If Zimbabwe is ever to hold a free and fair election then there is need to diffuse political tension and boost voter confidence by sharing the security organs between all political parties.
MDC Mutambara should lead the Intelligence and Youth (to supervise the Militia), Morgan Tsvangirai Home Affairs, Mugabe the  army that he so loves.

Sarudzayi Barnes,
United Kingdom.

 
 

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