Candid Comment: MDC will not Fall Into Zanu PF Trap

WHEN a struggle becomes long and the end becomes a mirage, opportunism, hypocrisy and dishonesty creep in.  In all these situations, principles are sacrificed on the altar of self-interest.

The struggle, already arrested by exhaustion, becomes bastardised.

History shows that those struggles that have survived have only done so because a few have stayed the course and have refused to be seduced by myopic soft landings.

It is this sort of mentality that has given rise to a new school of thought that seeks to revise our recent history and has peddled myths about the limited options available to the people of Zimbabwe, and have therefore sought to compromise the one thing that can never be compromised.

This is the sacrosanct principle that it is only the people that have an inalienable right to decide their course and their destiny.

The revisionist school of thought and its disciples constitute a bunch of tireless, airport- lounge activists and a beehive of “people’s representatives” who are nothing but a cocoon of elitist mafia.

Frequently, their ideology is betrayed by pseudo-intellectual, high-sounding but superfluous blur. It is a pure distillation of anger and frustration masquerading as political strategy.

Let us begin with the contention that there was no winner in the March 29 election.

Indeed there was a winner! We contested this election without resources, without access to the media, without access to vital electoral information and data.

Contrary to the provisions of the Electoral Act, we were not availed the voters’ roll; neither did we know the number of polling stations.

The law kept being changed in the course of the game and it was more like playing tennis with a continuously moving base line.

Furthermore, as we exposed at the time, all state agents manning the polls were carefully handpicked to exclude anyone thought to be sympathetic to us.

Indeed, over 5 000 teachers were excluded as a result of this. What a monstrous fraud! To suggest that the MDC did not win the election on March 29 is intended to obfuscate the Zanu PF decline while stroking the over-inflated egos of some who were severely defeated in that election.

Their self-proclaimed mantra as kingmakers is a by-product of this myopic indulgence. More importantly, it underlies a deep and chronic contempt and disrespect for the people. It is the people that decide their fate and not some overfed Google-addict sitting on a table.

Politics is not a chess game of elaborate flip charts.

A second fraud is to try and equate Tsvangirai with Mugabe. This, with all due respect, is sick populism intended not to defile Mugabe for he has done that on his own, but to ridicule and demonise Tsvangirai and the MDC.

The attack is personal and is no different from the daily diatribe of defamatory vituperations churned out by the Herald. In short, to Mugabe and others, Tsvangirai is the red flag that has generated anger and hatred of satanic proportions.

Is it an accident that a rocket scientist can be so ahistorical and so revisionist as to equate the sins of this regime with any other person?  Can the failure of this agreement be visited upon our shoulders?

One thing has to be emphasised for the benefit of those conducting the symphony of hatred and discord at Herald House. Tsvangirai is the undisputed and incontestable leader of the MDC. Not only that, he is the leader of this struggle. Every struggle has a face and a leader.

For the record, it is Mugabe and his acolytes who have been responsible for the castration of Zimbabwe’s manhood. It is not so-called sanctions that have created the phenomenal decline of this economy to levels unheard of in modern economics. Now where does Tsvangirai fit into all this? The answer is simple.

It is not Tsvangirai who is frustrating the consummation of the unity deal but rather Mugabe himself. In this regard, let’s put into perspective the MDC position on the dying dialogue.

There must be a satisfactory legal framework to underpin the agreement. Secondly, there must be an equitable distribution of ministerial portfolios. In short, responsibility with authority.

Thirdly, the constitution and composition of the National Security Council must be defined. This overseeing body is essential to ensure the gradual weaning of state institutions from the breast of Zanu PF.

Fourthly there must be an equitable and fair distribution of key public positions including governors, ambassadors and permanent secretaries.

Finally, there must be a reversal and cessation of all breaches of the Memorandum of Understanding and the Global Political Agreement.

This includes the unconditional release of Jestina Mukoko, Gandi Mudzingwa and all abductees and the reversal of all executive appointments unilaterally made after July 21 2008.

Surely there is nothing extraterrestrial about these demands. In fact the demands are a logical platform if not precondition for any viable Government of National Unity.

Finally, a myth has been peddled that there is no other strategy or option other than that of a GNU. This can only be a Freudian dislocation. Dialogue and the GNU are the conscious by-product of a roadmap we crafted in May 2006.

The substance is to achieve democratic change in Zimbabwe through peaceful, democratic, constitutional and non-violent means. To then suggest that this can only be achieved through a GNU chaired by Mugabe is somewhat chronic.

In short, we remain committed to the cause of change in Zimbabwe as we remain committed to the GPA, subject to the resolution of our demands. However, we are not so naïve as to allow Zanu PF to trap us in the cul-de-sac of their sterile processes.

Biti is secretary-general of the MDC-T.

BY TENDAI BITI