MDC-T pressing explosive self-destruct button

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FOR many Zimbabweans, including progressive forces keen to see the country’s long-cherished dream of genuine democracy and economic progreess realised, the internal strife over leadership renewal which precipitated the violence that rocked the MDC-T last week is most perturbing.

CANDID COMMENT by STEWART CHABWINJA

Last Saturday, among others, MDC-T deputy treasurer-general Elton Mangoma was beaten up by party thugs at the movement’s Harvest House headquarters while secretary-general Tendai Biti escaped by a whisker. A day later a party activist was beaten up by drunken youths at a rally in Glen Norah: his crime? Alleged allegiance to Mangoma.

In 1999, backed by civil society, labour and student movements the MDC was formed, in its own words, “on the basis of carrying on the struggle of the people; the struggle for food and jobs; peace; dignity, decency and democracy; equal distribution of resources; and justice, transparency and equality of all Zimbabweans”.

Noble goals indeed, and little wonder the electorate quickly reposed its confidence in the MDC-T, which promptly established itself in robust opposition to Zanu PF’s political hegemony.

However, it appears those values and guiding principles have been gradually but seriously eroded, sacrificed as the temporary trappings of power and office took their toll.

MDC-T intraparty violence is worrisome not least because its message of peace and tolerance — among the cornerstones of democracy — struck a chord with Zimbabweans who had come to regard violence as Zanu PF’s stock-in-trade. That on several occasions violence has broken out at the MDC-T’s Harvest House headquarters is instructive.

The likes of the party’s former senior official Trudy Stevenson, director-general Toendepi Shonhe, co-ordinator for policy and research Fortune Gwaze and even journalists have been attacked by party thugs.

Elsewhere violence has regularly marred the party’s rallies. The party’s 2011 congress was preceded by violence and intimidation.

Said Tsvangirai then: “We know those people causing violence. We have records and pictures which show people who were causing problems. We know there are some party leaders who were sponsoring this violence, and they also face expulsion, as they will be investigated thoroughly.”

Despite the investigations no action was taken. Needless to say, the buck stops with Tsvangirai as party leader. Recently, he has personally intervened to “rescue” several senior party officials from the wrath of party hoodlums, including Mudzuri and Mangoma back in January. But instead of playing dubious saviour, Tsvangirai must uproot violence from the party.

Biti’s comments elsewhere in this issue are pertinent: “After all, we have been victims of violence and intolerance from Zanu PF. So for us to then seek to inflict that on ourselves, It is simply not good enough and it’s not acceptable.”

In a struggle, there is always the risk of internalising elements of the enemy being fought against.

As the German philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche put it, “those who fight with monsters should look to it that they don’t become monsters themselves.”

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6 thoughts on “MDC-T pressing explosive self-destruct button”

  1. That is yo wishful thinking MDC T is intact noway that a party that is followed by millions can be destroyed bcoz it is trying to flash out sellouts like Mangoma.They have tried to destroy this party but failed and again this time they have failed viva Morgan insimbi edle zinye.

    1. Beyond says:

      Diibulanyika.Those who are trying to destroy the party for your own information are those who are using the zanu(pf) tactic of violently crushing descent.and those who flirt with zanu(pf) women operatives.

  2. masimba Evanhu says:

    Biti is right. Zimbabwe has lived through a culture of violence for a long time and some are tempted to adopt it as a way of solving problems. There are a lot of Zanu sympathisers who need to be flushed out. Transformation is a painful and tedious but rewarding process.

  3. @byo says:

    Most Mdc-t leaders like Lovemore Moyo,Nelson Chamisa,Theresa Makone and Matson Hlalo are from Zanu pf and and thy are now poisining mdc-t coz thy were used to tht

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  5. Wezhira Wezhara says:

    This shows us that violence is not ZANU(PF) culture—it is ZIMBABWEAN culture…particularly our cousins in the southern parts of the country…ie Karangas&Ndebeles….Just look at this guy Diibulaanyika….Even when Mugabe&ZANU are long gone violence against each other will always be with us unless we root it out of our culture and find a final solution to our problematic southern cousins

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