FOR almost every political party there comes a very unfortunate moment after which things are never quite the same again. As for Zanu PF, that moment came when it failed to properly tackle the economic challenges of the early 2000s; for Zapu it was the irresponsible decision by Dumiso Dabengwa to pull out of the Unity Accord.
A great possibility now exists that history will judge the events of the past week- namely Morgan Tsvangirai’s continued vilification of Zanu PF’s indigenisation and economic empowerment policy and the looming visit to America for celebrations of Zimbabwe’s Independence Day by Nelson Chamisa and Theresa Makone – as the undoing of the MDC-T.
First, let’s take the indigenisation and economic empowerment policy. Last Thursday, as on many other occasions preceding it, Tsvangirai belittled Minister Saviour Kasukuwere’s bold and long over-due statement on indigenisation, describing it as meaningless and unworthy of recognition.
That would have been a fair assessment if Minister Kasukuwere was fighting an unjust cause or if he was acting outside the law or if his motives were selfish rather than genuine. Quite the contrary, Kasukuwere has proven himself to be a man of integrity, an upholder of the law who has absolutely nothing but love for this country. In my view, he deserves everyone’s trust and confidence. Yet he is the very man Tsvangirai has criticised and condemned at nearly every corner.
This sort of behaviour from the Prime Minister is hurtful, perhaps even unforgivable, but, in truth, it is hardly new. It is part of Tsvangirai’s well established tendency of sucking up to the West.
For instance, he has regurgitated the nonsense that, like the land reform, the indigenisation drive is good only in principle and not in practice. He has even gone so far as to emulate his sponsors in making the ridiculous accusation that the policy is a looting exercise meant merely to benefit a few individuals.
Not only is this grossly sycophantic, it is palpably untrue. The indigenisation policy in its present form does not make provision for individual businessmen or people to benefit.
If Tsvangirai was a man of integrity, which quite evidently he is not, he would know by now that the structure and form of our empowerment policy is such that only communities, employees and groups such as the youth, the elderly, the disabled and women can benefit.
He would also be aware of the fact that over and above these beneficiaries, there will soon be a National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Fund whose main thrust will be to broaden the beneficiation process to include national areas like infrastructural development and the provision of basic services like clean water and sanitation.
It’s quite clear that Tsvangirai’s claims are just smear tactics intended partly to appease his handlers, partly to forestall much-needed development in this country and partly to cover up for his party’s lack of ideas.
Because he is without policies of his own, ideas that can resonate with the once disadvantaged people of Zimbabwe, he has resorted to a campaign of ridicule and smear and to being the voice of opposition. This tired tactic may have worked in 2008 but, hell, it will not work in 2012.
If Tsvangirai and his now discredited party want to be taken seriously, they need to put an urgent stop to this outmoded strategy.
Now let’s turn to Nelson Chamisa and Theresa Makone. In Zimbabwe we have long regarded Independence Day as embodying the true spirit of what it really means to be Zimbabwean. Every year we celebrate this day on the 18th April and this year’s celebrations are barely a week away.
As far as this important national day goes, MDC-T officials are notorious for treating it with disdain and very little patriotism. Chamisa and Makone are about to provide the most shameful example.
In the coming days, the pair will travel to the United States of America to celebrate this year’s Independence Day there. If this turns out to be the case (God forbid), then it will be a huge disaster for Zimbabwe.
Throughout its 12 years of existence, the MDC-T has been known to be dependent on foreign ideas, foreign funding, foreign friends and even foreign ideologies. Part of this reprehensible culture came about because some of MDC-T’s original members were chiefly of foreign origin. And so a sense of internationalism was entrenched – at times knowingly, sometimes subconsciously.
To a degree it became normal, even acceptable, for MDC-T officials to have friends in foreign nations. It was expected that now and again a working visit might be necessary. But to celebrate Zimbabwe Independence in America?
If anything else, this should be a cause for great national embarrassment. Over the years I have noticed very little sense that the MDC-T is an independent, proud, patriotic and genuinely Zimbabwean party with values and ideas of its own. Instead of striving to be their own men, they have taken to praising the West like ecstatic teenagers surrounding a pop star.
This is ridiculous and somebody has got to put a stop to this. If Zimbabweans give a damn about their nation, they will not for a moment longer tolerate this kind of unpatriotic behaviour from Chamisa, himself a useless politician who has been showered with a lot more praise than his mediocre performance in government justifies, and Makone, a problematic politician within the MDC-T ranks who should know better as our interior Minister.
The notion that the party of Chamisa and Makone can hereafter lead this country in any capacity whatsoever is preposterous. In fact, should Chamisa and Makone proceed with their disloyal plans, both should do the honourable thing and resign immediately upon return. If for some reason they are unwilling or unable to do so of their own accord, they should be made to give up their jobs in government under compulsion.
If we fail to insist on this, we will have failed this great nation and future generations will look back and wonder why nothing was done about this sickening act of treachery- possibly the most disgusting in the history of this country.
They will ask why Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede and all the other relevant authorities did not nullify Chamisa and Makone’s entitlement to Zimbabwean citizenship. They will ask what ghosts, what evil spirits blinded us from seeing Chamisa and Makone in their true light. And then none of us will be able to explain the inexplicable.