Tsvangirai and Mugabe: a larvae and butterfly scenario
Is the President of the MDC right to take a decree over the Senate issue? Is the National Council the supreme body of the MDC decision process? What lessons can be learned from this confusion?
Although personally I am in favour of not only a boycott of the Senate but a complete boycott of anything Zanu PF including the Lower House, neither Morgan Tsvangirai nor Welshman Ncube wield any power to solely decide the fate of the MDC. How then do we justify continuing sitting in the same parliament that passed the controversial Senate?
The National Council is the supreme decision making body and its mandate is to make decisions on a democratic vote process to achieve a consensus. Although the National Executive can convene and make urgent decisions in the absence of the National Council, such a decision must be ratified by the National Council which has the power to over rule the earlier decision of the leadership.
Constitutionally, even if the “Top Six” would have made a decision over the Senate issue, this would still need to have been ratified by the National Council which is drawn from all 10 provinces of the country. The MDC is a democratic party and as such, political checks and balances are necessary to avoid a Zanu PF look-alike monster.
The party has survived up to this day not because of the charismatic top leadership alone but mainly because of its liberal and democratic constitution. The constitution has been the pillar through which political cohesion has succeeded where very few political parties have survived before it. When we talk of the rule of law, we talk of the respect of a democratic constitutional process. As the old saying goes, democracy favours fools, the decision of the National Council no matter how unpalatable, must be adhered to, otherwise we risk making ourselves worse dictators than the monster we purport to eradicate. Neither Tsvangirai nor Ncube have the powers to veto a constitutional political consensus.
As I see it there is no political crisis in the MDC but a constitutional crisis. The parties involved are very much aware of what is expected of them by the MDC constitution and must stop abusing their offices to confuse the loyal supporters. The MDC leadership should use political persuasion rather than dictatorial decrees to solve their differences.
Flashing comments and counter comments in the press without solving the differences is a sign of political immaturity. Remember the press is not the MDC and the MDC is not the press!
While I agree that there may be leadership misfits in the current MDC, I am convinced that the MDC has the power to unseat Zanu PF. Zimbabweans must stop glorifying wrong decisions by whoever and for whatever reasons; such is what has driven this once prosperous country into one of the poorest nation on Earth.
Never, ever, ever, must the MDC be forced into politics of patronage. Morgan Tsvangirai, by using the press to highlight internal feuds, risks handing power to Zanu PF on a silver plate. That will spark public anger against him. Tsvangirai needs to abide by the constitution, as everybody else is expected. If he cannot convince his colleagues that boycotting the senate would accelerate change, then who will?
What is required
is a leadership that does not view divergent views as rebellious but
necessary debate to enhance democracy. We cannot label Robert Mugabe
a dictator if we are dictators in the making. In a country like Zimbabwe
where we have been ruled by a dictator for over 25 years, it is easier
to replace Mugabe with another dictator: larvae and butterfly scenario.
The butterfly is indeed the larva and the larva is the butterfly.
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