TALK by the MDC-T party leadership, that for the country to recover economically, there is a need for Zanu PF to negotiate with the opposition so that another government of national unity (GNU) is formed illustrates how this party has run out of ideas and is now seeking political relevance as its support base continues to slumber as evidenced by the three recently held council by-elections in which the MDC-T received another drubbing from ZANU PF like what happened in the July 31, 2013 harmonized elections.
Tendai Biti the MDC-T Secretary General and former finance minister during the dysfunctional GNU said that Zimbabwe needs a government of national unity for the country to rid itself of its alleged economic crisis. He said that there has to be dialogue between Zanu PF and the MDC-T so that another GNU is created. Recently, Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC-T leader in his alleged state of the nation address told those who cared to listen that the country`s political parties need dialogue that would bring the end to what he described as a “crisis”.
In any country those in opposition political playground always come up with issues that make them appear relevant to the electorate hence the MDC-T is not exceptional. The recently held three council by-elections in Zaka, Karoi and Mbare, in which the MDC-T was cleanly beaten by Zanu PF, even in Mbare where the seat was theirs, sent some shock waves to the party resulting in such unpalatable statements. The MDC-T leadership is quite aware that such defeat which they got from Zanu PF is a clear indication that the party is heading towards oblivision. They are quite aware that silence may lead them to the history books as happened to other political parties which emerged before them.
Who can forget what the Zimbabwe Unity Movement (ZUM) did in the early nineteen nineties (1990s)? ZUM managed to send shock waves to Zanu PF but has since been condemned into history books and the MDC-T is quite aware of that. They have realised that gradually their party is heading towards its total demise and very soon history books would be awash with stories detailing the demise of the once powerful labour and western-backed political party in the country. So the call by the top MDC-T leadership for Zanu PF to co-opt it into government is a way of seeking political relevance in the face of the electorate.Advertisement
But Zimbabweans have not forgotten the experiences which they went through during that unfruitful Inclusive Government (IG) era and they do not want that arrangement to be repeated. People still hold strong beliefs that the IG failed to bring what they expected before it was formed. Who can forget that time when Biti, then Finance Minister, would do hide and seek with civil servants in their time of need? Could it be possible for the people in general and some civil servants in particular to forget that time when Biti would tell them to follow him to the toilet to find out if he produces money so that he would award them some salary increments?
The GNU, which the MDC-T is now advocating to be brought back, is not a workable solution and if this party is serious about seeing the country recover from what they call “economic crisis”, they need to tell their Western sponsors to remove sanctions on the country. It is an open secret that the MDC-T leadership thrives on the suffering of the people and they believe that if people suffer more then they would support this party. A political party which has the people at heart should be seen by people helping the government by condemning sanctions which they secretly authored with the assistance of the Western countries. So the MDC-T leadership should stop playing dirty games and trying to appear good where they are not supposed to be like that.
Biti and company failed during their time in government to force western countries to bring in foreign direct investment and only managed to spend their time in government fattening their wallets. What makes them think that when they come back into government things will change? Zanu PF has not failed as they want the people to believe but the revolutionary party is still implementing a lot of things that would see the country moving forward. The Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZIMASSET) is another example of an economic blue print which Zanu PF has come up with as a means of trying to revive the economy and bring it back to normal.
While the MDC-T is failing to acknowledge and see that the Zanu PF train has already started to move but those with eyes are now seeing that there could be light at the end of the tunnel, only time would tell. It took the IG four years failing to award civil servants salary adjustment but it only took Zanu PF less than a year to do that. Whilst the MDC-T is calling for the formation of another GNU, Zanu PF is busy trying to stamp out corruption which has turned out to be a cancer in the country. Some top government parastatals managers who awarded themselves hefty and abnormal salaries at a time service delivery in those institutions was collapsing.
Zanu PF has descended strongly on these executives and now some of them have been suspended pending dismissal. But Gorden Moyo, the MDC-T Bulawayo provincial chairman who was the Minister of Parastatals during the dysfunctional GNU failed to stop the rot in these enterprises. So what makes the MDC-T think that another GNU would be good for the country? The truth is that another GNU for the country would be a disaster because two bulls in one kraal cannot stay together. The previous GNU failed to accommodate views from both Zanu PF and MDC-T resulting in but suffering for the majority of the people.
As such people should let Zanu PF run the country without disturbance. The fact is that the July 31, 2013, harmonized elections gave Zanu PF the mandate to rule for the coming five years; let that be the case and the MDC-T should just accept the fact that they are no longer in government. In fact if they feel that they have something to contribute on how the country could be run better, the MDC-T should use the Parliamentary forum to air their views as it has representation in that august house.
The call by the MDC-T to have another GNU is not for the people to benefit but it is meant for them to get another chance to further fatten their wallets. The MDC-T is not sincere in this call; the fact is that the MDC-T leadership is missing the comfort of flying from one capital to another capital using tax payers’ money and also using diplomatic passports as they used to. Since such a privilege is no longer there, they are now feeling the agony of being confined to their houses since flying out of the countries comes with a personal cost, making them feel the heat of being out of government.
So the people should not be fooled into believing such calls from this beleaguered party. The MDC-T should actually stop calls for another GNU and concentrate more on their leadership renewal as said by Elton Mangoma, the national deputy treasurer-general. The earlier the MDC-T takes that road, the better for it as 2018 is fast coming and another drubbing by Zanu PF could be in the offing. They should look into this subject seriously and let Zanu PF implement its economic revival programs without problems.
Mukachana Hanyani is a Harare-based political and social commentator who can be reached through firstname.lastname@example.org