FRIEND or foe, the revelation by Grace Mugabe that a faction in Zanu PF is working with MDC-T is not something that can go without some explanation from the MDC-T. Leaders must be held to account. We are talking about lives and the future of an entire nation. Our people have suffered enough and deserve rest and respect.
“Some of them can’t even chant slogans that denounce MDC-T because they have pacts with the opposition. I have quietly observed that the MDC devil is now in our party and is being spread around by people who use money to obtain power,” The First Lady was reported as saying on 07/10/2014
Please note that I have refrained from addressing Grace Mugabe as Dr so as not to offend the Zimbabwean public any more than they have been offended by the continued existence of Zanu PF, an inept opposition and cyber charlatans masquerading as democracy champions promising people what they neither have nor can deliver!
It is frightening, as revealed by Grace Mugabe, that MDC-T is in pact with a Zanu PF faction and President Mugabe is aware of it. Coming from next to the President, it has to be taken seriously. As pro-democracy leaders, we can’t keep silent whether we consider MDC a friend or not. It’s about being true to our values and being honest with our people.
First I challenge Grace Mugabe to stop playing cheap politics with this matter. This is even more urgent than the need to explain the circumstances of her doctorate. If she loves this country she should not just threaten but name and shame the people behind these pacts. Failure to do so, then she is no better. The people are yearning for freedom and not the show of wealth!
In the opposition movements there is a moral assumption that we are all shooting in the same direction. Without prejudicing whatever explanation MDC-T will make, I would like to explain why this is not just disappointing but a monumental and disgraceful sell-out act, if that is the case, which should be condemned by all democrats. It’s up to MDC-T to convince the public that it is not so.
Back in 2008 it was against advice from the people and international community that MDC-T chose to go into a marriage with Zanu PF to form the infamous GNU. The nation had serious misgivings about issues of trust. Mugabe has proved beyond reasonable doubt that he is politically untrustworthy. The question was why the MDC-T would trust him to the extent of handing him the presidency. In 2013 it was the same; the region and many Zimbabweans advised against taking part in the flawed elections but MDC-T ignored that and once more extended Mugabe’s presidency.Advertisement
That one would want power to the extent of trashing all morals and values is beyond sanity. The argument that seemed to convince us was that MDC was going to fight from within. We anticipated a close combat encounter that would have strengthened the opposition forces by forcing through the agreed and SADC-endorsed reforms. But for five years all we saw was a complete abandonment of the agreed reforms for the pursuit of personal gain. Massive corruption occurred but no one raised a finger until after the collapse of the GNU.
Towards the end of the GNU, MDC leaders flew everywhere preaching that all was well with Mugabe and that Mugabe was actually part of the solution. They did not just call for the removal of sanctions but condemned as retrogressive countries who insisted on keeping them. We were all shattered and wondered what MDC was getting out of all this. Now we know, at least from their partner in Zanu PF, that they had become buddies in entrenching the dictatorship.
Whether one calls himself the original MDC or not does not excuse anyone from this monumental neglect of duty; as democrats we should have by now understood what accountability entails. You can’t just, without explanation or show of remorse, walk away from such a mess and expect the people to forget. Even the very negotiators of the GNU are refusing to take responsibility of the outcome of the deal they negotiated! And we are expected to ignore that. No, we won’t.
We can sign deals, join tents, name and rename ourselves but if there is no change of heart or behaviour the people will see through that it’s just a case of the same hyenas but with a new name or coat. I would like to challenge the opposition leaders that we must be true to the founding values of our yearning for freedom and democracy. The people would like to believe and trust us but we are letting them down, very badly.
In the business community, when a business brand goes rotten, they often re-brand under a different name and hope to convince the consumers that it’s a different product. We cannot accept this in politics where we are impacting the fate of a whole nation. At a downtown vegetable market you can feel the smell and see rotten cabbages being sprayed with fresh water to hoodwink buyers that they are still fresh. In our politics we have the same old, corrupt and tired politicians being redressed in a vain attempt to make them look fresh. We can never develop our country in this fashion.
Changing names without answering or explaining past blunders will not wash. Just as we are speaking, each opposition party is claiming to be uniting the opposition. How can we work with people working hand-in-glove with the oppressor? How can one call himself a democrat when he has merged with the vilest dictatorship the world has ever seen? The MDC-T must explain how big their tent is and who is inside before they can invite or want to work with others.
It’s now very easy to add the numbers and conclude that MDC is run, willingly or unwillingly, by the CIO. During the campaign period the MDC-T President openly claimed that he knew what meal Mugabe had had the previous night because the CIO told him. Adding this to Grace Mugabe’s revelations leaves many doubts confirmed.
Without a convincing explanation, these and many more concerns will remain. Until then MDC-T is not a bona fide pro-democracy party. That there is no other way, as often argued by MDC-T, is just utter rubbish. If they don’t see the way they must get out of the way. If we all unite with them they will take us nowhere except into Zanu PF where they are, as revealed by Grace Mugabe.
My challenge is that MDC-T must come out clean otherwise we take Grace Mugabe’s unwittingly divulged revelations as confirming our doubts. Grace Mugabe must own up or stop playing cheap politics with our people, churches and universities.
Farai Mbira is President ZUNDE – www.zunde.org