THE move by pro-democracy forces to forge an all-inclusive united front is applaudable and those thinking that such a unique home grown initiative is not necessary are angels of Lucifer the father of divisions and darkness. Opposition parties should use the proposed stakeholders conference to find each other instead of being kept far apart by greed and selfishness.
Like-minded principled democrats are simply coming together to get a fresh mandate from the people for purposes of charting a new political discourse. Those believing that corpses will one day rise from the graveyard and win elections can foolishly do so at their own peril. Progressive groups should proceed with the people’s convention with or without some selfish and greedy politicians currently haunted by internal strife, political confusion and disintegration.
Some of us would prefer a situation where the doors will be opened for everyone including Morgan Tsvangirai but if it is true that he does not want to work with others, the organisers of the convention should just proceed with the stakeholders’ convention without the self-proclaimed political super daddies and super mummies. The people of Zimbabwe have been clamouring for a united voice to push for regime change in Zimbabwe and an opportunity has been presented to collectively work out solutions for our dented and looted motherland Zimbabwe.
Opposition political parties, civil society, business, religious groups, academics, people with disabilities and trade unions are expected to meet and review progress since 1999 with the intention of exploring various options that will enable us to move forward as a country. We cannot abandon such a great idea because there is one person who thinks he is the most qualified person to lead everyone. The whole idea of forming the Movement for Democratic Change in 1999 was not to protect individual interests or to enrich the chosen few.
A United Front is for those willing to work with like-minded social democrats keen to regreen Zimbabwe; by regreening Zimbabwe I mean reviving our industry, creating employment for the jobless, providing social services to the people as well as creating equal opportunities and fair administration of state resources. We did not form or join political parties to help Tsvangirai get into power, after all there is nothing that we need from him as Morgan Tsvangirai or power hungry creatures responsible for the violent fragmentation of his party MDC-T.Advertisement
A united front presents an opportunity for Zimbabweans to reorganize and to collectively reflect on the progress made so far in as far as the regime change agenda is concerned. There is an urgent need to boot out Robert Mugabe from office who presided over the country’s economic decay for years. Those believing that a united front without Tsvangirai will not work are mentally rotten and baselessly over-licking him for their own supper. There is abundant life outside the much talked about “torn big tent” that only exists in pro-Tsvangirai newspapers.
It is factually wrong that the big political parties negotiating for a united front against Robert Mugabe have settled for Simba Makoni as leader. This is false, misleading and baseless speculation meant to disrupt and frustrate those working on the united front project. The MDC position regarding a united front has been clear and there has never been any shift from our original position regarding working with other progressive forces.
We are committed to working with other like-minded social democrats for a better Zimbabwe. We did not head-hunt for political partners or leaders. We are a party that believes in team work and working with others and this should never be misconstrued to mean desperation. The MDC has a tolerant leadership that supports, complements and supplements ideas aimed at saving Zimbabwe from further political and economic demise.
The proposed United Front will certainly provide solutions to the many problems that are bedevilling our country Zimbabwe. Unity of purpose that has been evasive for decades is the best way to go and anyone driven by greed and selfishness or beliefs that only one person from some eastern village should be entrusted to lead Zimbabwe should think twice before the train takes off for Zion.
The MDC is simply responding to the call for a united voice by the starved and impoverished citizens of Zimbabwe. Our desire as a party is to see a just and fair Zimbabwe instead of the status quo created by Zanu PF. The united front is coming at a time the MDC has been busy rallying its troops in preparation for the 2018 battle. It is sad to note that some people may come to the coalition to advance selfish interests at the expense of national interests.
The MDC shall continue to support local initiatives aimed at rebuilding our Zimbabwe that has been ruined by the Zanu pf government. We are getting into the coalition with our eyes and ears open so that we do not fall into the trap of some jackals in sheep skin. The united front is not a Tendai Biti, Dumiso Dabengwa, Welshman Ncube or Simba Makoni initiative but a Zimbabwean program for Zimbabweans by Zimbabweans. The leader elected by the convention should be appointed on merit not on the basis of language, height, tribe or origin.
Tribute should be paid to MDC President Professor Welshman Ncube, MDC-Team leadership, Zapu leader Dr Dumiso Dabengwa, Mavambo leader Dr Simba Makoni for swallowing their pride and the church groups who are sincerely spearheading the project. The proposed coalition is a product of sober people with a genuine desire to resuscitate our political patient Zimbabwe currently in the intensive care.
Those believing in non-existent or torn political tents should either quietly come to the people’s project now or shut up and continue waiting for the midnight train or risk sinking into political oblivion.
Kurauone Chihwayi is MDC Secretary for International Relations and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He writes in his personal capacity