MDC has dangerous patience
Written by Tanonoka Joseph Whande
HARARE – I am not surprised that both President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai are fed up with the unity government.
It was never a unity government; it never united anyone. It was only an interlude to buy time for the antagonists to entrench themselves.
Since its controversial formation, both men have taken turns to threaten quitting the unity government.
They both spent a lot of time bickering, accusing and counter-accusing each other.
During Workers’ Day celebrations, Tsvangirai said that he is fed up with the unity government, conceding it has failed and should collapse.
I am surprised that it has taken Tsvangirai this long to realise the sad reality. Since the formation of this government, Tsvangirai never had power or authority and functions only within a sphere allowed him by Zanu PF.
“Mugabe told me that this inclusive government is not working. He is no longer interested in it,” said Tsvangirai. “I am also not interested in it.”
Aaah! Now I understand; Mugabe had to say it first so Tsvangirai can repeat it.
In one of many utterances over the subject, Tsvangirai, in May 2010, expressed amazement at Mugabe’s behaviour.
“Being in government with a partner who does not respect the very agreement which they signed up to as a basis for that partnership is a challenge, to put it mildly,” he said then, adding that the political relationship was “a painful experience but a strategic necessity that will enable us to reach our destination albeit uncomfortably”.
They failed to reach any destination, years after subjecting the nation to counter-productive squabbling.
I have always said that Tsvangirai and his MDC have patience to spare, patience that borders on cowardice.
Like every Zimbabwean, I was once overwhelmed by an over abundance of optimism and expectation. I was a hopeful man. Not anymore.
“We have a unique coalition of opposing ideologies and this has resulted in this government dismally failing in its major responsibilities of creating jobs,” said Tsvangirai last week.
I mean, did he not know this all along? Just when did he find out? Most importantly, when are they going to act on it?
There is now talk of elections and the MDC is now trying to distance itself from the honey pot they have been ravaging all these years.
There are still many unfulfilled issues that this unity government should have implemented but Mugabe simply refused to budge.
They have been negotiating since the May 14, 2007 and the MDC is only now getting fed up.
But the point is that they have always been aware of the fact that Mugabe was never going to shift.
It appears as if all the MDC wanted was to get as close to the honey pot as possible; close to the corridors of power.
Now the MDC has seen a record number of its officials getting implicated in shady and corrupt shenanigans, once a preserve of Zanu PF.
The MDC has been sitting at the high table for years, eating and drinking without any care about the issues that brought them votes.
But now because elections are looming, they talk about sharing with us; they want to enlarge the cake so that all of us may have a piece.
Talk is cheap! Having been denied power, with their officials and supporters continuing to be arrested wily hilly, and with hardly any part of the GPA being respected, the MDC is once again submitting itself as a willing tool of Mugabe and Zanu PF.
They can’t stand up to Mugabe at all. What really is the MDC’s position about the now suspiciously produced draft constitution?
Apart from populist talk and press releases, what is the MDC doing about it?
“My point is that only a legitimate government born out of a free and fair election can address the concerns of the workers and the millions of unemployed Zimbabweans looking for a visionary leadership that will steer this country forward,” he said.
I do not know about the visionary leadership part but a new constitution is not only required but must be respected before such elections are held.
People no longer have the kind of dangerous patience that the MDC and South African President Jacob Zuma continue to espouse. Enough is enough.
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