MDC-T leaders have no appreciation of Diaspora efforts – Bennet
HARARE – Self-exiled MDC-T treasurer-general Roy Bennett has hit out at some of the party’s senior officials, describing them as “Zanufied” and accusing them of abandoning “the people” for the comfort of Zanu PF’s “gravy train”.
Bennett, who is believed to be in Britain, said there was a growing tendency among the democratic forces in Zimbabwe to “disparage the Diaspora” as if those inside the country were making all the sacrifices while those outside should “shut up and put up”.
Writing on his Facebook wall, Bennett posted: “Is our thinking becoming Zanufied? Maybe there is more to all this than meets the eye. Perhaps there are some at home who are trying to make themselves heroes and legends because they have something to hide? Some of those throwing stones at our Diaspora are on the gravy train at home. Far from being heroes of the struggle, they are making love to Zanu PF and living like kings. We are neither blind nor stupid.”
But MDC-T national organising secretary Nelson Chamisa yesterday downplayed Bennett’s attack, describing his utterances as “a statement of warning” rather than a “vote of no confidence” in the party leadership.
Coincidentally, Bennett’s attack came amid reports MDC-T was battling to contain factional fights and intra-party clashes in most of its structures countrywide.
Bennett said some of the party leaders had turned arrogant and “absorbed the Zanu PF (amafikizolo) mentality by implying that those who left the country long ago must be quiet and do not have a role to play”.
“Some of these people are living like kings while pretending to be heroes. The fundamental problem is that some leaders are not respecting the people on the ground — both people at home and people abroad. Some have developed big heads and are not listening to the people.
“What I want to see is ordinary Zimbabweans taking control of our party and our country. The people inside and outside Zimbabwe must choose who they want and not put up with politicians who are out of order and who think they have a God-given right to their positions,” Bennett said.
“It is Zanu-PF that seeks to legitimise itself by creating dividing lines between those who ‘liberated’ Zimbabwe and those who didn’t. Are we now being told the same lies again – and by those who are meant to be delivering democracy to the people? God forbid. A Zimbabwean is a Zimbabwean. Black or white, at home or abroad, it is the people who must set the agenda.”
“The idea that those at home are the heroes is also based on a lie. Are those outside not suffering? Is it not true that our brothers and sisters outside are there because of Zanu-PF? It is not true that they are there because they have been brutalised and lost their jobs? Aren’t our people in the diaspora living in poor housing and working themselves to the bone for their loved ones at home?
“It would be stupid for them to come home. To what? Unemployment and persecution. They are not so foolish. Their families would starve and some would end up like Solomon Madzore, in detention or worse. Maybe there is more to all this than meets the eye.”
“Perhaps there are some at home who are trying to make themselves heroes and legends because they have something to hide? Some of those throwing stones at our diaspora are on the gravy train at home. Far from being heroes of the struggle, they are making love to Zanu-PF and living like kings. We are neither blind nor stupid,” Bennet said.
Chamisa however said: “It’s (Bennett’s comments) a reflection of our direction, that it (the party) should be owned by the people, as it is, and not the elites. It’s a statement of warning and a statement of advice.
“I speak to Bennett everyday and we share the same views. Nobody in the MDC is happy with the marriage of convenience (government of national unity). It is a strategic necessity rather than an earned luxury.
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