MDC formations too comfortable in government
By Wilbert Mukori
“Form your own political party!” If I had dropped a penny over the years
each time I heard somebody said that, I would be a millionaire! For that
seems to be the default setting of many Zimbabweans and, true enough, many
people have gone on to start their own political parties. The country has
been independent for 33 years and yet it has already seen more political
parties than many other countries would see in a 100 years.
With fresh elections just round the corner there will, no doubt, be at least
a dozen political parties contesting; the familiar ones, old ones, new ones
and re-emerging ones. It will be the same tired old faces being recycled
over and over again – there is no such thing as use-by dates in Zimbabwean
If forming new political parties was the answer to our problem then the
country would not be in this political and economic mess. It is the lazy and
ready-made way to avoid answering criticism, to stifle debate and all
meaningful competition which, indeed, is the root cause of our political and
There are no democratic political parties in Zimbabwe because none of the
parties tolerate any meaningful debate and competition as those already
occupying positions are fearful of losing them. It is not surprising
therefore that long established parties like Zanu PF have had the same faces
in top positions for donkey years or until death “do us part”. Rather than
replace leaders all the parties have devised various ways of increasing
leadership positions, ministerial post, governorships, etc.; rats do not
leave the nest, they make the nest bigger. The official line why debate is
stifled is that it will cause division and disunity.
So instead of scrutinizing criticism objectively and rationally it is
dismissed out right with the standard “form your own party!” If the party
has the political power, which the Mugabe dictator has, then it will move to
stifle public debate and criticism.
Last Saturday, 16 March 2013, Zimbabweans were cajoled into voting yes to a
rubbish constitution which will never deliver the rights and freedoms the
people have been denied all these years and will commit the nation to a
repeat of the wanton violence of 2008. The people were so easily cajoled
into voting yes because they are very weak politically and the genesis of
their weakness is the “form your own party” mentality.
If one was to consider a just, free and prosperous democratic society we are
seeking to build as a house, then the people are the ground on which the
house must stand, no house built on sand will stand for long; the people are
the bricks and mortar to bear the weight of the wall and roof, mud- bricks
will crumble and bring down the house. Political parties, institutions, etc.
are nothing more than a wall or pillar whose strength is dependent of the
solidity of the foundation they stand on, or the bricks and mortar used in
It is not true there was no viable alternative to accepting the weak and
feeble Copac Constitution and then going into elections set to be bloody, as
MDC leaders would have us believe. There was the option of implementing the
GPA agreed reforms.
“There’s no other viable alternative,” said Senator David Coltart. “If we
vote no today all that will happen is that we retain the existing thoroughly
“The whole peace process will breakdown and really we may lurch back into
the calamitous situation we were in 2008.”
By voting yes, the nation has lurched back into the calamitous 2008
situation! Before the indelible ink to mark all these who voted in the
referendum was dry, PM Tsvangirai was already telling the world that four
MDC officials plus a Human Rights Lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, had been arrested
by the partisan police. The 2013 elections are going to be bloody, what
remains to be settled is how bloody!
Implementing the reforms was the only way to end the dictatorship and the
country’s culture of violence.
Yes, Mugabe refused to implement the reforms; of course, he would. It was PM
Tsvangirai and the MDC’s task to force Mugabe to accept the reforms and
SADC, as the guarantors of the GPA, was ready to throw its weight and force
Mugabe to accept reforms. SADC has again and again reminded MDC to implement
the reforms, but to no avail.
“Diplomatic sources told the Zimbabwe Independent in separate interviews
this week that SADC leaders feel the MDC leaders have become too comfortable
in government, forgetting their presence was meant to create an environment
conducive for credible, free and fair elections,” reported the Zimbabwe
In other words Senator David Coltart, PM Tsvangirai and company have all
“become too comfortable in government” and one has only to see the
extravagant new lifestyles most of these politicians are enjoying to see it
is true, they are very comfortable.
When you are having a ball, you do not rock the boat; that is gravy train
etiquette. Or as a seasoned Zanu PF crony crudely put it, “Tsvangirai
adzidza kudya anyerere!” He was commenting after PM Tsvangirai had nothing
but praise for Mugabe after the PM received US$ 3 million for his mansion.
To be fair to PM Tsvangirai, he was not the only one who has been singing
Mugabe praises; the other MDC leaders have all been tripping over each other
in their adoration of the tyrant. Minister Biti has described Mugabe as
“unflappable” and a “Victorian knight”.
“He shows real concern for his country and people, like a father,” said
Professor Welshman Ncube of Mugabe.
“(Mugabe) is a very, very, very good charmer…” said MDC minister Priscilla
What a charming and comradely relationship MDC have enjoyed with Mugabe. Of
course the MDC leaders did not want to spoil this cosy relationship by
raising something as trivial as implementing the reforms; we all know Prince
Charming would have flown into a rage, he is to this day very touchy about
The “presidency is sacrosanct” Mugabe has said and Tsvangirai and his MDC
friends understood that well enough and left the dictatorship untouched!
What is objectionable is all this lying and posturing by Tsvangirai and his
MDC friends pretending they have dealt a death blow to the dictatorship and
that this weak and feeble Copac constitution will deliver free and fair
Zimbabweans have failed to see through the grandstanding and see Tsvangirai
for the flawed, indecisive and incompetent leader he is all these years
because, as I have said, they lacked the political skill to look at things
objectively and rationally.
Ever since the nation accepted Tsvangirai as the man who would help them get
rid of Mugabe in 2000, they have placed him on the pedestal beyond criticism
and close scrutiny. When Tsvangirai signed the one-sided power sharing
agreement with Mugabe is 2008, the first of the many big blunders the MDC
leader was to make in the next five years; alarm bells should have started
to ring in the people’s heads. By the time the nation held the referendum on
the 16 March those ringing bells should have been as loud as church bells.
Still the nation ignored the bells and believed Tsvangirai’s lies that the
Copac rubbish would deliver free and fair elections.
The nation has forfeited its chance to bring about meaningful democratic
change by implementing the reforms; Mugabe is not going to accept any
reforms now that the Copac constitution has been accepted, contrary to
whatever Tsvangirai says. Without the reforms Mugabe and Zanu PF will have
all the opportunity to use all manner of dirty tricks, including Mugabe’s
personal favourite, violence, to win this election.
The last five years should have seen the Zanu PF dictatorship dismantled
brick by brick; instead Mugabe has emerged with all his dictatorial powers
untouched, thanks to the breathtaking incompetence of Tsvangirai and the
MDC. Brace yourselves my friends for we are in for some really tough times
ahead; the elections will be bloody, there will be broken limbs and murdered
loved ones and friends to bury; and, worse of all, Mugabe and Zanu PF will
continue to exert their autocratic influence on the nation for years to
come. How many lives this Mugabe and Zanu PF dictatorship will claim in the
future and how much longer the nation will have to suffer the regime’s
misrule will be dependent of how quickly the Zimbabwean electorate can be
fired up from the mud-brick to a furnace rock-solid brick required for a
Zimbabwe needs voters who are ready and willing to criticize the leaders and
hold them to account; voters who are smart enough to see the virtues of
debate and competition as the driving force forcing everyone to strive for
excellence and smart enough to finally realize that stifling competition has
only encouraged the rat- race to the bottom in the name of unity.
Zimbabwe’s political and economic problems are not insurmountable; indeed
the country has the wealth and potential to be back on a firm footing within
six months or less. The real challenge here is how to turn a gullible and
easily cajoled voter into a fired democrat; how to turn a malleable
mud-brick into furnace-fired rock-solid brick!
It was foolish and reckless of us to have trusted the destiny of this nation
to a flawed, indecisive and incompetent man such as Tsvangirai and before
him a tyrant, Mugabe; we are now paying dearly for our folly.
“It pays in the end to get the best in the beginning!” ran the Eric Davis
advert. How true, how very true and insightful! Zimbabwe needs competent
leaders, the best; but first we must have competent voters, the best!