Zimbabwe opposition new comers lost in translation

By Elijah Mangwengwende

Looking back into history, according to David Martin in his book titled “Struggle for Zimbabwe”, The ‘Internal Settlement’ was an agreement which was signed on March 3 1978 by Ian Smith and the so-called moderate nationalist leaders comprising of Bishop Abel Muzorewa, Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole and Chiefs Jeremiah Chirau and Ndiweni.

Elijah Mangwengwende
Elijah Mangwengwende

“The Internal Settlement of 1978 attempted to side-line the liberation forces and gave birth to a hurried transitional arrangement which led to the hyphenated state of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia when Ian Smith’s power was growing weaker”.

Why it is necessary to link the above conundrum with the current situation in Zimbabwe may confuse some but it is necessary to highlight the betrayal of Zimbabwean masses at a crucial period by ever mushrooming new comers within an already saturated political space at this juncture in as far as the new struggle for a better Zimbabwe against our modern day black oppressors led by President Robert Mugabe backed by rogue elements within the security forces and ever thriving well connected corrupt business community.

Lost In Translation

It is important to highlight that, every Zimbabwean has a democratic right to form a political party and contest elections in any capacity under the supreme law of the land. It is also a legal right for anyone to contest as an independent candidate, from that sober reality there is no problem to see Dr Nkosana Moyo, Simba Makoni, Advocate Mahere, Evan Mawarire and many others exercise their democratic right and fight for the top job or parliamentary seats.

However my learned friends are missing something crucial, hence the reason why they are lost in translation. What is important is to learn from what could have been a catastrophic result if Abel Muzorewa and company had succeeded in 1978, especially soon after the massacre in Chimoio and you find someone aiding the very enemy trying to reverse an imminent victory by gallant sons and daughters of Zimbabwe.

I am not in any way saying opposition new comers are traitors neither am I doubting their love for Zimbabwe, even Abel Muzorewa believed he had the best interest of the country but not realising the great betrayal for those comrades who were in the trenches for too long. 

Why the Comparison: The betrayal will be at par with The Internal Settlement of 1978.

Abel Muzorewa thought he was best placed to deliver the freedom and he found it necessary to ignore the efforts of the likes of Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe, yet the reality on the ground was that Muzorewa didn’t have the troops to win the war but for the love of power he realised an opportunity to pounce.

For nearly 30 years now, Morgan Tsvangirai since his days at ZCTU has been fighting the regime, saved our democracy, delivered a new constitution, prevented Mugabe from declaring one party state, not to forget the brutal beatings he suffered in the hands of ZANU PF and yet you find some elements claiming that he did not do enough and that he failed. Nothing can be further from truth.

Great betrayal of the masses

No amount of explanation or no matter how many degrees one holds, the reality is that Nkosana Moyo, Simba Makoni, Tendai Biti etc do not have the people behind them to win a Presidential election neither do they have enough time to reach out to the grassroots before 2018 elections. So one may be forced to ask, what then is their motive? It’s like a snake biting a cow and run away.

Exercising a democratic right and one’s ability to achieve a national goal is just like water and oil. Dreaming to be a President is allowed but to get people behind you to achieve that goal is not a dream. Succeeding in academic research is one thing but to convince people to rally behind someone is another thing.

Displaying decorated academic CVs is one thing, convincing the grassroots using that CV as a tool is another thing. Working for international organisations is one thing but telling Sekuru Ndunge about IMF or SADC on one’s CV is another thing. It doesn’t work that way. Mbuya Chironga in Gweshegweshe village doesn’t understand what a CV is all about.

Weakening an already fragile opposition base will be an unforgivable betrayal of the ever suffering masses by the new entries.

What we really need

The problem with all new parties is that, they are launching parties and put resources only in urban areas where the opposition has been doing well since 2000. No one is willing to confront ZANU PF in Muzarabani, in Chiendambuya or in Tsetsetse.

What does it help to campaign in Kuwadzana or in Luveve despite dividing the urban votes in favour of ZANU PF, failure to penetrate rural areas will be catastrophic and one would think that since the likes of Dr Mujuru used to have strong presence in Mash Central, people would expect NPP to camp there, why not Nkosana Moyo go to rural Mat North and Simba Makoni campaign in Mutasa mobilising voters for Morgan Tsvangirai, the only person with realistic chance and following to defeat ZANU PF.

Why wasting resources kuteya nzou ne riva or barking at a flying plane? Swallow your pride and do what is best for Zimbabwe, we can’t all be President neither can we be all MPs.

Backing one credible candidate is not an option but a necessity. No one is saying don’t exercise your right to contest but best to consider if you are capable of winning the elections, defying the odds will significantly help ZANU PF and you will have a lot to explain to your great grandchildren from your graves.

Zikomo, ngatisatengesa nyika.