Why is the MDC silent during this time of unprecedented turmoil?

By Ben Semwayo

At a time when the country is experiencing a combined political earthquake and tsunami one would expect the country’s biggest political party to assert its presence and play a dominant role in mapping the way forward.

Supporters of Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai take part in a Harare rally by the main opposition parties calling for free and fair elections next year
Supporters of Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai take part in a Harare rally by the main opposition parties calling for free and fair elections next year

The electorate is asking many questions and seeking direction from the popular party but they are met with stony silence while Zanu PF and its off-shoots are going into overdrive taking advantage of the information vacuum created by the opposition’s silence, and feeding the hungry masses with their toxic propaganda.

The recent developments are the sort of outcome that the opposition has been praying for for thirty-seven painful years, and when the opportunity finally presents itself the opposition fails to take advantage of the political windfall to advance its causes.

Mujuru, Mutsvangwa and Mnangagwa are the only politicians responding to the people’s questions and are in the process taking an early lead in shaping the future of the country, and once people have formed impressions it will be very difficult to dissuade them from adhering to those impressions, no matter how erroneous they may be.

The ZanuPF-associated politicians are projecting a post-Mugabe government led by Emmerson Mnangagwa as a done deal. This has a psychological effect on the nations because people are unconsciously being prepared to accept the proposal, more so if there is no voice to the contrary.

People get the impression that the MDC has agreed to the arrangement being peddled by the Zanu PF outcasts. But of all people Mnangagwa is not the kind of man Zimbabweans would want to settle in State House. This is a man linked to numerous crimes against humanity who is making every effort to air-brush himself and present himself as a magnanimous leader with the interests of the people at heart. He even has the nerve to point an accusing finger at Mugabe and the G40.

Who was that man at the centre of the Gukurahundi massacres in Matabeleland? Who is that man who was so brutal as to force a love rival to choose between sitting naked on a red-hot stove plate and leaping from a third-floor window to the ground?

Who is that man who was so corrupt as to charter a private jet to Dubai where Mugabe was on holiday just to beg him to anoint him his successor? Who bragged about hatching the plan to deny Tsvangirai his Presidential win in the 2008 elections? The list is endless.

The contempt with which ZanuPF rejects regard Tsvangirai is shocking. Every politician jettisoned from ZanuPF thinks it is inconceivable to serve under Tsvangirai despite the fact that he won elections resoundingly in three elections and was denied office because of Zanu PF’s rigging machinery.

When Mujuru was ejected from Zanu PF she suggested that she was the automatic leader of the opposition. Now Mnangagwa has met the same fate and he too thinks he is the natural choice to lead the opposition. It makes one wonder what these guys are smoking.

When Ian Smith lost the war he never demanded to be the automatic Head of state of the new Zimbabwe. If he had chosen to join ZanuPF he would have had to start a grass root level and work his way up. So why should it be different with these guys if it is not because they have a misplaced idea of their importance. 

The MDC is to blame for these sordid overrated perceptions that these Zanu PF castaways have of themselves because it has never asserted itself and has accepted the image of a second-rate political outfit that is never taken seriously.

Now everyone is wondering where the party is in the midst of this national disaster when it should be preparing to take over the country and restoring sanity. It should be giving the electorate the direction that it so badly needs and reassuring the nation of its preparedness to step in at any time, but all it does is nap and nap and nap. Maybe it is not worth its salt after all.