The Roots of Change (Part 1)
By Edward Kambarami
In Pursuit of Change
The MDCs want change. What sort of change do they seek? Zimbabwe and indeed the rest of Africa is craving for change. We all yearn for change, who doesn’t!
It is acknowledged that people want change, however, if we are to change the current state of affairs, we must strategically position ourselves to adopt modifications based on sound reasoning and the harsh realities of this world.
The MDCs must emancipate their mind before they begin the process of emancipating the nation.
The amelioration of our society is not an easy task, it requires intelligent reasoning and unshaken convictions, if produced, such a society is guaranteed prosperity and success.
We are naïve if we demand ‘change’ that does not seek to shatter the yoke of imperialism and neo-colonialism. We are equally naïve if we do not demand change that bolsters State institutions by purging them of incompetent, voracious and corrupt elements.
Change can only be achieved by investing our collective efforts into uprooting the root causes of the predicaments afflicting the nation. We won’t achieve change by coming to blows with one another.
It is believed that fighting on the edge of a cliff is not a very good idea. We risk falling into the deep end of political and economic ruin.
There is one grotesque fact, characteristic of our great nation and the African continent, a fact which no-one dares deny. It is the meddling of capitalist powers in the nation’s internal affairs.
According to Kwame Nkrumah, the African continent ‘’will not become developed through the goodwill or generosity of the developed powers. It can only become developed through a struggle against the external forces which have a vested interest in keeping it undeveloped.’’
Fundamental to his analysis is the methods which capitalist powers employ to keep the continent underdeveloped. He described these methods as ‘subtle and varied.’ It is plain from reading this great man‘s work, that most of the problems the continent has faced have been due to extrinsic factors imported from abroad.
Whether we accept it or not, the debacle our nation is facing has been caused by foreign elements who are determined to maintain a grip on the continent‘s natural resources.
It follows, from what has been stated above, that our current predicaments have all the hallmarks of a proxy war being fought by capitalist powers in the West to retain a grip on Zimbabwe‘s land and it’s natural resources.
This war is being fought under the guise of re-establishing democracy and the rule of law. It’s a fact that this a war of attrition and evidence on the ground shows that they have temporarily suffered setbacks.
The West is very patient, they are persistent and thick skinned, although they have suffered setbacks, be under no illusion, right now as we speak, they are in the process of formulating new tactics for another round of economic, psychological and political warfare, this is a battle that is far from over.
The MDCs want change. How will they achieve change when they are heavily reliant on financial donations from the very people who contributed to this messy situation in the first place? Since its inception, MDC has received millions of dollars from London, Washington and Sidney.
In the world of capitalism, money is King, every penny, every investment must yield vast profits. MDC was expected to deliver profits, this is the reason why supporting MDC looked so enticing. Whether we accept it or not, the West‘s duplicitous dealings in Zimbabwe are bare for all to see.
Mask of the Phantasm
Let’s take a moment to replay the episode that brought us were we are today. On the dawn of the new millennium, Zimbabwe woke up to the enticing melody of a new political party. It’s leader, Morgan Tsvangirai was the secretary general of the ZCTU, Zimbabwe‘s largest conglomerate of labour unions.
In a very short space of time, with the full support of lawyers and civic groups, displaced farmers and the West, Morgan Tsvangirai had transformed himself into an outspoken critic of Zanu PF and all it’s policies. His motto was “Chinja Maitiro, Maitiro Chinja.” In Ndebele, it’s “Guqula Izenzo, Izenzo Guqula.’’ and in English it’s “Now is the time, fight for change, support the Movement.”
The MDCs wanted change yet they were receiving financial support from a group of people determined to protect their way of life.
Doesn’t it bemuse you that a few months after the formation of the MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai was seeing on national television receiving donations from dispossessed white farmers? This act beget suspicions that MDC was working in cahoots with white farmers to halt the Land Redistribution Exercise.
This was all taking shape at a time when veterans of Zimbabwe ‘s liberation struggle were demanding immediate action in regard to the delayed issue of giving landless and economically weakened Zimbabweans land which they could utilize to sustain their livelihoods.
Any logical thinker will inform you that ownership of land was an issue that could not be brushed aside. The time to act had arrived, the war veterans and thousands of Zimbabweans had reached the end of their tether. Steps had to be taken to resolve the issue once and for all.
Lets’ agree that, by probing the farmers’ agenda in supporting Mr Tsvangarai and his party, we are no way attempting to barricade their right to participate in the nation’s political affairs. No, this is not the intention. It is a constitutional right for every Zimbabwean to participate in political affairs and to support a party of their choice as long as it is within the realm of national interest.
Being able to provide ones’ views and opinions is fundamental in a democracy. However, having a concealed and disproportionate influence on policy through the use of money and threats is its antithesis as it gives certain individuals the power to propel their hidden agendas.
Of all people, Mr Tsvangirai should know the conditions that come with baas’ monies. It is scary to imagine what would have happened had the MDC won the 2000 elections.
One thing is for sure, the Land Redistribution would have been reversed, policies that bolster the power of a small minority would have been reinforced and Zimbabwe‘s long standing land issue would simply have been brushed under the carpet.
We enquire again; The MDCs want change- What sort of change do they want?
The fact of the matter is –the land issue was never properly addressed at Lancaster House conference. The issue of compensation was the sole responsibility of the British government.
By failing to acknowledge this historical injustice, Mr Tsvangirai was desecrating the memory of those who perished in the war of liberation, a war that was painfully fought to retain the ownership of our ancestral land.
By accepting donations from displaced farmers, Mr Tsvangirai was playing the role of an unwise brother who sells his inheritance for a pot of mess.
When Regression looked so attractive
Whether he knew it or not, he had made a terrible blunder.
On the face of it, the formation of the MDC was great for Zimbabwe‘s democracy, this matter is not disputed. What is vehemently rejected is the formation of a party that seeks to reverse the ideals of the liberation struggle.
Whatever the motivation, whoever is behind it, such skewed thinking does not bring progressive change, won’t bring it ever! In the grown up world of hard-knock international politics, the interests of the nation and it’s ideals stand above everything else.
We all desire change. What sort of change are we searching for?
Good Old Bob, what changed thee?
Have we forgotten, has Mr Tsvangirai forgotten that President Mugabe enjoyed a cordial relationship with Britain? It is true that for a long time, President Mugabe was highly regarded in the West. Which of his policies severed this relationship?
It wasn’t Gukurahundi atrocities that resulted in the deaths of thousands of people in the Midlands and Matebeland, it wasn’t his poor human rights record, it wasn’t his government’s unsatisfactory performance, neither was it his reckless economic policies. President Mugabe must have committed grievous sins against God to invite the wrath of these powerful forces.
The truth of the matter is, President Mugabe‘s demise followed immediately after he started speaking about fast-tracking the Land Redistribution Exercise. Upon realising that President Mugabe had embarked on tackling the land issue, all the armies from the West flew into a rage.
The US government promptly instructed the IMF and the World Bank to intervene, sanctions were drafted, MDC was strengthened to halt him. What followed after was an exodus of Western investors, companies closed down and a remorseless thumping of our economy commenced.
This is War
The realisation that the ugly epoch when Britain ruled the nation was making a come- back, survival instinct was promptly stirred. President Mugabe accused Mr Tsvangirai and his cohorts of ‘beating a dog while hiding the stick with which they were beating it’ (kurova imbwa vakaviga mupinyi).
During a post-mortem session on the election results in July 2000, President Mugabe imparted to members of Zanu PF‘s central committee that it would be a serious miscalculation to underestimate the forces ranged against the nation.
The MDC, he said, was a ‘‘counter –revolutionary Trojan horse contrived and nurtured by the very inimical forces that enslaved and oppressed our people yesterday.’’ The nation was now engaged in a cold war with the West and everyone associated with them.
Over the last decade, President Mugabe has spoken, he has implored the nation to probe carefully our current state of affairs. He has implored the nation to be wary of the West ‘s tactics- His message is bold.
Don’t mind their loud gospel of democracy; we can better make out what they are in historical facts; it’s the anti-Africa policies they formulate behind closed doors that should move us to action, not what they preach in public, and what they want the rest of the world to believe in respect to their character.
The war has been raging on for more than a decade, people are tired of fighting- the nation has suffered immensely. The pertinent questions is: Where do we go from thence?
Real change on the Horizon
President Mugabe‘s long speeches had long fallen out of favour with the nation. Often accused of delivering tedious chronicles of the past, the President recently managed to win back the ears of the nation.
In Bulawayo, at the unveiling of late Vice President Joshua Nkomo ‘statue, President Mugabe gave what can only be described as a superb speech. The President was eloquent, his speech had deep meanings and thoughtful insights into what had gone wrong with the nation and how we could manoeuvre out of this messy situation.
In his speech, President Mugabe made an intrinsic link between education, philosophy and patriotism. He drew his teachings from Plato, the Greek Philosopher.
Plato likened the country and its people to the parts of the body. The arms represented the soldiers who should fight. The stomach those who should work and produce food in agriculture. The head, those who should think. Primary to his teachings, it seems to me, is the notion that a nation is like a human body, a system consisting of different parts held together by certain values, customs and ideals.
Like any machine, malfunctions within the system regularly occur, if they do, they must checked without delay. Failure of one part has huge consequences for the entire body. It should be understood that every citizen in the country has a crucial role to play.
At that, our efforts should be coordinated to maintain the proper function of the body. You are naïve if you permit foreign agents to infect your body politics. You are equally naïve if you think that foreign agents will heal the nation.
In the situation we see ourselves today, it is true that a house divided against itself will not stand.
In pursuit of our goals, reason and patriotism enable us to calculate consequences, these should be our corrective guide. It is undeniable that improved reason will arm us with the requisite knowledge to determine our own destiny, patriotism will enable us to reject temptations to sell the country for a mess of pottage. The MDCs want to change our body politics. What sort of change do they seek?