Tsvangirai still the best foot forward but…
By Shingi Chimwaza
The internal power struggle in the MDC T, often referred to as the “Struggle within a Struggle”, has, been a painful episode to many Zimbabweans, who remain with some semblance of hope, somewhere deep inside themselves, about a free and prosperous Zimbabwe.
The painful thing about this “struggle within a struggle”, was the fact that, if it was to be allowed to go on with no solution in sight, it was playing into the hands of ZANU PF, for obvious reasons as we head towards 2018.
I have intentionally, used the term “was” because I believe the strife has since gone past the ugly corner, since the grassroots have spoken. I am no die hard supporter of Tsvangirai, but I believe in the very principles of democracy, which allow freedom of expression and also the respect of the voice of the majority.
This issue had to be resolved as it was sending conflicting signals to the party membership as well as to the international community pertaining the credibility of the last election thus posing a real threat to internal and external support.
For instance, whilst engaging in a debate on social networks pertaining the strife in the MDC, one of my good friends came out with a nearly convincing theory about NIKUV as just being a smokescreen used by MDC as they had to come up with a scapegoat and save face.
His argument was that if NIKUV really existed and manipulated elections to such extents as claimed by the MDC, then why is Tsvangirai being blamed for the electoral loss.
We both agreed that Elizabeth, Locardia or any other female name one may wish to throw into the mix can not be the reason for his subordinates wishing him out, because, for a fact we know that story as a “tired” one . As a matter of fact ,as recipients of news we suffered abuse, by being subjected to excessive quantities of bedroom matters which did not concern us.
Anyway, which politician in Zimbabwe has been so clean when it comes to women, from the president of the republic right down to our rural ward councillors.
Earlier on, when reports of this internal struggle turning ugly were put to light on this publication, I wrote the article titled “The Voice of the Majority must be Respected” and I stressed the importance of making the people have the last say in their choice between Tsvangirai, Mangoma, Biti,or any other leader willing to give it a shot at the top. Here we are, 210 district chairpersons have spoken, and we know they represent the will of the people, that Tsvangirai should continue as president ,at least until 2016.
I however condemn the violence that took place outside Harvest house and I hope stringent measures will be taken to avoid such behavior going forward, in this new age were “wars” are now won through diplomatic means.
He (Tsvangirai) may not be the best, according to some colleagues’ belief systems, but he remains the people’s best foot forward in their quest for a new Zimbabwe, so let that be. After all democracy is all about respecting the will of the people!
The task at hand now is for Tsvangirai to rally his troops and organize the people to show discontent against ZANU PF through non-violent demonstrations in a move that should be a complete shift from the current state of docility.
The president of the MDC need to revive the spirit of non-violent defiance as was the case in the 1990s when he (Tsvangirai) was still with the ZCTU. What does it help, after all to be a president of a political party, with no strategy of confronting a system each time the vote is stolen right from under your nose?
What does it help also to be leaders of an opposition party who are only excellent, political analysts and lacking practicality to justify the positions given to them by the people?
We all know that the system is usually quick to crush any forms of protest, but we saw it happening in apartheid South Africa, with the likes of Mkhuseli (Khusta) Jack leading mass demonstrations under even worse circumstances.
We have seen our own Jenni Williams and her WOZA often times trying to re ignite the spirit of non-violent action through demonstrations, but the MDC has not done anything to complement these efforts.
Whilst the internal strife in the MDC was raging on, revelations of massive looting in the parastatals and the Harare City council were brought to light, and we are witnessing most of these cases dying a natural death, with the leadership of the opposition not doing anything more than just condemning corruption through the press.
Once again, efforts by Philosophy Nyapfumbi who went on a hunger strike were not being complimented by way of a much bigger mobilization of the people by the MDC leadership against town clerk Mahachi and Minister Chombo.
The point here is, the dust has now settled in the MDC, and it is high time Tsvangirai gives people hope through good leadership which does not entail turning a blind eye, but lead a non-violent conflict against the repressive system.
Shingi Chimwaza is a member of the Fletcher Summer Institute Alumini Network. He writes in his personal capacity and can be contacted at [email protected]