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Letter from America: MDC-Elections 2018: Beware-history will repeat itself!

By Ken Mufuka

I am surprised that both ZANU-PF and the MDC do not utilize shadowy think-tanks. Think tanks help to create narratives, clarify the vision, and above all, avoid the mistakes of the past.

Professor Ken Mufuka
Professor Ken Mufuka

If the  MDC and Nelson Chamisa had any sense, they would have spent all their energies not on numbers but on making sure that the machinery which calls out the numbers is responsive to the electorate, not to ZANU-PF. Secondly, while style creates a sense of fun and momentum, substance is more important. Substance is the ability to affect one’s words (style) into practice.

The MDC has won very election since 2000 but has failed to take a power. In my humble opinion, they have failed to distinguish between style and substance.

I visited my friends in the MDC hierarchy in 2009 who were close to the MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

 My first question was: “Why do you allow Morgan Tsangirai to cavort with juicy female characters?” The answer may surprise you.

“Iwe Ken, Morgan is a fully grown man. How can we tell him whom to sleep with and whom not to?”

As leader of government, Tsvangirai no longer had the liberty to sleep with whoever he chanced to lay his eyes on (pun intended). There were 3.5 million Diasporas waiting for his success, so they could return home.

Two more issues arose. During the next five years,  Tsvangirai was never able to resolve the issue of a house suitable for his new found station in life.

Thirdly, he carried on a bitter debate with Mukuru’s surrogates about the size of his motorcade and entourage, which he wanted to resemble that of Robert Mugabe.

I went into a toilet and cried. Tsvangirai had achieved much in his life and had won every election since 2000, a position which would have allowed him to overthrow an iniquitous tyranny. Tsvangirai failed to understand a simple lesson about power.

Mahatma Gandhi did not have a house, and all his possessions constituted three pieces of a fakir’s wrap around cloths and two pairs of sandals. And yet, he shook the British Empire. Nor did Tsvangirai understand Frederick Douglass’s dictum. There are no people in history who have given up power willingly. Power must be grabbed.

He failed to distinguish between substance and mere puffery.

Mukuru (Robert Mugabe) has testified on three different occasions that Morgan won 73 percent of the vote in 2008. At the moment when Tsvangirai had reached the mountain top, he feared for his life; fled to Botswana in the hour of his most success.

Leadership is self-sacrificial and a platform for martyrdom. He expected to be called from Botswana to assume what was by rightfully his.

Chamisa in the UK

While Chamisa did not do any damage to his image among his followers, Stephen Sackur of the BBC Hardtalk exposed some loose chinks in Chamisa’ armor. Two examples will suffice.

Nelson Chamisa on BBC Hardtalk
Nelson Chamisa on BBC Hardtalk

Tsvangirai died on February 14, 2018.  On February 15, Chamisa, who was junior to Vice President Thokozani  Khupe, chaired a meeting which then declared him leader.

When Khupe attended Morgan’s funeral, a Chamisa affiliated Vanguard Posse attempted to burn the grass thatched hut in which she had taken refuge. On returning to Bulawayo, a similar attempt was made on her life, with pangas and knobkerries.

Whether Sackur was working for the British MI V (Intelligence) or not, we do not know. What we do know is that a narrative that there is the same difference in violence between ZANU-PF and the MDC, one counts six degrees  and the other half a dozen degrees of violence.

A firm narrative is emerging in the UK and in the US-State Department that destroys the moral carpet underpinning the MDC efforts to unseat a tyranny. .

Sackur further emphasized that the economic policies of the two parties are no different; both are based on the proposed beneficiation (local manufacture) of resources.

Therefore, if ZANU-PF equals the MDC, foreign support for either party makes no difference to the beneficiation of Zimbabwean citizens.

There is also an underpinning by ZANU-PF that some white farmers will return while others will be compensated. The devil that has shown some contrition is better than a fresh and vigorous devil.

The mathematics

My brothers, Ibbo Mandaza and Hopewell Chi’ngono, who are mightier than I, whose shoes I cannot untie, have prognosticated that the numbers will favor Chamisa.

I beg to kindly disagree, not about the numbers. We know that Tsvangirai has won every election since year 2 000. So, yes the numbers are always in favor of the MDC.

It is about who counts the numbers, my beloved!

I will not hold the readers much longer.  Justice Priscilla Chigumba has “declined” to send the ballot papers for printing to a company chosen by tender.

There is not a single MDC representative in the Electoral Commission. The ballot papers will be printed at night, by a Fly by Night Company known only to her Honorable Beatific.

In my previous life when I carried Joshua Nkomo’s bag, words to this effect reached me in 1980. Tanzania’s Julius Nyerere asked Zimbabwe’s Governor Lord Soames. “Why did you let Mugabe win with such a wide margin (56 percent)?”

Nkomo cried. The results of 1980 underplayed Nkomo’s support throughout Zimbabwe. To make sure that nothing leaked, the papers were air-lifted to the United Kingdom for incineration.

Sackur hinted on Chamisa’s childish tantrum.  Chamisa was a man in a hurry and anxious to participate in a game he felt was rigged. If the MDC flopped, what then?  “We will not accept it.”

 Sackur went for the kill. “You cannot have it both ways.”

I will not leave you ignorant my brothers. In 1980, the disappearance of several ballot boxes in Gokwe was allowed without remedy, as was the case of  ZAPU being shut out of the whole Midlands Province.

The British had made up their mind to accommodate a ZANU-PF victory. The   narrative that the anomalies did not significantly alter the will of the majority was already in place.

 The US will fall in place behind the British. Ha! Now you get it.

The electoral machinery begins with the Registrar General., then Judge Priscilla Chigumba assisted by capable men from Tongogara Barracks (formerly King George IV). There is not a single MDC representative in that hierarchy.

A curious piece of information attributed to Joice Mujuru camp says that Sidney Sekeramayi gathered only 24 votes in the 2013 election but was “given” the seat anyway.

My research in Nyanga revealed a similar scenario to that of Sekeramayi.


(Ken Mufuka (with Cyril Zenda) have just published a book; Life and Times of Robert Mugabe: Dream Betrayed, 1980-2017. (Innov Bookshops in Zimbabwe)