MDC-T must stop violence


Of late, the MDC-T has been making newspaper headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Intra-party violence has rocked the MDC-T and scores of people have been hurt in the run-up to the party’s congress scheduled for this week.

Ugliest of the violence scenes were witnessed in Bulawayo over the just-ended Easter holidays.
Rock-throwing “advocates of change” were at each other’s throats threatening to tear away the party’s tag of “excellence”.

Excellence, indeed!

MDC-T members in the City of Kings are reported to have pummelled each other on Good Friday at the party’s offices as the Matson Hlalo and Gorden Moyo factions clashed.

What disturbs us is the casual manner in which party spokesman Nelson Chamisa, who should avoid becoming the party’s Goebbels, has chosen to deal with the matter.

He downplayed the incident which resulted in the arrest of 12 party activists as nothing but just a “small matter” even though the MDC-T has clearly failed to address this “small matter”.

The party has since its birth claimed the democracy and non-violence tag, but it appears some among its followers now feel they cannot be outdone by Zanu PF in anything, including violence.

Zanu PF has gained notoriety for being a violent party with its leader, President Robert Mugabe, having unashamedly boasted of having “degrees in violence”.

The violence that is fast becoming commonplace in the MDC-T has the genetic imprints of Zanu PF, virtually justifying claims by the Welshman Ncube-led MDC formation that Tsvangirai’s group behaves like a progeny of the former ruling party.

In fact, when the split of the original MDC took place in 2005, Ncube, then secretary-general of the party, shouted very loudly Tsvangirai’s party had turned rogue.

Those Zimbabweans who lent a deaf ear to these claims, dismissing them as sour grapes from a divorced spouse, could now be thinking again.

These reports of violence in the MDC-T are and should be of grave concern to Zimbabwe and indeed the Southern African region especially because the MDC-T is touted as the next governing party of Zimbabwe.

This is not a fantasy, but a conclusion based on empirical evidence.

Tsvangirai has beaten Mugabe in election numbers before, never mind the fact that the victory did not take him to State House.

In view of this violence, what would happen with the MDC-T in control of power and other state security apparatus at its disposal?

As it is, they are using dry hands and it’s bad.
We once again call upon MDC-T to ignore the childish stance adopted by its spin doctors seeking to sugar-coat ugly scenes of violence in the party and lead by example.

Otherwise why remove Zanu PF if we are going to replace it with its own “offspring”?

Too much violence has rocked the party for just provincial positions and we should not be seen to condone that by calling this mere “challenges” or “small matters”.