The recent coming- down of curtains at the Zanu PF congress in Harare left a number of Zimbabweans with more and more disturbing questions than answers in as far as democracy is concerned in this country.
Zimbabweans appear to have accepted the unacceptable over the years as we have seen all manner of shenanigans ranging from political violence to the destruction of homes as well as the “stealing” of elections.
Each and every shenanigan has been followed by some form of justification as to why all manner of ills were warranted.
We have even heard the Gukurahundi genocide being justified dismissively with the now-infamous phrase that it was a “moment of madness”.
What all these justifications have in common is that they were shallow attempts to maintain at least pretence of democracy.
However, with the recent congress all pretence of democratic processes and collective decision-making has been thrown out with amendments to the Zanu PF constitution to allow President Robert Mugabe not only to choose his Vice-Presidents, but also appoint a number of influential positions including secretaries of various portfolios.
I wonder if Zanu PF members see that in this congress the “one-man one-vote” principle was undone.
Many Zanu PF members have been too excited about the rise and fall of certain individuals within the party to the extent of even failing to notice that the very foundations of what the liberation struggle was about had been massacred.
Mugabe even had the luxury to let delegates go home after congress and conclude the “serious task” of choosing the top positions within Zanu PF in the comfort of his home.
On the other hand, only weeks earlier, the MDC-T also pushed ahead with changes that now make it a requirement for the party’s secretary-general and for the top officials to report to Morgan Tsvangirai in the future.
These developments, although no longer a surprise given what is now very clear that these two parties do not respect basic tenets of democracy, should be very worrying for all Zimbabweans.
With national elections already a foregone conclusion, whether through the use of violence or Nikuv, this all basically means Mugabe now picks future Presidents and Vice-Presidents at home.
Nations always come to crossroads and the trajectory of Zimbabwe has been gradually to turn a blind eye and make the wrong choices and a turn towards dictatorship.
Even the most likely alternative to the dictatorship is another dictatorship in waiting. Surely, it is time for Zimbabweans to stand up and resist dictatorships that have led to the demise of our country in all its forms.
In the past Zimbabweans like Joshua Nkomo, Edgar Tekere and others stood against tyranny.
What we need to do now as Zimbabweans is to rally against attempts to take away hard-won liberties.
We all have a part to play.
We must make the right decisions, not the easy ones, otherwise future generations will also be oppressed.
Now is the time to stand up and be counted. Now is not the time to make further excuses for inaction, but to be a part of the change we need to see.
If I may borrow Haile Selassie’s words: “Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted, the indifference of those who should have known better, the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most, that has made it possible for evil to triumph.”
We definitely need to come together, it would be good to see all democratic and progressive Zimbabweans come together.
We should build on events such as the reunification of the MDC and MDC-Renewal to form the UMDC, as well as the anticipated grand coalition of the same with other progressive forces such as Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn and Zapu.
Didymus Mutasa, Joice Mujuru and others, who have recently discovered the importance of democratic processes, should also join in and bring with them many progressive Zimbabweans from Zanu PF.
It is high time Zimbabweans rallied behind a popular movement in their masses that is truly democratic and that all Zimbabweans can be part of and enjoy being equal and represented in decision-making that will impact their future.
We should not let this opportunity and the uniting of different parties pass by without playing our part and ensuring it ushers in a new Zimbabwe.
An olive branch should be extended to Zanu PF and MDC-T because they too should be working for the good of all Zimbabweans.