When we were growing up, we were schooled by our parents on how to conduct ourselves in the presence of visitors. In many cases, we would play far away from the vicinity of the visitors.
Even our parents were very good at creating an artificial rosy environment during the presence of special visitors. Even when they had just fought, our parents would immediately change faces upon the arrival of the visitors. They would put their squabbles at abeyance until the visitors departed.
That was how diplomatic and cultured our ancient parents were. They were not that educated, but they had God-given wisdom. Children who defied this order would face the music when the visitors left. Even the visitors themselves would talk negatively about you on their way back to their homes.
Everybody who went through such socialisation grew up knowing how to mask differences in the presence of visitors or strangers, kusafukura hapwa as it is known in Shona.
MDC-T activists this week showed that they were never socialised in this manner. It’s either they threw away the education they received or they were part of the lot who never had the privilege to go through such a noble African schooling.
The MDC-T demonstrated during the Sadc summit in Harare on April 28 in demand of, among other things, the so-called electoral reforms in Zimbabwe. Did the MDC-T really think that by engaging in such demonstrations, the Sadc Heads of State would change their agenda and discuss electoral reforms in Zimbabwe?
If the demonstrations were aimed at drawing sympathy from Sadc, it was a gross political miscalculation. Sadc drew electoral guidelines that Zimbabwe followed to the dot. As a show of confidence in the Zimbabwean electoral process, Sadc endorsed the 2013 election as credible, free and fair. The MDC-T cannot expect the same bloc to change its opinion on the same electoral process almost two years down the line.
The MDC-T should be reminded that it is not Sadc that can reform the electoral process of Zimbabwe. The MDC-T itself and other Zimbabweans are the ones who can change the electoral law. A local problem should always find a local solution. I don’t know how MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai intends to push for the reforms when he is busy decimating his party’s numerical advantage in Parliament through recalling his MPs and boycotting the by-elections.
Sadc knows the type of opposition parties that Zimbabwe and Kenya have. Therefore, it will not surprise them a bit. They know that Tsvangirai and Raila Odinga are twin brothers “sired” by the West.
The behaviour displayed by the MDC-T is a show of disrespect for the Sadc Heads of State. How does Tsvangirai hope to join them when he disrespects them like that? He never approached Sadc with his grievances. All he did was to approach the West.