I WISH I could write the following statement across the sky in giant and fiery capital letters: The MDC has held plenty parliamentary seats since 2000, but apparently, no change has come. The opposition has agonisingly lost the presidential bid each time, except in 2008.
By Learnmore Zuze
MDC, for years now, has had legislators and, as anyone can see, nothing has changed, from councils to national affairs.
Seasoned opposition politicians, by now, must appreciate the fact that having scores of legislators in the House of Assembly won’t help a thing. Political progress doesn’t come that way.
MDC Alliance members must see the bigger picture. It is not these council and parliamentary seats currently sowing discord in the alliance that matter.
Zimbabweans, and I speak for those who see the need for a change of governance, want an overhaul of the system, not piece-meal changes.
There is a huge shift from opposition politics of the past. While the aim of the united MDC of 1999 was to totally form a new government, it appears some in the opposition would be content with “making inroads”.
The opposition in Zimbabwe must now wake up from its slumber and go for broke. I could simply have titled this piece An open letter to the opposition in Zimbabwe in its entirety.
The reason being that there seems to be something that has remained elusive to the opposition over nearly the past two decades.
The most formidable opposition ever to set foot on the Zimbabwean political landscape suffered the same demise that may befall the alliance of opposition parties to square up with Zanu PF in a few weeks’ time.
The united MDC born in 1999 was, and surely remains, the strongest threat that came close to wrest power from deposed former President Robert Mugabe.
The question is: how did a new party, barely 12 months old, grab half of the seats in Parliament from a seasoned party like Zanu PF?
The matter is simple to understand; the strength of the MDC of 1999 was unity and the ability to rally behind one presidential candidate.
There was massive unity of purpose. The aim of the fiery men in 2000 namely, Morgan Tsvangirai (now late), Learnmore Jongwe (now late), Job Sikhala, Tafadzwa Musekiwa, Gibson Sibanda (now late) and Welshman Ncube, among many others, was to unseat a system that had inflicted immense pain on Zimbabweans.
These men spoke with one voice; they fought the system head on and suffered State reprisals in various capacities.
The resultant outcome of the parliamentary elections of 2000 was ample proof that when a political outfit sees the bigger picture, then achieving results comes into the realm of possibility.
The united MDC of the year 2000 managed to put up a commendable fight against a despotic regime to the point of almost assuming power because they enlarged the name of Tsvangirai.
They rallied the masses towards change. It must be sadly admitted that these men, who fought a brutal system gallantly, would turn swords against each other later in the struggle.
By so doing, they prolonged Mugabe’s painful rule. It is imperative that these men have regrouped under an alliance, but the trouble is that there are bad apples within the grouping.
There are people in the alliance, whose sole aim is to acquire power.
To them, it’s not so much about the economic liberation of this country which the majority have waited for since 2000.
Some of the politicians in the alliance apparently show that they are in it for themselves.
Everywhere across the country, there continues to be unprecedented clashes among MDC Alliance members over sharing of council and parliamentary seats.
The simple and direct message that should be reverberating across the campaigns should be the State House issue.
Everyone in the alliance must put forward Nelson Chamisa’s name, this is precisely where the change starts.
Winning a council or parliamentary seat is not even half the battle.
Statements we continue to hear such as Chamisa’s MDC-T being accused of trespassing into constituencies reserved for alliance partners won’t serve the cause of the opposition.
The accusations have been traded among the partners. This is precisely what breeds failure in opposition politics.
It is sad again that Thokozani Khupe failed to grasp this fact, it’s not currently about positions, but about changing a system. It’s hardly an issue of positions or deserving.
The alliance must do what will put the opposition in power. The opposition must not have a warped sense of democracy.
The opposition can only lose direction and focus by choosing to fight over petty positions.
The script will not change and an easy victory would be guaranteed for Zanu PF.