For the longest time, i have avoided commenting directly on the MDC-T blatant weakness, understanding that, for one reason or the other, a critique of that clique is often misunderstood as an assault on democracy, a deep hatred for human rights, along with the assumption of being a ‘resident in Mugabe’s pocket’. We have gotten to a point where, Tsvangirai is not the face of a democratic movement, but an embodiment of it.
Of course this is all in error. Tsvangirai, like Mugabe, cannot be the sole bearer of the struggle, of any struggle. Constant reminders that Mugabe delivered independence in Zimbabwe, are as false as claims that Tsvangirai is the sole vanguard of the struggle. Such views should not be left alone, unchallenged. For this reason, i have finally decided to put fallacies to the proverbial sword.
Events of recent weeks have been illuminating and elucidating, to say the least. On a simple level, one cannot deny that Tsvangirai has adulterated a relevant liberal cause by self-imposing himself the life president of the MDC and speaking condescendingly about other opposition parties.
He now believes that he is the reason for the struggle yet it is the people’s struggle. I write this in respect to his utterances captured in a video clip circulating on social media platforms, Tsvangirai likening all opposition political parties to river tributaries that feeds into the majestic Save River (which happens to be his totem).
In a chapter that written by an esteemed colleague about the 2013 constitution-making process in Zimbabwe in the book: The Post 1980 Chimurengas Explained. The author highlighted how the people’s views engraved in the National Statistical Report were hijacked and distorted by the improvised Management Committee (comprising of Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutambara).
Even though they hijacked it to suit the interests of the politicians, they were still not satisfied with the contents. In his campaigning manifesto, Mugabe promised to amend the constitution within 2 years while Tsvangirai promised to amend it in the first 100 days of taking office.
Given that the ZANU PF comrades never agreed with presidential term limits and now it’s even more crystal with Kudzai Chipanga proposing for a life president, it’s understandably clear that it’s one of the clauses they want to amend. On the other hand, the MDC constitution removed term limits in 2009 and Tsvangirai is stuck there like a traffic light. He is even thwarting any effort to unseat him.
Connecting the Nicodimus amendment of the MDC constitution to the reality of Zimbabwe, we are likely to have an autocracy should he be given a chance to rule. The same approach he used to amend the party constitution can be used towards the supreme legal document.
Okay, just for you to catch up, a constitution is generally a supreme legal document that demarcates legal parameters between the rulers and the ruled. Important to note is that, it is indeed the ruled who decide how the want to be ruled, not vice versa. However we have seen the vice versa both in the incumbent regime and opposition.
Unarguably, MDC is the biggest opposition in the country, nonetheless has it not been infested by the ills of complacency? As a matter of fact, when parties come together to form a grand coalition against ZANU PF, it means a grand reunion of its members who lost faith somehow after realising some undemocratic tendencies.
Maybe I missed it, but I wanted to hear why Tsvangirai appointed 3 vice presidents and explain what that meant to the cause. If it is indeed about MDC not Tsvangirai, this ossification, godfatherism and big man politics should fall because that’s the reason ZANU PF is on the verge of collapse right now.
“These two (Fadzayi Mahere and Nkosana Moyo) will spoil the votes to the advantage of Mugabe, so let’s all go and register to vote to stop this ZANU PF strategy of stealing the people’s victory in 2018.”
“2018 Save Chete Chete and register to vote to stop this ZANU PF strategy of stealing the people’s victory in 2018. 2018 Save Chete Chete.” Charlton Hwende the MDC-T National Executive member said in a Facebook post.
It’s quite interesting that “Save Chete Chete!” is a rebranded ZANU PF mantra, “One Centre of Power” which are both beautiful slogans similar to the Fascist propaganda, “Il Duce ha sempre ragione” translated, “Mussolini is always right!”
The extent to which the MDC-T hates competition is hypocritical and appalling.
Over the years, they have become that agglomeration that is neither a movement nor democratic nor championing change. They are copying and pasting highhanded practices probably from ZANU PF, the party they are seeking to unseat.
Fadzayi Mahere is running for the House of Assembly and putting her in the same basket with Nkosana Moyo who is running for the Presidency is grossly misplaced. Mahere is not even challenging MDC in Mount Pleasant but a ZANU PF seat. Then what the hell is Hwende specifically talking about?
The MDC-T has its own shenanigans which the electorate and candidates are quite aware of. They should be worried about their intra-party issues, but make the whole world believe their self-righteousness that they have the temerity to lead a grand coalition yet they have they have three vice presidents appointed on the basis of patronage and cronyism.
They don’t want to be in a coalition where Tsvangirai isn’t the leader, but they expect everybody to come into a coalition where they decide the terms and conditions.
I find the proposal to join a coalition very deficient of reasoning if the goal is to remove ZANU PF as a system and not only as a party. You can remove a party while preserving the system.
The undemocratic tendencies of the Movement for Democratic Change as a mere political party speaks volumes of what they are capable of if given an opportunity to rule Zimbabwe. The extreme criticism that Fadzayi Mahere and Nkosana Moyo are facing from the so-called ‘pioneers of democracy in Zimbabwe’ for exercising their constitutional rights proves it that multipartyism is likely to be a pipedream with MDC-T on the helm of power and Tsvangirai the head honcho.
Since 1999, Morgan Tsvangirai has been the leader of the most popular opposition party in Zimbabwe that somehow managed to keep the ruling ZANU PF in check.
In the road to a democratic Zimbabwe, the MDC-T has not only contested against ZANU PF, but as well tried to frustrate other brands using parallel logic of unseating Robert Mugabe. Apparently if you are anti-ZANU PF, the MDC-T does not recognise you as a contestant but rather their sycophantic voter. Anyone who is not part of their establishment is branded a masked ZANU PF project and CIO.
The number of breakaways and new opposition parties does not always mean they are ZANU PF projects to divide votes, as my friends in the MDC-T would love to name it. Sometimes it means mistrust of the MDC-T hence, the party should be willing to learn from its own flaws and deficiencies.
For instance, it is not attractive to join a party that has three vice presidents and a leader who gives magniloquent lip service of following footprints of American Liberal Democracy yet is not prepared to step down after 18 years of trial and error.
- Prof Changamire is a founding Editor on Khuluma Afrika.