By Malvern Mkudu
After considering that the State does whatever it can to frustrate opposition gatherings through the ZRP I have still come to the conclusion that yesterday’s NERA demo was a flop.I have been at weddings where there are more people and I remember some small musical bands attracting bigger crowds in Dangamvura back in the day.
Yesterday’s meeting was not completely banned. It just had restrictions which did not apply to the ruling party’s one million men march for example.The constitution says everyone has a right to be treated equally before the law but that’s a matter for those aggrieved to take to the courts.
After considering all these factors against the opposition , there is no doubt that Mugabe’s words that 0+0+0+0+0 will equal to 0 are relevant. Chipanga’s words that Zanus only opposition is the economy will come to pass.
The MDC-T is finished .They were the major drivers of yesterday’s event and they simply didn’t get the numbers. Just the usual hangers, where they give empty solidarity messages. Where were their supporters?
It was also clear yesterday that the MDC-T remains the biggest and only credible ‘opposition party’ even though its on its death bed.
Yesterday also exposed that the opposition has very little to say except rhetoric denigrating President Mugabe. I was at the demo venue for about 3 hours only leaving for about 30 mins to charge my phone.
About 1 hour 30 mins was spent on milling around engaging in aimless chitchat, waiting for the chefs to arrive. Another 20 mins was devoted to singing the so called revolutionary songs.10 mins was allocated to talking but only 2 mins remotely talked about BVR but in an unclear and incoherent manner.
I don’t know what happened the other 30 mins I wasn’t there.
The other hour was about delivering petition. I don’t want leaders who like Mugabe devote very little time to important issues and dwell on hate speech and useless rhetoric.
I don’t understand BVR in detail myself but I was left with no doubt that the leaders of this demo and those who gave solidarity messages don’t either. What they understand is to sing songs and tongue lash the authorities.
An apparent lack of thought leaders both within the political ranks and civil society ranks was glaring and it was exposed yesterday.
I do not have the answers to what needs to be done but if the MDC-T is unable to rediscover the ideas upon which it was founded which resonated with the ordinary folk then it may be a time to look ahead without it. We need a new conversation about what the people of Zimbabwe want.
Let’s revisit the People’s Charter.
- Malvern Mkudu is a veteran journalist based in Harare, Zimbabwe