By Patrick Guramatunhu
“What we know is victory is certain, it’s only a matter of time. Every struggle has its own unique characteristics. We know exactly what we are doing – please do not panic,” Nelson Chamisa told his audience over the weekend.
If MDC knew what it was doing then why has the party failed to implement even one democratic reform in 20 years, 5 of which the party was in the 2008 to 2013 GNU? The party has never had any ideas what to do to dismantle the Zanu PF dictatorship, as Dr Ibbo Mandaza has pointed out.
“Although in its name, logo, ideology and political programme the MDC was formed as a reform party, in direct opposition to Zanu-PF’s anti-reform agenda, it is instructive that, since its formation, the MDC has squandered four major opportunities for reform headways in favour of making news headlines in the politics of the day, in the vain hope of either taking from or sharing with Zanu-PF the spoils of political power,” wrote Dr Ibbo Mandaza in The Standard.
“In the circumstances, the squandering of reform headways in favour of news headlines has been the bane of opposition politics in Zimbabwe. Despite if not in spite of styling itself as a pro-reform movement, the MDC has not had a theory of the case, that is a theory of change, based on the understanding of change through reforms as an incremental process driven by milestones that make headways towards incrementally achieving the objectives of the case.”
Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends had no idea what the democratic changes were; however, what they did know was that their election into public office was their ticket to join Zimbabwe’s exclusive ruling elite club and with that membership came the gravy train benefits and good-life.
The whole international community, including the usually reticent SADC and AU, condemned Zimbabwe’s 2008 elections as a farce because of the blatant cheating and wanton violence by Zanu PF. SADC leaders pressured Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party to sign the 2008 Global Political Agreement (GPA) agreeing to the implementation of a raft of democratic reforms designed to restore the individual freedoms and rights and to stop a repeat of the blatant election rigging of 2008.
MDC were the GNU partners entrusted the task of implementing the democratic reforms.
Robert Mugabe bribed his fellow Zanu PF cronies to abandon their revolutionary values of freedom, justice and prosperity for all and support him in imposing the de facto one party dictatorship in return for a share of the spoils of absolute power. They agreed. Mugabe contrived to do the same with the MDC leaders, bribe them with the trappings of high office in return for MDC abandoning reforms. It worked!
“Mazivanhu eMDC adzidza kudya anyere!” (MDC leaders have learned to enjoy the gravy train spoils of power; they will not rock the boat!) boasted Zanu PF cronies during the GNU, when asked why MDC was not implementing any reforms.
SADC leaders made a last minute desperate bid to get the Zimbabwe’s 2013 elections postponed until the reform are implemented.
“In 2013 the Maputo Summit, in June 2013, before the elections, the Maputo Summit was all about having the elections postponed,” Dr Ibbo Mandaza told Journalist Violet Gonda in 2017.
“Mugabe pretended to agree to a postponement of the elections.
“Morgan Tsvangirai, Tendai Biti, Welshman Ncube, all of them were called to a separate meeting by the Heads of State of SADC in the absence of Mugabe, that same evening. And they were told; ‘if you go into elections next month, you are going to lose; the elections are done’.”
MDC leaders paid no heed to SADC leaders’ stern warning and participated in the 2013 elections and, five years latter in the 2018 elections, for the same reasons they had failed to implement reforms during the GNU – they had no clue what the reforms were about and, besides, they were contend sharing the spoils of power with Zanu PF.
MDC leaders have tasted the sweetness of power; they love it and are hooked. It is true, the party has failed to implement even one reform in 20 years; none of the leaders will ever admit failure much less accept they must step down.
The party has no clue what to do to end the Zanu PF dictatorship, still MDC sees itself as the natural successor to Zanu PF, however long it takes to get rid of the regime.
The people of Zimbabwe have risked life and limb to elect MDC into power on the understanding the party will bring about the democratic changes the nation has been dying for. After 20 years MDC has not delivered even one change.
“Don’t underestimate the commitment of the children of change. The wave of change is unstoppable. Those who are trying to dismantle the people’s party are wasting their time. We are unstoppable -that’s an undeniable fact,” said Chamisa.
MDC leaders had their golden opportunity, during the 2008 GNU, to bring change and they wasted it. Ever since they have become as helpless in forcing Zanu PF to change as a feather, caught in a gust of wind, in changing the wind’s direction. MDC leaders’ primary concern is to hang on!
Chamisa’s unconstitutional seizure of power following Tsvangirai’s death in 2018, has done more to divide MDC than any other event in the MDC’s history. All the MDC factions will be participating in the 2023 elections even if not even one token reform is implemented. Zanu PF knows that and taking full advantage of it and so will resist implementing reforms for years to come.
As long as Zanu PF retains carte blanche power to rig elections, there will be no meaningful democratic change in Zimbabwe!
Democratic change should have been done and dusted by now. And yet in 20 years, MDC failed has failed to get the process started by implemented even one reform. “Change is unstoppable!” nauseating coming from one who has failed to get change started in 20 years.
MDC is not up to the task to deliver change, the party has already wasted 20 years with nothing to show for it. The nation has paid a heavy price for the wasted time; the country has sunk deeper into the abyss, it will be that much harder and take longer to dig ourselves out, if at all.