Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is mulling the possibility of pulling out of the Mbeki sponsored agreement signed between itself and Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF a couple of weeks ago.
Although it is a sad development, it is vindication because I denounced the useless agreement from the day it was signed and made public. I warned that no one I know in this world can make an honest agreement with Mugabe. I warned the MDC and urged them to seek new dialogue or pull out of the agreement because it was a worthless agreement hammered by politicians with self interest in the absence of the people and civil society.
Now Mugabe is using the same agreement to humiliate the MDC and this is a small reminder to the MDC not to think of itself as the ultimate but should always remember that they are servants of the people and of civil society.
The MDC has done relatively well since its formation and the reason it did so is because it played the role of the people’s messenger. It came this far because it espoused and pushed for those stands, demands and positions that the people mandated it to.
Because of that, shameless turncoats like Jonathan Moyo, failed to shake it.
The MDC had impact because, unlike ZANU-PF, it was, to use ZANU-PF’s term, people-driven.
Looking back, we can see that whenever the MDC’s top hierarchy made unilateral decisions, it suffered setbacks. Although the worm was already safely lodged inside the apple, sell-outs like Welshman Ncube pounced on Tsvangirai and accused him of unilaterally imposing himself above the MDC constitution and Ncube used that to lead his sightless followers away from the mainstream MDC.
But the most recent example is the agreement that the MDC negotiated and signed on its own behalf and, at the instigation of ZANU-PF, after deliberately shutting out the people and marginalizing civil society.
The manner in which the MDC handled the negotiations and the agreement is typical ZANU-PF.
ZANU-PF does not suffer any fall-out from such undemocratic practices because this is what it has been since its formation but the MDC does suffer and it is inflicting wounds on itself. It was a bad move for a party that taut democracy as its main theme.
Now the MDC is marooned because they veered off course after being warned and refusing to listen; now they are in no better position than they were before they signed the agreement. They actually came out worse off. They remain beggars before a man and a party that should be pleading for some consideration from them.
Some readers patronized me to the extent of telling me that this is not the time to blame each other or point fingers but to stand together and make this arrangement work “for the sake of the people and our country”.
Of course, that is utter rubbish. To stand together for what?
Why should a couple set out to give birth to a child or children with known birth defects? If my orange tree is producing lemons instead, I will not make lemonade; thank you.
I will cut down the useless tree and graft it with orange tree branches. I know where to get lemons, if I need any. And if that lemon tree is producing oranges when I want lemons for my tea, beware the axe!
Some readers said that I was demonizing Tsvangirai. They said at least the MDC tried to do something about the situation by signing that notorious agreement.
Signing an agreement with Mugabe?
What is happening now is exactly why I refused to accept the meaningless agreement even before it was made public. Looking at it now, what did the MDC and the people of Zimbabwe get out of it? The ‘prime minister designate’ still cannot be granted a passport by people Tsvangirai should be issuing passports to. The MDC is becoming more and more vocal as if they were the opposition party.
Thanks to this agreement, the MDC, instead of setting policy and agenda, has been reduced to reacting to what ZANU-PF does and says. The MDC is begging Mugabe for a little power, any amount of power, even though the people took power from Mugabe and gave it to Tsvangirai.
Why did the MDC and Tsvangirai capitulate to the point of sneering at the votes that the people gave the MDC only for Tsvangirai to sign an agreement that demoted him to number two when the people had placed him on number one?
The MDC must pull out of this agreement to save Zimbabwe and the people. Mugabe and ZANU-PF have already given both Tsvangirai and the MDC enough reason to abandon the faulty agreement as it clearly benefits no one except Mugabe and his people.
This agreement is like taking a shower in the rain; or, if you will, it is like watering your garden in a downpour. Yes, there is water but it has to be properly directed. Trees, flowers, grass and the flora easily benefit from the wild rains but the same rains can destroy a garden because, unlike the forest, there is order when establishing a garden and water has to be introduced at strategic points.
Agreement for agreement’s sake is not beneficial to Zimbabwe.
A few days ago, the MDC conceded that they are “still worlds apart” on major issues.
The MDC was suckered into talking about the desirability of a youth national training programme but forgot to ask about what power or ministries they would hold as the winning party so as to stamp their authority and redirect the nation towards recovery.
The MDC made a big mistake and they now see it.
I call it misplaced priorities but MDC spokesperson Nelson Chamisa describes it better.
“They want us to be lipstick to a body that is ZANU-PF,” Chamisa said.
I repeat my statement that the MDC hierarchy was blinded by the desire to hold power and to rule and rushed into an unworkable arrangement. They were impatient for themselves. Even now, amid all these claims and counter claims, the constitution does not currently provide for the office of Prime Minister nor does it recognize or provide for a unity government. But the haggling over cabinet posts continues.
Having been misled by ZANU-PF into shutting the people out, the MDC is now unable to make too much noise regarding what they and ZANU-PF tried to do to the people.
They can’t even refer to the agreement because there is nothing in that document to protect, bind or guide the signatories. It is a document that should never have been born.
One would have thought that with people like Tendai Biti, a much more accomplished lawyer than Welshman Ncube, in attendance, the MDC would be able to avoid pitfalls such as they fell into.
Tsvangirai’s advisors and the MDC’s decision making body have to be revamped. This agreement shows us a serious deficiency in decision making and if this is the kind of cavalier, laissez faire attitude they employ when mapping the course of serious issues of national concern, then we are in trouble.
My worst fears, however, are that this agreement could actually polarize the MDC within itself and the nation cannot afford that.
There are people within the MDC who did not want and who still do not want this agreement and it is my hope that they will handle disagreements better than Welshman Ncube who split the organization and formed a faction.