Saturday, July 20, 2024

ZANU-PF is slowly swallowing the MDC

It appears to me as if Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his party are either tired or are slowly integrating into the political spheres of ZANU-PF.

There is now just token resistance through press releases or short news conferences where questions are hardly entertained.

Tsvangirai and his senior party officials have become too comfortable with ZANU-PF.
It must be cause for concern when our faces start to resemble those of the enemy.

I have honestly tried to believe that the MDC would bring the desired changes to Zimbabwe.
I am one of many who were not enthusiastic about the MDC joining Mugabe because we knew what Mugabe can do to political opponents.

We also feared what a little comfort that comes with being a cabinet minister would do to the poor MDC ministers.

Today we look back and we can hardly recognize the MDC warriors we once believed in; they have changed.

They are sharing power now and our voices mean little to them. We have become a disturbance, a burden and a nuisance to them, we can hardly recognize each other.

The script that the people gave to the MDC has long since been thrown away.
Events in the last few weeks all but cement our pessimism over the MDC leadership.
Tsvangirai, the once fiery pragmatic and brave warrior, is saying less and less about discrepancies churned out by his party and government.

He has also made the fatal mistake of aligning himself with one faction in his party, instead of remaining neutral so as to broker peace within his party.

The reshuffle Tsvangirai occasioned a few weeks ago is very telling.
While I concede that Tsvangirai has every right to reshuffle his cabinet, the reasons behind such a sensitive undertaking should be apparent to all.

It should be done for the benefit of the nation, not to settle scores or preen some egos at the expense of the nation.

But we see now that the reshuffle had nothing to do with service delivery but had more to do with consolidating power by removing certain people who are deemed to be a threat to Tsvangirai and his underlings.

Giles Mutsekwa was doing a lousy job at Home Affairs and urgently needed to be redeployed but replacing Mutsekwa with Theresa Mokone is one of the biggest jokes Tsvangirai has ever cracked.
This is the type of self-defeating maneuverings that landed Mugabe in trouble with the electorate because Mugabe was later unable to disengage himself from such parasites. In the end, Mugabe’s parasites, in the form of Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri, army chief Constantine Chiwenga and others, collectively became more powerful than Mugabe himself.

That is how they vetoed his electoral defeat and forced Mugabe to remain where he is for their own protection.
Sadly, this is exactly what Tsvangirai is doing now.

Tsvangirai is now clearly afraid of rocking the boat.
He has forgotten that he is in a coalition government and downplays all the bad things ZANU-PF continues to do in his presence.

Tsvangirai seems determined to stay in the unity government regardless of what is happening around him, to the people or to the nation.
He now appears scared of the alternative.

The battle has not been won at all and the MDC behaves as if they have accomplished what they set out to do. They are just too comfortable to fight on anyone’s behalf yet the people continue to give them support.

People are not tired of supporting the MDC because people have always been hopeful. But is the MDC complementing all the support it is receiving from the people?
The husband and wife team of Ian and Theresa Mokone are relatives to Tsvangirai and said to be his financial backers.

I was shocked, therefore, to learn that Tsvangirai, acting on advice from interested parties of Ian and Theresa, had contemplated removing Finance Minister Tendai Biti only to meet resistance from Mugabe and some ZANU-PF stalwarts who have noticed an improvement in the finances and general economic situation of the nation.

The Biti issue proved beyond any doubt that the MDC leadership has become as self-seeking as ZANU-PF.

When I look at the so-called reshuffle, I have no choice but to suspect that the reshuffle was to bring into cabinet those MDC people that ZANU-PF wanted to work with.

Has ZANU-PF succeeded in installing MDC weaklings where they want them?

After all, really, who are Ian and Theresa Mokone to wield so much power over a national leader like Tsvangirai? And why? Are they aware of the national implications resultant from what they feed Tsvangirai?

Or was all this engineered somewhere outside the MDC?

Relegating those perceived to be potential leadership contenders and installing them within party structures is Mugabe’s way of dealing with opponents.

And now Tsvangirai is doing the same thing with his senior party leaders.
As if that is not enough, Tsvangirai’s vice president and deputy prime minister of Zimbabwe, Thokozani Khupe, traveled to the United Kingdom and demanded ?25 each from Zimbabweans so she could address them.

What kind of nonsense is this?
She also required those who could afford to waste such an amount of money to come dressed up in lounge suits or cocktail dresses.

MDC officials have lost the script and are now adlibbing governance and leadership.
Their behavior is an insult to the people who suffered and who continue to suffer on their behalf. The MDC has adopted ZANU-PF practices and it is getting harder and harder to see the difference between the MDC and ZANU-PF.

During the reshuffle, Tsvangirai elevated both Ian and Theresa. As soon as Theresa was undeservedly elevated to co-minister of Home Affairs, she was running around bullying the police at several police stations as she looked for and sought the release of a ZANU-PF stalwart, Didymus Mutasa’s son.

Theresa did not bother about MDC operatives still languishing in prisons; there was no mention of the illegal remanding in jail of Farai Maguwu, the alleged whistleblower betrayed to ZANU-PF by the South African Abbey Chikane, who was supposedly investigating human rights abuses for the Kimberly Process at a diamond mine in Zimbabwe.

Theresa was more concerned with springing a suspected ZANU-PF criminal from jail than assisting those of her own party who are being falsely persecuted for supporting the party that gave her a cabinet post.

Much as I may want to exonerate the MDC seniors, I cannot do so in the face of such greed and misuse of power by people whose very positions were acquired through dubious circumstances.
The MDC is undergoing a political osmosis; it has been lost to ZANU-PF. It has allowed itself to be led by ZANU-PF. The MDC is no longer in this game on behalf of the people.

The MDC is slowly becoming ZANU-PF, in deeds, actions and in practice.
Why is Tsvangirai so quiet about the very issues his party set out to champion?

Has the MDC now chosen to live side by side with the violence aimed at their supporters, the injustice perpetrated against their supporters, the farm invasions, the absence of the rule of law, selective application of the law and unlimited foreign travels?

What I have always known is that it is very very difficult to jump off the gravy train and the MDC boarded such a train a long time ago.

Tsvangirai and his party have become too comfortable in a coalition government.
Now, just as we feared, blue is turning to grey.
I can’t wait for the next elections; many MDC parliamentarians are in for a surprise.


Read this week's paper