MDC should confront the enemy

Letter from America

=MsoNormal style=”MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt”>BY STANFORD MUKASA

PHILADELPHIA – Three top MDC (anti-Senate) officials have appealed to Zimbabweans abroad to define their roles in the struggle for liberation. The officials, Ian Makone, Thokozile Khupe and Nelson Chamisa were on the last leg of their tour of Europe and the United States. Chamisa challenged Zimbabweans to identify community projects back home they could sponsor.

The officials also addressed the deteriorating situation: rampant corruption in Zanu (PF); the MDC’s congress in March and the bold initiative at confronting the aging dictator, Robert Mugabe. Khupe and Chamisa are charismatic and outspoken leaders who have had more than their fair share of harassment and imprisonment by the Mugabe regime.

Khupe lashed out at the tribal politics of the pro-senate group. She said the pro-senate splinter group had tried to use tribal sentiments to gain support in Matabeleland. But they were in for a rude shock. The people of Matabeleland overwhelmingly boycotted the senate elections. Poll results showed that less than 10 percent of Zimbabweans bothered to vote. The percentage was even smaller for Matabeleland.

Khupe also noted that MDC had fought a united battle against amendment 17 and also opposed the senate. Yet some of the very same people who fought the amendment now welcomed and participated in the senate.

Chamisa challenged the pro-senate group to take their gripes to one congress scheduled for March 17 and let the people decide whether to retain or remove Tsvangirai from power. He said the senate was Mugabe’s project to create employment for the old boys or geriatrics. MDC had no business creating jobs for old people, what those old people need are gratuities not salaries.

Chamisa, who was frequently interrupted with laughter and applause for his free-style oratory and idiomatic skills, said Zimbabweans had heeded Tsvangirai’s call to boycott the senate elections. He noted that 98% members of Zanu (PF), including Mugabe himself, boycotted the elections.

The decision taken by Tsvangirai in the aftermath of the 33-31 national council vote was not an act of dictatorship as the pro-senate camp alleged. He said leadership was about making difficult choices and that is what Tsvangirai did. He took a decision that reflected the fact that the vote split the party leadership in the middle.

Under these circumstances Tsvangirai was obviously aware that even if he was not in favour of participating in the senate it would be foolhardy to participate, given not only the narrow national council vote but widespread rejection of the senate elections by all 12 MDC provinces, as well as the women’s and youth branches.

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