Let’s focus on the real enemy

Paul Themba Nyathi has taken issue with our editorial about the confusion that reigns in the pro-Senate MDC faction. Nyathi reiterates that his group is not pro-Senate (see Letters P 11). Why then are their members still sitting in that chamber for Mugabe’s geriatric has-be


The pro- and anti-Senate labels came about as those of us on the outside tried to comprehend what was happening within the nation’s major opposition party, which embodied the hopes and aspirations of so many Zimbabweans.

There may have been other differences, which are not in the public domain, but the one issue on which there was considerable acrimonious disagreement and publicity was the question of participation in the Senate. We stand by our position that for ease of identification one faction is pro and the other is anti as this was the catalyst that caused the split in the MDC.

As we understand it, the rupture was not over the issue of elections per se, but concerned the Senate specifically as a new institution. MDC MPs, including Welshman Ncube, vehemently criticised the establishment of the Senate in parliament, and voted against it.

One would have thought that they would have been consistent enough to boycott something whose creation they had opposed.

Arthur Mutambara in his acceptance speech said if he had been in that fateful October meeting (at which the split occurred) he would have campaigned for a no-participation vote. That puts him squarely in the anti-Senate camp. Or are we missing something here?

The question of participation in municipal elections, we would like to suggest, is a separate issue. As far as we know, neither faction has taken a position to begin boycotting such elections – although of course we all know that participation in elections under the current skewed electoral laws and practises of the Zanu (PF) regime is a futile exercise.

Nyathi also accuses us of supporting Tsvangirai. Our position is that our view and those of the Tsvangirai MDC, together with that of most Zimbabweans, converge when it comes to the question of participation in the Senate – we are anti-Senate!

Let us make it quite clear that we do not condone violence from any quarter. Both factions appear to have been guilty of violence in one form or another and we unconditionally condemn it. There is no room for political thuggery in any democratic society.

We entirely agree with Nyathi when he identifies Zanu (PF) as the one true enemy. Why don’t we all focus and concentrate our energies on fighting that enemy?

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