To go or stay? MDC faces point of no return

mdc__chThe MDC leadership, under very difficult circumstances, has pushed the peoples cause to a point where the regional and international community has become actively involved, writes BENJAMIN CHITATE. Pulling out now, he says, would reverse the gains and stifle momentum and hope.

As an MDC member living outside Zimbabwe, I would like to contribute to the MDC consultation process on whether to pull out of, or remain in, the government of national unity.

Firstly, I would like to thank the leadership for throwing the issue to the membership for input. This justifies the MDCs claim to democracy.

With Jacob Zuma calling on the three principals to the global political agreement during his address to the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) 10th national congress in Midrand, Johannesburg, with the recent visit by an EU delegation to South Africa and Zimbabwe, with the recent visit of US congressmen to Zimbabwe where they met Mugabe and Tsvangirai, and with the meeting between Mugabe and US congressmen at the United Nations General Assembly, I see President Mugabe giving in to pressure from the regional and international community and agreeing to fully implement the GPA.

The congressmen, according to media reports, will be bringing a bigger delegation in December to assess progress on the implementation of the GPA. One hopes that these many efforts currently being made will bear fruit.

If the MDC decides to pull out, living conditions for the average Zimbabwean will quickly deteriorate to 2008 levels or even worse. It had been a relief to phone family back home in Zimbabwe and hear that things were slowly improving. MDCs pulling out will bring back misery to many.

Instead, the MDC is best advised to improve on its strategies to contain Zanu (PF). I know that the evil Zanu (PF) will always resort to dirty tactics, killing a few innocent souls as it has done in the past; but even more will be killed if the MDC pulls out.

I am not saying it is fine to have those few that may be killed lose their lives, but that should be expected knowing Zanu (PF) the way I do. The MDC strategy could include consistently knocking on SADC Chairman Kabilas door to update him on Zanu (PF) violence, constantly reminding him of Zanu (PF)s disregard of the SADC tribunal and so on.

President Zuma should also be encouraged to share his view with the rest of the SADC leaders, and I am sure the majority will realise, if they still believe in Mugabe, that it is Mugabe himself who is the problem, and be able to confront him with the truth at the next opportunity.

All progressive Zimbabweans should also applaud President Zuma, the EU, and the US congressmen for their initiatives to break the impasse, and urge them to target the rest of the SADC leadership.

I would want to believe that the MDC leadership is also briefing the African Union and the United Nations on current developments, including increased violence against MDC supporters and activists, which seems to be aimed at disrupting the constitution-making process to ensure that the elections proposed after the adoption of a new constitution are delayed to give Zanu (PF) the chance to regroup.

All Zimbabweans who genuinely need democracy and improved living conditions, including me, are solidly behind every move that you make. Please to not tire, and remember the Shona saying: Dende rinoputsika wosvika (Negative things happen when you are about to achieve your goal if you dont focus). Keep going strong! Zvichanaka chete zvichanaka (In the end it will work out fine).

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