Bennett unmasks ‘The big lie’

The treasurer of the MDC-T, Roy Bennett, warned both the MDC, and South African politicians, not to become “Zanufied” in a speech given at Oxford University on Tuesday.


Bennett noted that while Zanu(PF) has always chased wealth and power at the expense of democracy and human rights, some members now have “eyes bigger than their heads.”

The speech, which can be found in full on The Zimbabwean’s website, begins by pointing out the consistent colour of Zanu(PF)’s actions since independence: from the Gukurahundi to Fast Track Land Reform, Mugabe has always violently silenced opposition to his one-party desires, and richly rewarded those – even white farmers and “people who used to bust sanctions for Ian Smith during the war” – who side with him, Bennett said.

Bennett pointed out that despite the racially-charged rhetoric, Mugabe has always been happy to work with whites who helped him.

“The big lie is found in the contradictions between rhetoric and reality: the ‘liberators’ enslave, the ‘avengers’ steal, the ‘defenders’ murder and rape,” Bennett said.

But it present and the future, not the past, that frightens Bennett.

Bennett is worried that opposition leaders are buying into the “smoke and mirrors” of Zanu(PF)’s propaganda machine.

“One of the saddest things happening in Zimbabwe right now is that only about 20% of the mineral wealth benefits the country – so much of it is unaccounted for,” Bennett told The Zimbabwean shortly after giving his speech.

“The white and black mafia, Zimbabwe’s Cosa Nostra, connive, steal, smuggle and murder together, shifting the country’s resources out the back door and trampling the people underfoot.”

Zimbabwe’s mafia includes MDC politicians who “have effectively changed sides and joined the kleptocracy,” said Bennett.

“The MDC need to remember that they answer to the people – no one person is bigger than the MDC,” Bennett told The Zimbabwean.

“At a time like this – when we have gone into government with Zanu(PF) – our MDC leaders must remember that they are accountable to the people. MDC leaders must not forget the values of the party.”

Asked about remarks he made earlier this month, in which he warned against the Zanufication of the MDC and rebuked those within Zimbabwe who criticise the diaspora community, Bennett urged unity.

“We must be united. The MDC’s challenges are far bigger than a question of who is at home and who is in the diaspora – both groups need each other like never before. There is a lot of rot to get over in Zimbabwe, and it will take all of us,” said Bennett.

Bennett also warned that the rise of Julius Malema could be a sign “that the Zanufication of South African politics is taking root.”

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