Now I know that the main purpose of the Chronicle and the Herald is to act as the propaganda arm of Zanu (PF) and I expect that they are unlikely to carry this letter as a response to their recent series related to what I said or did not say. But for my own sake and because the President of the MDC suggested that I attempt to clarify what I said, I write this short response.
Firstly I cannot accept that the Herald obtained my e-mail and the response from Kerry Kay from a “leak” within the party. My e-mail was sent to five members of our leadership – the President, the Secretary General, the Treasurer and the National Spokesperson as well as Mrs Kay, a member of our National Executive. Not one of these individuals would have, under any circumstances, leaked an e-mail of this nature to the state-controlled media. I must therefore assume that these were routine intercepts by State Security Agents. I note this with interest and will make sure to use other means for communications of this nature in future.
Then there is the issue of what I said at the rally in Bulawayo last weekend. What I did was to greet the several thousand people there (ZBC said it was a small crowd) and then said in Ndebele that Tsvangirai was the “Boss” – you could interpret this as saying he was “my boss”. Now the word I used is one that I have been called since I was two years old – its traditional use was as “Lord” or “King”. Clearly I am neither, so in my world, the term simply means “boss”, the man in charge. The Herald says I was worshipping him, the Chronicle (better Ndebele) said I called him “my King”. Then they went on to say that I was two-faced – my e-mails criticized the President and said that the MDC was falling apart (both true).
I said nothing in that e-mail that I have not said to the MDC President in private and he is well aware of my views. My position is that the issue over Elton Mangoma’s letter to the President (that WAS leaked), is a storm in a tea cup and should not have been allowed to blow up into the crisis that it has created in the MDC. He has every right (though it may not have been a wise thing to do) to raise the issues he did in that letter. However the point everyone misses is that the question of leadership change in the MDC is an issue for an elective Congress and nowhere else.
The present leadership of the MDC was elected at our last Congress, only Morgan Tsvangirai and Roy Bennett were unopposed – Tendai Biti’s post was hotly contested. None of this leadership has resigned or intends to resign and any attempt to remove the President before the next Congress is unconstitutional. He could resign, but in my view that would do nothing to resolve the problems that the Party is faced with at present.
The point is that Tsvangirai has the support and commitment of the great majority of those who support the MDC and it is those people, who have the right, and only those people, who can determine who they want in leadership.
The question remains, should Tsvangirai stay or move on. He is quite happy to have the position contested but feels that he still has a lot to contribute and cannot let his loyal supporters down before real change is achieved.
What I would say is this – no single person has done more for the struggle against tyranny and dictatorship in this country than he has. He was responsible for the formation of the NCA and the eventual adoption of a new Constitution, which although flawed, is streets ahead of what we had.
He was responsible for the formation of the MDC and has led it for 15 years. It is the only political party that has been able to take on the monolithic Zanu (PF), survive and win.
The challenge for the MDC is to stop squabbling and get the winning team back into training; they are going to be needed shortly. – Eddie Cross, Bulawayo.Post published in: Letters to the Editor