We need not mourn MDC-T split

Despite the fact that our economy is imploding, with joblessness and poverty now the norm, it appears that Zimbabweans have psychologically accepted Zanu (PF)’s inability to turn things around and are hoping for a miracle.

In my books, the only thing that can change our conditions is change itself. Change in leadership, change in how we engage Zanu(PF) to recreate better circumstances, change in our language and change about who we think we are and what we can do as a people.

We have not seen any decisive action by our political opposition since July 31. Press statements do no put food on the table. Neither do slogans and rallies change our circumstances.

There definitely has been a lack of imagination on how we can extricate our economy and our people from the clutches of Zanu (PF)’s political oligarchy – a mafia whose only interest is to feed their stomachs.

I think the MDC-T split has been in the making since July 31. Of course things could have turned out better; we could have seen party president Morgan Tsvangirai stepping aside as the Godfather after the elections and allowing fresh thinkers to drive the process forward.

We could have seen a self-imposed renewal within the party that appreciates that old ways will not work.

Unfortunately arrogance and self-preservation have taken over and I am hardly surprised. I guess that is the nature of the beast; politics is really not about harnessing the best of our brains and applying them to our national problems. It’s more about creating personal fiefdoms, demanding loyalty and doing nothing risky that might rock the boat.

So we now must all re-group and force our best brains to think and act. That should be the primary objective of a united democratic front against poverty, lack of democracy and accountability.

Many in the diaspora are fed up with being marginalised by the MDC-T despite their willingness to contribute to the cause. Some of them worked really hard in the last 15 years, spending their time and resources to mobilise and motivate for change. However, as the MDC-T smelt power towards last year’s elections, Diasporans were marginalised, ignored and reduced to branches.

Our political conversations must stop being about people, we must focus on the issues and combine our ideas and strength in coming up with viable solutions. The more differing perceptions we have, the better solutions we could come up with. There is no monopoly on wisdom.

So I am hoping to see a united democratic front emerge that is based on one fundamental principle – the rejection of personality cults and entitlement to power. Our struggle for freedom and liberty must remain larger than any individual. It must be the agenda for this generation to be led by those who are best equipped to do so.

I feel strongly that the split we have seen in the MDC-T is really not about the rebels selling out on the struggle, as has been claimed by many. It is rather an expression of impatience and lack of faith in Tsvangirai’s ability to take things to the next level. In addition, the argument that Zanu (PF) is behind it is an escape mechanism by those who are too lazy to confront the inconvenient truths.

What must we do now?

As we establish a united front let none of us ever think that our future can be dependent on an individual. Our future is dependent on fundamental principles of democracy, equity and the choice to speak out and differ.

It must be based on the understanding that all Zimbabweans have suffered enough and anyone who wishes to participate and lead can do so, as long they have the ability and the leadership qualities we so desperately lack.

This is not the time to complain and attack personalities, it is the time to gather our strength and resolve to say to Zanu (PF), “zvakwana, enough is enough”.

I therefore urge those in the diaspora to organise themselves into a united democratic front that will then partner with the local one. Be proactive and take responsibility. The future of our country must be about what each and every one of us can contribute to achieve the freedom we all desperately deserve.

Our society can only grow through honest brutal dialogue and continuous improvement in our leadership skills. At times we must go through the pain in order to grow.

So while others feel that the recent MDC-T split has taken our politics backwards, I beg to differ. I think that change is an inevitable consequence of societies that wish to progress.

The people come first! – Vince Musewe is an economist and author based in Harare. You may contact him on [email protected]

Post published in: Opinions & Analysis

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