I have heard some saying that Tsvangirai should contest elections; this is regardless of the fact that they remain a flawed system that is susceptible to manipulation and control of outcomes by the ruling party. I therefore fully support him for staying out of a game that is really never fair.
At most times, sticking to principles is a painful process especially when it appears to delay desired outcomes and things seem to be getting worse but principles always seem to be on your side in the longer term. Great men have compromised on principles and lost gravely. I do not think that Tsvangirai wants to make the same mistake twice.
Unfortunately I am not getting any sense of direction from our opposition parties. They seem to have gone into hiding. Everyone seems to be waiting and yet time keeps moving at the expense of an economy that is running out of fuel and new ideas. We are under a spell of paralysis manufactured only by Mugabe for his benefit. How pitiful we are.
Our local political players are really the only force that could deliver change on the ground. I have since given up on lofty ideas and theories of those in the Diaspora. You cannot play the Zimbabwe political game by shouting from outside; you have to be here and engage. That will remain Tsvangirai’s and hopefully Mujuru’s competitive advantage.
The best the Diaspora can do is to support local democratic forces financially, as we can no longer expect the West to do it for us. But I know that is a big ASK given the lack of real commitment and trust among Zimbabweans. All want to see change but are either unable or unwilling to be the change they want to see.
I have begun to imagine whether a union of forces between MDC-T and Mujuru’s lot would help anything. My contention is that change can indeed come from this if we combine forces and intent. Mujuru brings the past and the institutional memory of Zanu (PF) mis-governance while Tsvangirai brings numbers and better relevance to many ordinary folk.
If only these two could take a bit of a risk and come out strongly to dislodge the current system, maybe we could begin to move in the right direction.
Didymus Mutasa confessed the other day that Mugabe wants to make all decisions and that will remain our fundamental problem. The current government institutions are disempowered and paralysed. This is evidenced by the recent Chinamasa episode on civil servants’ bonus. I do not believe that we got the full story behind this at all. There is no way he could have announced such an important move without cabinet consent – but I guess cabinet these days means Mugabe alone. We got problems.
The current scenario requires people like Mujuru and Tsvangirai to come out in the open to stop things getting worse. That requires that we all stop what we are doing and demand substantive change and the establishment of a government of national unity that balances Zanu (PF) interest of saving face in face of a collapsing economy and substantive reforms which must include a new economic agenda far removed from the party’s delusions of ZIMASSET.
Let us be honest with ourselves, our opposition parties are tired and disempowered. I do not expect them to be the creators of change, they have failed. Diaspora political formations are disempowered and far removed from realities on the ground and they cannot cause change from outside. All they can give for now is moral support.
I have had endless conversations with some in the diaspora who are agitating for more risk-taking by some of us here at home. The answer I always give them is – what did they do with regard to the disappearance of Itai Dzamara? The answer is nothing. They did not even come together to assist his family financially. So my question remains why should I take personal risk for those who only want the benefits and not the pain?
Our problem is that despite nice sounding words, we are really not unified and committed for change. We want a comfortable political transformation. I am afraid that is not about to happen.
None of us really know the formula that will work for political change. We must therefore try everything and use everyone who can contribute. In my opinion, we can certainly get more good than harm from a Mujuru-Tsvangirai partnership for the onslaught on this beast called Zanu (PF). Whether it will work or not will be up to how it is executed.
What I know for sure is that ordinary Zimbabweans are sick and tired of the status quo. We need someone or anyone to step up. We just have to take the unorthodox route to create new results. There is not much choice.
Vince Musewe is an economist and author based in Harare. You may contact him on [email protected]Post published in: Analysis