THE day of reckoning came sooner than expected, as events outpaced and outdated fortunes in the mainstream opposition. It does read that the alliance’s top names have now come to face the reality that the ante has gone up a notch. This is real politics now, those who will lose, will simply lose.
On May 11, 2020, 85 MDC Alliance MPs gathered at Harvest House to discuss supposed emergency issues which turned out to be a stocktaking exercise to sniff out and scare the Judas Iscariot spirit out of anybody before they answer the so-called call of thirty pieces of silver.
The tragedy that has painted the sun black is that Thomas’ doubting spirit has overwhelmed the upper room, hence the stock taking. These are daring steps to instil fear on adults who know too well where they stand, and where they might stand on each turn where a decision affecting their stomachs and political careers has to be made.
It is actually an insult on the intelligence and dignity of these honourable men and women of the august House to require them to brave the infected streets and contaminated air all to assemble and pledge for the umpteenth time their “loyalty” to an illegitimate leader.
In a mass voluntary movement, nobody should be frog-marched to pledge their loyalty. Loyalty is pledged to values that founded the movement. These factors never change but people come and go. Loyalty ceases to be, if it has to be tested by stocktaking before crucial bridges are crossed. It should be a matter of confidence, of subconscious togetherness.
Accepting that some of the MPs gathered at the meeting were also eligible delegates for the extraordinary congress, pertinent and important questions arise from this. Is the alliance taking stock to weigh chances of participating in the extraordinary congress?
Is the alliance fully aware that not all the MPs gathered there belong to MDC-T? This is a matter at the centre of the wrangle in courts, and, therefore, those outside the MDC-T component may not participate or vote in the upcoming congress? Should the MDC-T in the alliance decide that they should resign en masse and pull out of Parliament, is there an alternative programme for these cadres who will find themselves as new trespassers at Parliament buildings and its programmes, without the perks and income? Tendai Biti’s rebellion in 2014 left many recalled MPs in the cold, they all remember this too well.
Whether it is factual or not, this is not the time for wananchi to disclose to a group of hares that carrots are dangling across the river. It is suicidal and renders the May 11 meeting potentially wasted.
There are opposition cadres who are tired of the duel against the ever shrewd ruling party and have seen many a time hope promised and hope fading away for decades since the inception of the democratic project in the late 1990s.
Western capitals too are fast losing patience with the student kind of politics displayed by the Job Sikhalas, Chalton Hwendes and Bitis. Is it not Hwende who declared in a tweet that the MDCT of Morgan Tsvangirai “went” with Khupe? If it is on record then that the MDC of Tsvangirai is the one that had offices at Harvest House, is the alliance not contradicting itself ?
Sikhala continues making statements that border on treason to whip up populist sentiment. It seems the politics of thinking have all vanished into thin air. I would like to believe Welshman Ncube does not agree with most of these reckless actions, the man is a strategic thinking leader.
There are many within the opposition and ruling party who have awoken to the reality that the solution to the country’s problems involves everyone from either side.
This is the surest way that will bring food on the table for suffering Zimbabweans. People want buttered or unbuttered bread, resuscitation of industries and those in the diaspora want to come back home. Unity is the surest way that will bring peace and security for all people from all walks of life to exercise the very same rights demanded by the democratic project.
Lest we forget, Zimbabwe was borne out of bloodshed, and any serious nationalist project does not see this cheap. The frank truth, an eventual democratic project government will not stand a nationalist movement like Zanu-PF on the outside pissing in to the system as an opposition.
The Entumbane episode in the early 1980s is only a painful high light of such possibilities. Zimbabweans can still achieve democracy, peace, breadbasket status and security without the barrel. This is what the student politicians do not see, it takes foresight.
Whatever is left of Zanu-PF will not reform itself out of power, and neither will it be taken out of power through the ballot easily. The hold it has on the majority of voters is one of deep emotional trigger, believe this.
Alex Magaisa correctly observed that the most important task of the opposition in the aftermath of the 2018 elections was to mobilise and break the rural vote impasse. This is the game changer.
The allegations of a GNU in the making by the blabbermouth wananchi is only confirmation, if true, of the predictions made in my previous article (Lest the Alliance will bark outside the Tent) relating to the fact that the legality and political legitimacy requirements of the MDC-T were all in pursuit of bringing the party to Polad and hammer out a political settlement which I summarised, “will not end with drinking Mazoe on the negotiating table.”
As means towards the end, there is talk in reliable circles that amendments of the laws are impending to the effect that the party with the MPs that have been recalled or resigned, will simply second and nominate a replacement.
Being the legally recognised party leadership, Douglas Mwonzora et al will be the ones to put in place systems that will nominate who goes to Parliament and who does not.
This will be the third score. This will make a lot of cents oh excuse me, sense while saving dollars. The fiscus is already burdened to deficit by the COVID-19 thrusts, and holding such a huge number of by-elections will only defeat the purpose of noble efforts to curb the spread of the virus. This is what the echoes from the system say, and this does make sense. Dollars need to be saved, lives need to be saved.
It is high time that the alliance leaders wake up and realise that the train is fast leaving them behind. They must put their house in order, be humble and salvage the little that is left. At times it is wise to take a step back to make progress.
Arrogance is indeed a highway to self-destruction. The house is on fire, see the inhabitants running to safety. The four already dismissed legislators had no choice, the remaining MPs still have and they will cleverly choose their battles.
Robert Sigauke is a legal manager, author and political commentator. He writes from Johannesburg, South Africa.