Bhebhe said the goal of the opposition and people likewise should be to deal with the country’s deteriorating social, economic and security conditions, which should motivate citizens to dismantle Zanu-PF.
In a press statement on his reflections on the state of the opposition in Zimbabwe, Bhebhe said the continued polarisation within the MDC has long been a cause of concern to progressive Zimbabweans.
“My position on this matter is beyond doubt to anyone as I have not only decried the persistent factionalisation of the opposition, but I have made bold efforts in contributing to harmony and tranquillity. Of course, often misunderstood and hence misconstrued as if this is about an individual or personal interests,” he said.
Bhebhe lamented that the effort of uniting the MDC factions has been fraught with suspicions and deep-seated hatred.
“The MDC is a people’s project and leaders come and go,” he said.
“Those opposed to the principle of constitutionalism and unity of the MDC have chosen to target me as a person and not the principle that I espouse. They prefer not to play the ball but harm a player. All done to give politics a dirty name when it is simple greed, manipulation and lack of character. Against this backdrop, it is silly and mischievous if not devious too, to suggest that Abednico Bhebhe has joined the MDC Alliance.”
Bhebhe maintained that he remained where he has “always been and consistently so since 2017 when the discord began.”
“I stand for the unity of the MDC which is the only avenue to consign Zanu-PF to the dustbin of history come 2023. Out of ignorance or malice, perhaps a combination of both, some have created an impression that I have hop-knobbed from one party to another,” he said.
“As far as I am concerned, I have stood by my beliefs which have not changed, and they are not about to change. I have worked with progressive people across the factional divide, and I do not regret it and will continue to do so as long as that would yield a stronger opposition against the heinous Zanu-PF.”
The state of the opposition in this country is worrying, said Bhebhe, noting that it was Zimbabwe’s continued political decay and economic breakdown that necessitated an urgent alternative to this politico-economic chaos brought by long years of Zanu-PF rule.
The former Nkayi South MP claimed only the MDC so far, stood the best chance to provide an alternative and usher in a democratic government into Zimbabwe.
“My reflections on the state of the MDC currently is an attempt to put into perspective the recent developments and their historical context. Most often readers take a panoramic view of issues and risk losing the meaning that gets clouded by conflicting narratives,” he said.
“Actually, nothing has changed in my position on this matter particularly for those who remember my public pronouncements since 2017 when the MDC was plunged into this internal discord. Obviously, I shun the bait to make this matter as if it is about my person as Abednico Bhebhe. No, it is not about me but about our situation as concerned citizens and responsible leaders.”
Bhebhe said his desire and efforts towards a united, strong opposition MDC was based on principle and common sense.
“It is common sense that only a united opposition can electorally dislodge the ruinous Zanu-PF regime and usher an accountable government in its place. This is what the suffering majority want, and I am merely articulating the aspirations of the generality of Zimbabweans as a politician,” he said.
He claimed in 2017, he was one of the three leaders of the MDC who wrote to then party president, the late Morgan Tsvangirai, pledging full support of a coalition of opposition parties but also raised reservations on the risk of centralisation of power in one person.
“I stated that ‘concerning the MDC Alliance, no one within the opposition ranks does not want a coalition. We all want it.’ I also posed the rhetorical question, ‘Are you available to the highest bidder? Does it mean if Zanu-PF offers more than the MDC is prepared to give, then you will join them?”
Bhebhe reflected at that time, he was neither prophetic nor did he think it possible some of their colleagues, “not one or two, but a horde of them would rejoin Zanu-PF.”
He bemoaned that Zimbabwe’s opposition politics had sunk to hatred, mudslinging and smear campaigns yet had implored MDC leaders from “acting like Zanu-PF in employing violence, tribalism, sexism and all forms of corruption.”
“Such are sentiments shared by the generality of Zimbabweans who yearn for nothing other than a better and prosperous Zimbabwe. For the record, I hold no brief against any MDC leader. I have expressed my considered views to all of them directly and publicly. My stand on the unity of the MDC as well as of all oppositional forces is known by all the various leaders of our once glorious movement,” he said.