A Bulawayo based analyst views the fracas involving the second capital’s deputy mayor and the town clerk as evidence that the Nelson Chamisa led MDC has underplayed the issues of tribalism in the province, the Daily News reported.
Angelstone Sibanda says the MDC party has failed to address one of the key values of democracy which is equality.
“The MDC has failed to uphold the basic principles of democracy; we had expected it to be better than Zanu-PF in showing how things should be done,” he said.
“Issues always boil down to tribalism in Bulawayo because of the unresolved issues that have to do with Gukurahundi and the physical violence that occurred in history.
“The people feel they have been excluded by the system, that is why they seem to be defending their space always; and for the MDC to have failed to note this has been very disastrous.”
Meanwhile, the MDC party spokesperson Daniel Molekeli – formerly known as Fortune Mguni before he migrated to South Africa – yesterday said the scuffles involving Bulawayo’s deputy mayor Tinashe Kambarami and the town clerk Christopher Dube are merely internal service delivery issues and should not be confused for a tribal dispute.
“The party has not failed to deal with tribalism in the Bulawayo province; in fact there is no tribalism to talk about in the first place,” he said.
“It is unfortunate that whenever two people from different tribes clash those who are watching interpret it as tribalism. This is an internal issue; the situation has de-escalated from what happened last week which was an unfortunate incident. For now we have engaged the mayor and the deputy mayor to map a common way forward.”
Another analyst Dumisani Nkomo said a history of maginalisation continues to haunt the province, thereby causing the inhabitants to feel the need to safeguard their space.
“It has to do with history and the context of marginalisation and exclusion; we need to look at the whole situation holistically. Bulawayo issues have to be taken with sensitivity to the context,” he said.
“The MDC needs to address the tribal issue; it is a thorny historical issue which they should be conscious of. I must say of late they seem to be containing the situation.”