NATIONAL Constitutional Assembly leader Professor Lovemore Madhuku had some useful advice for the main opposition MDC-T that ironically touts itself as the biggest political party in Zimbabwe despite coming short to Zanu-PF at every election held since the party’s launch 16 years ago. We say launch because the record will show that MDC-T was not formed in 1999, it was merely launched on September 11, 1999 — Zimbabwe’s own 9/11 — to continue the reactionary agenda from where Ian Smith’s Conservative Alliance of Zimbabwe left off in the late 1980s.
All who are familiar with Zimbabwe’s history will testify that MDC-T was launched as an anti-thesis to Zanu-PF, a party that espouses and defends the nation’s founding values. This is why the MDC-T agenda is inimical to everything Zimbabwe stands for, from the legacy of the liberation struggle — which MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai openly admits was not as appealing as the 15 Rhodesian dollars he was earning in Rhodesian industries — to the indigenisation and economic empowerment policies meant to address colonial imbalances.
So the whole MDC-T agenda has not been just about seeking to remove President Mugabe and Zanu-PF from power, but comprehensive regime change which means undoing everything to do with the Zimbabwean state.
This is what the opposition party has been preaching since 2000 with its so-called “chinja/gugula’’(change) mantra, but what the party has consistently failed to table is what comes after should the regime change be achieved.
We have just been told “a new Zimbabwe’’ will come, but going by the MDC-T’s alliances and pronouncements, the perceived “new Zimbabwe’’ will be nothing more than Abel Muzorewa and Ian Smith’s ill-fated Zimbabwe-Rhodesia, a vassal state sworn to protecting minority interests.
That said, we do agree with Prof Madhuku that regime change is not a policy and we also hail Progressive Teacher’s Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Raymond Majongwe, and Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition director Dr Philan Zamchiya for reminding Tsvangirai and those of like mind that President Mugabe has the legitimate mandate to run the affairs of this country and anyone fighting to depose him unconstitutionally is an enemy of democracy.
We wish the MDC-T would listen and heed such critical advice.
The objective of an opposition party should be to offer an alternative to the governing party. The alternative coming by way of policy, which is where the MDC-T has been consistently found wanting having dismally failed to transform from a Western-backed protest movement to a patriotic, viable alternative to Zanu-PF.
Indeed MDC-T former secretary-general, and now leader of the breakaway renewal faction, Tendai Biti, said as much during a Sapes Policy dialogue earlier this year when he said Zanu-PF hammered the MDC-T in the harmonised elections on the strength of its superior and appealing policies to the MDC-T’s vague, vapid promises.
We let Biti speak: “The message of no to the big man is exhausted. Messages are key. For example, Zanu in the last elections had a very simple message, ‘bhora mugedhi’. Perhaps the MDC was too sophisticated in crafting its own message. The message of 2000 cannot be today’s message. While the MDC was selling hope and dreams, Zanu-PF was selling practical reality, for example, land and indigenisation . . .’’
Brutal honesty for which Biti was criticised by myopic opposition elements the way Prof Madhuku is being rapped by the MDC-T elsewhere in this issue.
To the MDC-T we say, wake up and smell the coffee. Your erstwhile allies Prof Madhuku, Majongwe and Dr Zamchiya are not crazy when they tell you pursuit of regime change for regime change’s sake is not a policy.
They have clearly had the proverbial Damascene moment and recognise the government of the day. You can choose to join them or continue down the road to perdition, for it is said “the fly that did not heed advice followed the corpse into the grave.’’