Growing calls for United Democratic Front against a tyranny

JOHANNESBURG – Exiled MDC activists this week called for Zimbabweans to come together and form a United Democratic Front, describing the method as the only the country could be saved from its current political and economic problems.

Amid reports that President Robert Mugabe is set to deploy soldiers and police on a terror campaign across the country ahead of elections, which the octogenarian leader is seemingly pushing for this year, the MDC Veterans Activists Association (MDC VAA), said this week that the elective process would not have a way in the country.

“Reports that the army is ready to deploy into all districts shows that the political solution in Zimbabwe is nowhere near ending,” said MDC VAA chairman, Solomon Chikohwero early this week.

Chikohwero is a retired Airforce officer living in exile. 

Reports from within the Zimbabwe national army are that over 77 senior army generals and about 80 000 militia, war veterans and soldiers, led by one General Muchena, are ready to deploy into all areas in the country, in what seems to be Mugabe’s return to his traditional way of intimidating the already traumatized voters, who have turned their backs on him for the MDC-T and Chikohwero said his organization views this as a further attack on democracy. “If we stand back to reflect, the Zimbabwe political situation presents unnecessary division,” he said.

“MDCVAA urges the political parties in Zimbabwe and the entire population to engage in fresh negotiations about everything in Zimbabwe. The current processes in Zimbabwe are unworkable, for all political parties and the population.

“The matter is where is Zimbabwe going? If a direction is a good one, does it need Jonathan Moyo or the army to force it in? Academics and civil society are not putting the right effort. The organisation of Zanu (PF) appears cleverer because nobody is organising seriously elsewhere. 

Remember apartheid (in South Africa) was brought down by UDF, not just the ANC or MK only.  Zimbabweans are camped in donor groupings and are unable to unshackle themselves to face the reality of their country and we urge the formation of a United Democratic Front in Zimbabwe.”

Chikohwero said that the answer for Zimbabwe would not come from South Africa, SADC or the political formations in the country, but a collective movement of all concerned Zimbabweans. “Soldiers in Zimbabwe’s army, much as they appear strong and bold, are hiding a huge amount of fear – fear for their lives, fear for their children, fear for the wealth they looted from the nation,” added the MDC VAA chairman.

“What is the alternative for them?  Until this is defined, the answer does not lie at the centre of politics. Even if any one of the contesting parties claim victory at elections, even if Mugabe dies, the woes of Zimbabwe will continue unabated, unemployment will remain too high, looting will continue.

The MDC VAA says further serious multidimensional negotiations and mobilization under a UDF formation are required.  If donors want to help Zimbabwe this is the way.” -The Zimbabwean