MDC—T ready for polls

THE MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is a people’s project. It is a massively popular political party with its bedrock firmly based on social democracy and working class dynamism.

Since its formation in September 1999, the MDC has sent shock waves throughout the Zimbabwean political spectrum.

Its immense popularity, mass appeal and organisational vibrancy has sent shivers down the broken spine of the former ruling party, Zanu PF. Put simply, the MDC is the people and the people are the MDC.

Since its historic formation in September 1999, the MDC has been a winner. And winners, ordinarily, are never scared of electoral contests.

From 2000 to the present day, the MDC has resoundingly won all national elections held in Zimbabwe.

Before some of my readers think I have taken leave of my senses, let me boldly state, here and now, that if you take away the obvious aspects of massive vote rigging, including systematic and gruesome violence perpetrated on the defenceless and peace-loving people of Zimbabwe, then you will, assuming you are right-thinking, agree with the writer that the MDC has been a resounding victor in all elections held in Zimbabwe post-2000.

The year 2011 could turn out to be another historic year for our beautiful little country, Zimbabwe.

We are presently engaged in a constitution-making process that might ultimately determine whether our country embarks upon an irreversible path to nation-building coupled with massive economic reconstruction or, if we are not careful, we could find ourselves on the path of retribution, anger and anarchy that might ultimately lead to a virtual collapse of the state as an institution.

It is during trying times like these that the nation needs real statesmen and stateswomen.Men and women of honour and integrity who are prepared to put the interests of the country before their own selfish interests.  

True patriots who realise that Zimbabwe does not need rulers but leaders.

God-fearing and humble men and women who are prepared to accept criticism without resorting to a scorched earth policy of hate, violence and retribution.

I am a huge admirer of Joshua Nkomo. It is during trying times like the ones we are going through that I appreciate, more and more, the invaluable nation-building role played by that exemplary and selfless nationalist, the Father of our nation, Joshua Nkomo. I salute him.

Zimbabwe is a great nation.We are not going to take this country to the next level if we allow opportunists and latter-day patriots to poison the nation by spreading hate and intolerance.

We are not going to build a great and sucessful nation if our one and only state-controlled television station behaves as if there is only one political party that is in government.

A television station that has scaled new heights in perfecting the “art” of mediocrity in whatever they do; be it news production or live broadcasts.

A television station that has become a laughing stock throughout the whole southern African region and, indeed, the whole world.

We should bury our heads in shame upon realising that in this day and age, in the 21st century, we are arguably the only country in the world without a private television station and private community radio stations.

We are stuck in the Stone Age and if we think we can take this great nation forward whilst we seek to remain stuck in primitivity, then we can dream on.

This world, whether we like it or not, is globalising and it is getting smaller and smaller. Indeed, it is Zimbabwe that needs the world and not the world that needs Zimbabwe.

Martin Luther King, Jnr, was a great man. One of his numerous famous quotes goes like this: “Non-violence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.”

It is indeed a pity that this great man lived a very short life; born in 1929 and meeting his demise through an assassination in 1968. I admire him.
One of our greatest shortcomings in Zimbabwe is that we lack love.

Love for fellow human beings across the political, ethnic and racial divide.The past 10 years or so have seem the hardening of people’s emotions against one another.

We have witnessed the propagation of hate and intolerance mainly by the grossly irresponsible Zanu PF-controlled electronic and print media. Day in day out, we are subjected to the satanic and warped views of haters who spew hatred throughout the length and breadth of this country.

These are miserable souls who have nothing better to do with their tormented lives other than to propagate malice, hate and propaganda. Shame on them.
Back to the issue of elections.

Let me reiterate that the MDC has never been afraid of elections.We cannot possibly be afraid of elections when we are, arguably, the best-supported and most popular political party in Zimbabwe at this juncture.

The MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is not going to sit aside and watch whilst Zanu PF runs amok and prepares for a bloodbath camouflaged as an election.

We love Zimbabwe so deeply we are not going to condone state-sanctioned mass violence and intimidation.

We are not going to keep quiet whilst villages throughout Zimbabwe are being militarised and whilst the military is being villagised.

No.

We love Zimbabwe so much we are prepared to fight for the powerless and the voiceless. We are not going to allow the devil to run away with the gospel.

The MDC has developed the cutting edge in the short 11 years of its existence. We are the Joshua generation. We are ready, willing and able to take up the baton stick from the tired Moses generation and to ultimately deliver the people to a New Zimbabwe.

The Moses generation have done their part; fighting white settler colonialism leading to independence in 1980. They are now past their “sell-by” date.

They have dismally failed to renew themselves and to adjust their strategy to the changing times. They are stuck in history; locked up in yesteryear.

They are done. Zimbabwe needs a new breed of politicians and leaders who are prepared and who are, indeed, capable of delivering this mighty nation to the 21st century.

We respect the Moses generation for what they have done. We thank them for the immense sacrifices that they made. But then, their time is up.

Nothing lasts forever.

•Obert Gutu is the MDC-T senator for Chisipite in Harare. This article was first published in the NewsDay