Zanu (PF) harrassment of MDC-T must stop

The former liberation movement Zanu (PF)’s intensified harassment of MDC-T supporters and members has taken on the notorious 2008 levels in the past few weeks.

As the latter’s national congress approaches, the nation is going to witness even more arrests, kidnappings and beatings of people who are known and imagined MDC-T supporters.

It is clear that some of the proceeds from the Chiadzwa diamonds are being stolen and directed into the coffers of the discredited former ruling party to oil the torture machine. Hoodlums from all walks of life are being hired to spearhead Zanu (PF)’s agenda aimed at winning the next elections whenever they may be held. The beleaguered political party is so desperate to win the next election that it is prepared to maim and kill in order to stay in power.

The dwindling grassroots support for the dying party is a clear indication that Mugabe and his cronies are not going to be able to marshal adequate support from the Zimbabwean voters come next elections. It is therefore thought that the best approach is to systematically destroy or decimate the MDC-T leadership prior to the calling for elections.

But the MDC-T has become a serious institution nationwide, and it is not possible to arrest a few of the leaders and expect that party to collapse, or to lose its support from among the electorate. In most cases, these acts of political harassment only serve to garner more support and political sympathy for the people’s party. It is amazing that 30 years since the advent of national independence Zanu (PF) still has not yet learnt this critical principle.

When the ridiculous ZTV publicly criticizes Prime Minister Tsvangirai they think that they are scoring points for Mugabe and Zanu (PF), but the truth of the matter is that they will be generating more political support for MT, as he is fondly called by some of his colleagues. It was embarrassing for the ZTV news presenter the other night, when Mutsvangwa was interviewed on the Euromoney Conference and he refused to condemn it as had been expected, or as Jonathan Moyo had done the previous night. It will take a long while for Mutsvangwa to be invited to a live broadcast by the technically malfunctioning television station.

But back to the harassment of the popular party; the Joint Operations Command (JOC) has now taken over the running of Zanu (PF), particularly the election activities. Zanu (PF) politicians are now given orders by the military and the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO). War veterans and the militia are demanding that at least 20 per cent of the parliamentary seats be allocated to them.

Very few sitting civilian politicians from Zanu (PF) are going to be retained come next elections. That explains why the majority of the sitting Zanu (PF) MPs are not keen on elections in 2011. They are very likely to be taken to the cleaners by the indomitable MDC-T. The JOC and its subsidiaries, the war vets and the militia have convinced good old Mugabe that they are the only viable response to the MDC juggernaut in all future elections. They therefore intent to dismantle the latter, piece by piece, well before the next elections.

Meanwhile, the MDC has to pull itself up by its boot straps and get back into the trenches where the people are. They have to start mobilising the people more forcefully from now on. The people have to see more visible action from the MDC-T both before and after the April congress of that party. There are no short cuts to political power. It is going to be hard work all the way, but it can and will be done. God bless Zimbabwe.