Dabengwa and MDC-M must be praised

OPINION – There has recently been a flurry of praise for the magnificent display of solidarity demonstrated by the opposition politicians of Zimbabwe.

It must be said for a change that has been some good news for a nation that has had more than its fair share of depressing news.

Members of the public watching the fray that politicians are engaged in from the sidelines yearn for an outcome that will alleviate their suffering and they are all too cognisant of the fact that any feeling of animosity among the opposition will not auger well for the nation, as many Zimbabweans have observed. They can sense that the nation is again at that precarious time when victory against their oppressors is almost within reach, but a wrong move by any of the people’s representatives can scupper all the hopes of success. Their hearts bleed when they helplessly watch members of the opposition, all of whom have one goal, go for one another’s throats.

When Lovemore Moyo won the position of speaker of parliament ZanuPF was clearly unsettled by that development and ever since that time it has been itching to reverse the fortunes of the MDC by hook or crook. Its chief strategists have been whingeing about foul play and when they first mentioned the idea of taking court action the idea seemed so laughable that no one thought they would seriously try to pursue it.

It appeared to be a face-serving utterance by a party that had to say something while licking its wounds, but little did we know that the disgrace the party had suffered was of such a magnitude that it felt it had to redeem its image or, alternatively, get even. For a whole two years Moyo served as the speaker of the house with no action being taken against him and everyone thought ZanuPF had somehow come to terms with its humiliating loss, but alas that is not one of the ways of the ZanuPF we all know.

Unbeknown to everyone, the scheming went on behind the scenes and a plan was hatched, flawed as it was, so flawed that the architects of the plan themselves were apprehensive about putting it into operation, hence the time it took them to convince themselves that it was worth trying, at the very least. Finally they plucked enough courage and set the litigation process in motion, content in the knowledge that the judiciary is an appendage of ZanuPF, and true to their expectations, Moyo was stripped of the position.

It was when the second vote was held that ZanuPF demonstrated what heights of proficiency it has achieved in political gymnastics. To begin with they tried to woo MDC-M parliamentarians to support their candidate, but the smaller MDC formation would not indicate how it would vote. At the same time there was a spate of groundless arrests of MDC members of parliament to reduce the number of MPs who would be eligible to vote, a move that backfired when it incensed the MDC-M MPs they were trying to win over, who then announced that they were voting for Moyo.

That revelation struck ZanuPF like a bolt from the blues and, disoriented by the shock of staring another round of certain humiliating defeat in the face, the party was at a loss for words and just abruptly postponed the vote, ostensibly to allow Moyo’s appeal to be re-instated as an MP to be heard. Now comes the grandstand finish to ZanuPF’s breathtakingly stunning performance. It turned out that the vote had actually been postponed to buy time for bribing the MDC parliamentarians, who were offered $5,000 each, which they pocketed, only to report the incident and surrender the dirty cash to their party chiefs.

The vote was held and ZanuPF suffered another trouncing. MDC-T MPs, resolutely putting their differences aside in a show of unity, sensibly voted with MDC-T. It is behaviour such as this that will enable the country to free itself from the tenacious clutches of ZanuPF, which is why the members of the public are thrilled whenever opposition politicians collaborate to weaken ZanuPF. The message that attentive opposition politicians should get loud and clear is that they should never cannibalise one another but support one another and speak with one voice.

If they savage one another what will ZanuPF do? It is true that because of the very nature of politics there are inevitably some petty disagreements and differing points of view that will be encountered, but these should never be blown out of all proportion to the extent of derailing the whole process. The core business of opposition politicians in current Zimbabwe is to end the rule of a rogue regime that has inflicted untold suffering on the masses and introduce true democracy, returning the country to its former glory in the process.

Against that background, it makes encouraging reading to learn that Dumiso Dabengwa, the leader of Zapu, has publicly expressed his solidarity with the embattled and unfairly victimised MDC-T legislators. In doing so he has demonstrated political maturity in a manner that suggests that he has the broader aims of political activism at heart, namely the liberation of the country. It is hoped that all the opposition politicians will embrace that attitude, as it is the cry of the people of Zimbabwe, and work together towards the same goal. Zimbabweans from every corner of the country are calling for solidarity among the opposition politicians, and these calls should not be ignored.