The movement that cries for a democratic rebirth
fissures continue to form and widen with each passing day and the possibility of another split reminiscent of that of 2005 and 2014 that gave birth to a litter of parties whose rejoining has been celebrated as a coalition cannot be ruled out so soon.
Coincidentally despite Mr Mangoma and Mkwananzi just like Mr Bhebhe openly declaring that their attackers were fellow party members, the party finds Zanu-PF as a suitable scapegoat.
But now people know the truth. Even those in the party who have refused to be blurred by political gimmicks coming from its glib propaganda misfits tasked with the work of glorifying the party oftentimes testify to that.
Mkwananzi wrote in one of the daily publications describing his and Mangoma’s barbaric attack by youths whose actions were traceable to Mr Tsvangirai: “This situation was worsened by Douglas Mwonzora’s inaccurate and misinformation of the media thereby compelling Mangoma to respond to the media to correct and clear some of the misperceptions which were deliberately created by Mwonzora. Mwonzora and Luke Tamborinyoka pathologically lied to the press that we had been assaulted by Zanu-PF thugs. This, to me personally was as unjust and unfair as it was shocking,” he noted. Indeed the setting and cast has changed but the script has remained the same with Mr Gutu just like his predecessor Mr Mwonzora lying to the press and Mr Bhebhe just like Mr Mangoma then correcting the facts.
The question is, is there a shred of democracy in the MDC-T as a party? Or the term is just part of the name that has no meaning? Maybe like so many other names it has no meaning but is just a name, maybe just like Peter.
By definition the term democracy is derived from a Greek word demo which means people or majority and kratos which means power. In simple terms it means people’s power or majority rule.
And in most cases people in democratic societies are allowed to choose their leaders and Governments through the process of a plebiscite or voting done usually through secret ballot. In the case of the MDC-T however, the party seems to have thrown the democracy part of its name through the window immediately after its formation and endorsement by its Western sponsors.
As a result most of its congresses have turned out to be interesting factional fighting dramas characterised by violence with the founding president allegedly always dictating the pace while his praise singers would, through their blood, sweat and tears, be doing everything to protect his dictatorial tendencies which had become part of his DNA.
Insiders said despite Tsvangirai having gone beyond mere political exhaustion he expected to be listened to and obeyed almost without a question. They said he was employing dirty tactics on perceived internal enemies because he was just not ready for an appointment with the political scrape yard.
And perhaps what is exacerbating his fears is that even his traditional backers and sponsors are standing aloof and also predicting another split, the first one, when he failed his first major democratic test which led to the split of the party after which there were a coterie of other minor democratic tests that never helped the situation leading to smaller other groups peeling off as well.
And now he is in another democratic examination room where developments seem to point to another dismal performance that may buckle the party’s knees and finally leave it in the abyss of political history.
Party sources in Bulawayo said their leader never learns from history, arguing that it was imposition of candidates that led to a dismal performance in 2013. They said the 2013 primary elections were undemocratic, twisted, controversial, totally biased and repressive and were punctuated by a homeboy syndrome.
“All what is happening now in the MDC-T are the long term effects of the congress of all party congresses that were held from 2011 where the mafikizolos and strangers were conscripted to positions of power, where the home-boy syndrome and tribal trump card took precedence over party interests. There is massive tempering with the party’s Electoral College,” said one party insider.
The MDC, like so many so called democratic parties in Africa, was sponsored by the West at the turn of the millennium to replace liberation movements that were regarded as no longer fashionable, confrontational, old and ideologically at variance with former colonisers. But behind the façade of promoting democracy through multiparty political systems that were not so common in Africa lies a real neo-colonial agenda.
And in a “he who pays the piper plays the tune setup” the resultant so called democratic parties were not only receiving money from the Western countries but they were also receiving ideologies of how to deal death blows to liberation movements whose unity of purpose has caused a headache among colonial powers. LIKE any other August past and vanished, we have celebrated one of the most important days of our lives. Tightly attached to 18 April, Heroes Day emblems the scent of liberation, freedom; with a combination of sorrow and national introspection we remember those young people who gave up their studies and family to martyr themselves for us only to celebrate an uncontrolled breath of liberty.
Some of them, we have no idea of their names except their kith and kin who shed a tear or two on that day when we mention the tomb of the unknown soldier, knowing pretty well that the un-chanted names are of their sons and daughters, no one has profiled or even remembers.
Documentaries narrate ordeals and the names usually uttered are of those who are remembered. I try to imagine the grief grandmothers, fathers and sometimes children who wish one interviewee would share battle moments with about one of theirs, but I doubt if I can fathom the burning and bruising pain they endure yearly when none mentions that son, daughter, niece and nephew they saw leaving the homestead, convinced that his actions will one day be witnessed and service the interest of his conviction. Many died. Many lost. Many are in gruesome pain all for this land. They are those we celebrate and thank in memory every August on that “dreadful and confusing” day we call Heroes Day.
You may be wondering why I said “dreadful and confusing”, it is because I have never finally concluded if we have to bewail or celebrate or at least venerate that day. In our jubilation, remember, many are in grief. In our thanksgiving, throngs are profusely sobbing. They blame the struggle for swallowing their loved ones. They are orphans, widows and childless all because of the belief their loved ones had: They believed in freeing Zimbabwe Zimbabwe is now free then what? “What?” is the big question in their minds and hearts, when others are remembered by their names and others still alive, “what” of theirs? Should we then celebrate or mourn? Of course we celebrate 18 April, but on Heroes Day what should we do when we remember the gallant sons and daughters. I feel more should be done for and on that day. The day in itself is not enough. Yes, it marks our national memory but it still does not zoom in to the bereaved families who grieve in silence, bitter, cursing (perhaps) only wishing just for the mention of their one and only daughter’s name. Literature has a lot to uncover in that aspect probably we need the names of the “unknown soldier” for the matter of interest, a name gives life to the imagination and memory, it is a sign of dignifying the humanness in a person and having the name soothes the pained heart and the unsettled memories of those remaining.
Mr Morgan Tsvangirai