The move­ment that cries for a demo­cratic re­birth

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Big Read - Micheal Mh­langa

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

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