MDC hypocrisy ex­poses lack of po­lit­i­cal, ide­o­log­i­cal depth

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

A VIDEO cir­cu­lat­ing on so­cial me­dia of MDC of­fi­cials, Murisi Zwiz­wai and Charlton Hwende pub­licly con­fronting, ac­cus­ing and hu­mil­i­at­ing MDC co-vice-pres­i­dent, En­gi­neer Elias Mudzuri for at­tend­ing a meet­ing of Par­lia­men­tary of­fi­cials with Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa at State House last week makes a nau­se­at­ing sight.

Iron­i­cally, Mr Hwende ac­cepted the chair­man­ship of the Par­lia­men­tary Port­fo­lio Com­mit­tee on ICT whose perks are equiv­a­lent to those of Deputy Min­is­ters. Eng Mudzuri had at­tended the meet­ing with Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa, to­gether with other Par­lia­men­tary Pre­sid­ing Of­fi­cers, in terms of Par­lia­ment’s Stand­ing Rules and Or­ders. Messrs Zwiz­wai and Hwende ac­cused Eng Mudzuri of as­so­ci­at­ing with Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa, de­spite the party’s so-called pol­icy of not recog­nis­ing his le­git­i­macy.

What makes the stance by the MDC Al­liance of­fi­cials so ap­palling and hyp­o­crit­i­cal is the litany of cases of MDC co-op­er­a­tion and work­ing to­gether with var­i­ous Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and de­part­ments, de­spite the so-called pol­icy of non­recog­ni­tion of Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa’s le­git­i­macy.

First and fore­most, the very act of ac­knowl­edg­ing the ap­point­ment of Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ters by the very same Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa is, by log­i­cal de­duc­tion and ex­ten­sion, a cat­e­gor­i­cal ac­cep­tance of the le­git­i­macy of the Pres­i­dent. It would be a great case of hypocrisy to ac­cept a Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ter’s le­git­i­macy aris­ing from that min­is­ter’s ap­point­ment by an il­le­git­i­mate Pres­i­dent. If the ap­point­ing au­thor­ity, in this case Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa, is il­le­git­i­mate, it log­i­cally fol­lows that all his ap­point­ments and other ex­ec­u­tive de­ci­sions are il­le­git­i­mate. How does the MDC Al­liance ex­plain its ac­cep­tance and recog­ni­tion of Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ters while at the same time deny­ing the le­git­i­macy of the ap­point­ing au­thor­ity?

Messrs Zwiz­wai and Hwende con­fronted Eng Mudzuri at the Harare In­ter­na­tional Con­fer­ence Cen­tre (HICC) where leg­is­la­tors were en­gaged in post-bud­get con­sul­ta­tions. The 2019 bud­get they were dis­cussing was pre­sented by Pro­fes­sor Mthuli Ncube, an ap­pointee of Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa. Here we don’t see the MDC Al­liance MPs boy­cotting the con­sul­ta­tions, prob­a­bly be­cause they were be­ing held at a five-star ho­tel where they would wine and dine, at the tax­payer’s ex­pense.

This co-op­er­a­tion with the ex­ec­u­tive arm of the State is not prob­lem­atic, ac­cord­ing to the Hwen­des of the MDC Al­liance, but Eng Mudzuri’s at­ten­dance of a meet­ing with Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa is prob­lem­atic. Read­ers may need to know that Eng Mudzuri is the MDC Al­liance leader in the Se­nate, a po­si­tion which was con­ferred on him through that party’s cau­cus pro­cesses.

In other words, his at­ten­dance at State House was in line with the MDC Al­liance’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in Par­lia­ment as well as other State in­sti­tu­tions. For the MDC Al­liance to now find fault with this par­tic­i­pa­tion is the height of hypocrisy.

It is an open se­cret that the MDC Al­liance ap­pointed Dangamvura-Chikanga leg­is­la­tor, Mr Pros­per Mut­seyami as its Par­lia­men­tary Chief Whip, while it’s na­tional chair­per­son, Ms Tabitha Khu­malo, is the leader of the op­po­si­tion in the Lower House of Par­lia­ment.

Here lies the MDC hypro­crisy: if the MDC surely did not recog­nise the le­git­i­macy of the out­comes of the 30 July elec­tions, why would they ap­point all these of­fi­cials to take up po­si­tions in Par­lia­ment? Is it be­cause there is money to be earned from Par­lia­men­tary par­tic­i­pa­tion? Is it about the for­eign travel on Par­lia­men­tary busi­ness? If the MDC Al­liance is to be taken as a vi­able al­ter­na­tive to Zanu-PF, it can­not be seen to be se­lec­tive in its en­gage­ments with Zanu-PF and Gov­ern­ment. In one minute, they get along with the same Gov­ern­ment. In an­other, they claim oth­er­wise.

Ap­pear­ing be­fore the Mot­lanthe Com­mis­sion in­ves­ti­gat­ing post-elec­tion vi­o­lence on Mon­day last week, Mr Nel­son Chamisa ex­pressed his readi­ness to en­gage Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa for what he termed “the coun­try’s progress.”

Why would he want to en­gage an il­le­git­i­mate Pres­i­dent? Mr Chamisa is so keen to en­ter Gov­ern­ment through the back door. He is, how­ever, un­will­ing to say so pub­licly, but would rather cling to an am­bigu­ous pol­icy of non-recog­ni­tion of the Pres­i­dent and demon­stra­tions, un­der a fu­tile hope that it would bring him po­lit­i­cal re­wards.

The above con­tra­dic­tions point to deep-seated pol­icy and lead­er­ship paral­y­sis. Mr Chamisa is sim­ply over­whelmed and out-of-depth to pro­vide clear lead­er­ship in the MDC Al­liance. It is as clear as day from night that the MDC Al­liance is suf­fer­ing from a strate­gic lead­er­ship cri­sis, which has failed to chart a way for­ward af­ter its de­feat on 30 July. It is sim­ply not clear if the MDC Al­liance is ac­knowl­edg­ing the Zanu-PF Gov­ern­ment or not. Its en­gage­ment is se­lec­tive.

An op­po­si­tion with the na­tion’s in­ter­ests at heart would have ac­cepted the poll re­sults with the full as­sur­ance that an­other round of elec­tions would be com­ing in five years. Mr Chamisa still has age on his side, that he can still try his luck for the pres­i­dency. Drag­ging the coun­try down all be­cause he lost an elec­tion, taken to­gether with his un­con­sti­tu­tional power grab in the MDC-T, has ex­posed Mr Chamisa as a politi­cian mo­ti­vated by love for power, in the same mould as the in­fa­mous Al­fonso Dh­lakama of Mozam­bique and Jonas Sav­imbi of An­gola. The Dh­lakama and Sav­imbi of Zim­babwe is pre­pared to shed the blood of fel­low com­pa­tri­ots in pur­suit of power. Zim­babwe is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing eco­nomic chal­lenges ex­as­per­ated by the MDC Al­liance’s in­tran­si­gence and re­fusal to ac­cept its loss. Mr Chamisa has openly de­clared that “toz­vidira jecha/ siz­ab­hidl­iza um­buso”, an ap­par­ent dec­la­ra­tion that they would sab­o­tage the econ­omy as long as they are not in power.

It is an open se­cret that Messrs Zwiz­wai and Hwende, among oth­ers like Mr Mor­gen Komichi, are fronting a fac­tion within the MDC Al­liance that is op­posed to any mem­ber chal­leng­ing Mr Chamisa for the party lead­er­ship at the forth­com­ing elec­tive congress. They have not made any se­cret about their po­si­tion. On the other hand, Eng Mudzuri has hinted that he may con­test for the party pres­i­dency.

Pre­vi­ously, Eng Mudzuri had a run-in with Mr Chamisa fol­low­ing the death of Ts­van­gi­rai when Chamisa grabbed the pres­i­dency out­side the con­fines of that party’s con­sti­tu­tion. Eng Mudzuri, to­gether with Dr Thokozani Khupe con­tested the power grab by Mr Chamisa. That sowed seeds for some of the fac­tional po­lit­i­cal the­atrics that are now man­i­fest­ing through the in­sults by Messrs Hwende and Zwiz­wai. Mudzuri is be­ing per­se­cuted for chal­leng­ing the cir­cum­stances of Chamisa’s as­cen­dancy to the lead­er­ship of the MDC-T, as well as his bold stance to chal­lenge Chamisa dur­ing the congress.

On the other hand, Dr Khupe has gone to ac­cept that the re­sults of the polls re­flect the wishes of Zim­bab­weans and has ex­horted Zim­bab­weans to em­brace and work with the Zanu-PF Gov­ern­ment. This shows Dr Khupe has the na­tional in­ter­est at heart: post­pon­ing per­sonal po­lit­i­cal am­bi­tions in the greater pub­lic good.

Calls by Youth Assem­bly sec­re­tary-gen­eral, Love­more Chinop­utsa for Eng Mudzuri’s ex­pul­sion from the MDC Al­liance over the State House meet­ing should be con­tex­tu­alised in the fac­tional bat­tles for the party lead­er­ship. Eng Mudzuri is ad­judged to be pos­ing a threat to Mr Chamisa, hence the open at­tempts to block his po­lit­i­cal march. In the short pe­riod Mr Chamisa has been in na­tional pol­i­tics, he has demon­strated his in­sa­tiable love for power that he is pre­pared to sac­ri­fice na­tional progress. Such politi­cians present a clear dan­ger to na­tional as­pi­ra­tions. Vot­ers, how­ever, have a way of pun­ish­ing such un­pa­tri­otic politi­cians. And vot­ers don’t for­get.

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