MDC must quit, not complain about unity government

Tanonoka Joseph Whande

Did you hear what I heard?
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai told the nation during Workers’ Day celebrations that he is fed up with the unity government, saying it has failed and should be collapsed.
How many times have we said it over the last three years?
I am appalled that it has taken him so long to realise the truth about the wrong turn that he and his party took.
Since the formation of this government, Tsvangirai never had power or authority and still functions under what Mugabe and ZANU-PF allow him to do.
Said the Prime Minister: “Mugabe told me that this inclusive government is not working. He is no longer interested in it.”
Aaah! Now I understand. Even though many of us said so to him, he did not believe it but now that his master has said it, he feels free to admit it too.
“I am also not interested in it, but the question is: how do we end it?” he added.
But Tsvangirai should again ask Mugabe who has made it clear that he wants elections, with or without a new constitution or a new voters’ roll. And Mugabe wants it amid all the violence being reined on Tsvangirai’s MDC supporters.
It was in May 2010 when Tsvangirai expressed amazement at Robert Mugabe’s behaviour, something he had done several times before.
Said Tsvangirai then, “Being in government with a partner who does not respect the very agreement which they signed up to as a basis for that partnership is a challenge, to put it mildly.”
I have always said that Tsvangirai and his MDC have patience to spare, now they want to retain their needless patience to realise an outcome that they, themselves, considered to be “a painful experience but a strategic necessity that will enable us to reach our destination albeit uncomfortably”.
They failed to reach any destination; now they are fed up with the unity government!
Like every Zimbabwean, I was once overwhelmed by an over abundance of optimism and expectation.
I was a hopeful man who always believed and thought evil can only last for so long before it is overtaken by good.
I have heard that the good die young and I thought it meant that the young are more loved than the sinful old goats.
I can’t continue like this.
I am older now and, hopefully, wiser and have discovered that optimism is nothing but an attempt to ward off the inevitable.
Call it denial.
It is now very difficult for me to understand, let alone accept, what the Movement for Democratic Change is doing.
We have been had.
Unfortunately Tsvangirai’s credibility is taking a knock although, to the generality of the people, he has managed to come across as an honest man with the best of intentions.
But why can’t he think on his feet like others do? Why does he always play second fiddle to Mugabe? Are you telling me that Tsvangirai has always believed that all is well in the unity government until two days ago when he admitted it to the people at Gwanzura Stadium?
Back to our subject.
Said Tsvangirai: “We have a unique coalition of opposing ideologies and this has resulted in this government dismally failing in its major responsibilities of creating jobs.”
I mean, did he not know this all along? Just when did he find out and why did it take him three years to admit it?
The MDC has been spending less and less time on people’s concerns. They thought they deserved the opportunity to also do to Zimbabwe what ZANU-PF has done to our nation.
Now there is serious talk of elections and the MDC is trying to distance itself from the honey-pot they have been ravaging all these years.
There are still many unfulfilled issues that this unity government should have implemented but Mugabe simply refused up to this very day. They have been negotiating since the 14th of May 2007 and Tsvangirai only gets fed up now when the possibility of elections is rising.
But the point is that they have always been aware of the fact that Mugabe was never going to budge. They have been aware of this for a long time but they just wanted to get closer to the corridors of power and hoped things would turn in their favour later.
Now they are accepting defeat.
Said the Prime Minister: “The big problem that we have is that while we are busy trying to create jobs, we have some people who think that let us share that small cake. We believe in policies that enable us to enlarge the cake and then share it with many people.”
ZANU-PF buses people to the airport to make noise as Mugabe leaves or arrives back then gives them a can of Coke and a bun for their sweat.
The MDC is learning well, is it not? They have been sitting at the high table for years eating and drinking without any more care about the issues that brought them votes from the people.
But now because elections are looming, they want to share with us; they want to enlarge the cake so that all of us may have a piece.
How noble!
Having been denied power, with their officials and supporters continuing to be arrested wily hilly, and with hardly any part of the GPA being respected, the MDC is once again submitting itself as a willing tool of Mugabe and ZANU-PF. Why else would they be denied what’s theirs but then go on to do those things that strengthen ZANU-PF at their expense.
Said Tsvangirai: “My point is that only a legitimate government born out of a free and fair election can address the concerns of the workers and the millions of unemployed Zimbabweans looking for a visionary leadership that will steer this country forward.”
I do not know about the visionary leadership but we all knew this from the start. What have they been doing for the last three years? Where were they looking? I just don’t understand.
The heart of the matter is that we cannot have elections until certain conditions are met.
The MDC does not seem to have an answer to what ZANU-PF is doing. People warned them about ZANU-PF. People tried to tell them about Robert Mugabe.
Now they are being humiliated at the same time their credibility is being strained.
ZANU-PF has even gone as far as blaming the MDC for the sanctions and has pushed the MDC into a corner, with ZANU-PF youths, disrupting MDC rallies at will.
Now their councillors, officials and Members of Parliament are being caught in corruption scandals just like ZANU-PF officials.
The MDC leadership has exposed its own inadequacies.
What do you think?
Send me your comments on [email protected]
Now that they have come to their senses and realised what we have been telling them all along, the MDC has to plan carefully and not rush into elections as a solution because elections without all things in place will yield the same stalemate as we have now.
We do not want another unity government and we certainly do not want the MDC to, again, go for ten years without realising they are on the wrong road.
They messed up things and are now mired in poisonous mud. They will not find solutions within this fiasco of a fake unity government or sham elections.
The MDC must be aware that elections in Africa, once held, those with power will rule, whether or not the elections have been deemed free and fair.
So the MDC better not fall into that trap.
They better start on a new strategy right away because they are basking in Mugabe’s territory and can only remain there at Mugabe’s will.
The MDC better start listening to the people.
They must just quit the unity government, something they should have done on the very day the unity government was put in place.
Yes, we need elections to rid ourselves of dead wood in all the parties.
Unity governments do not work and ours in Zimbabwe is the latest in a string of such failures.
But since the MDC has realised it, late as it is, they should not complain about the unity government as if anyone forced them into it. They should just quit and start afresh but this time they better listen to the people and not rush for power.
I am Tanonoka Joseph Whande and that, my fellow Zimbabweans, is the way it is today, Thursday, May 3rd, 2012.

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