Wilbert on Wednesday transcript
Wednesday, 06 March 2013
Good Evening my fellow Zimbabweans!
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
I have evoked this prayer, not because I am religious, but because it encapsulated beautifully the three things I want to talk about today; change, courage and wisdom.
The upcoming referendum is the very last chance for Zimbabweans to achieve the democratic change that would propel us out of the desert of despair, dictatorship, into the green valleys of hope, democratic rule.
Zimbabwe is a de facto Zanu PF dictatorship and all political opposition has been routinely and ruthless silenced. The 2008 presidential run-off elections showed just how brutal the dictatorship could be when over a million Zimbabweans were internally displaced, hundreds of thousands were beaten and/or raped and over 500 were murdered.
The whole world was shocked by the wanton violence of 2008 and SADC instructed the Zimbabwe GNU to implement a raft of democratic reforms whose end product was very clear and explicit: to deliver free and fair election and to stop the repeat of 2008 violence.
None, not even one, of the reforms were implemented because Mugabe refused and MDC were too incompetent to force the issue. Although everyone could see there had been no change, still the people had accepted the hollow assurance from PM Tsvangirai that the coming elections would be free and fair and not a repeat of the 2008.
The nation’s false sense of security was shattered on Saturday 23 February 2013 when a 12 year old boy, Christpower Simbarashe Maisiri, the son of an MDC official in Headlands, was burnt to death after the hut the boy was sleeping in was deliberately torched by known Zanu PF thugs. PM Tsvangirai and his fellow MDC friends went into overdrive, revising their lies that the nation was heading for peaceful elections to acknowledging that the Zanu PF dictatorship was indeed alive and very dangerous!
“This election is going to be bloodier than 2008″ admitted the MDC Home Affairs Minister, Theresa Makone on S W Radio Africa Hot Seat programme. Well that speaks volumes! This is an admission that the party’s hair cut changes in the Copac constitution will not bring free and fair elections – free of violence.
MDC Secretary General Tendai Biti said the party was sending a dossier to SADC giving details of the intimidations, harassment, beating and even murders. This the first time the party has ever spoken of this dossier!
A high power MDC delegation was sent off to SADC “to discuss among other things, the need for SADC to deliver a free and fair election,” a report on the MDC party website read.
This is a knee-jerk MDC response; they not only run to SADC but, worse still, they blame the regional body for the party’s own breath taking incompetence. It is not for SADC to “deliver free and fair elections” but for MDC to implement the reforms by seeing to it that the required laws are passed in parliament. The MDC had the parliamentary majority so this should have been a breeze.
SADC have told P M Tsvangirai again and again, implement the agreed GPA reforms – follow the GPA roadmap – follow the yellow brick road. No doubt SADC will tell this high powered MDC delegation exactly the same thing – implement the agreed GPA reforms!
It was not until Christpower’s murder that the MDC maintained that the party would not brook boycotting the elections. On 31 January 2013 following a high level MDC party retreat in Inyanga Nelson Chamisa the party’s National Organising Secretary “The people of Zimbabwe have embraced the MDC and have placed their hope in the party; hence, whatever the magnitude of the persecution from which ever quarter, the people will vote in their numbers for a new beginning and real transformation which will be brought about by the MDC government.”
If we remove the political rhetoric and the pseudo machismo – we all know when the going gets tough Tsvangirai will once again have his mad dash for the Netherlands Embassy and the rest of the MDC leaders will disappear like mist in the morning African sun – we will have the chilling message: the MDC will drag the nation through another election regardless the cost in broken limbs and lost lives.
After Christpower was murdered, the MDC resubmitted the party’s old Conditions for a Sustainable Election in Zimbabwe (COSEZ), which include demands for a free media and the implementation of the reforms to dismantle the Mugabe dictatorships. And renewed the threat too; the party will not participate in any election unless the conditions are met.
Meanwhile on Saturday 2 March 2013 PM Tsvangirai was in Gweru for the launch of the “Yes” campaign on the referendum.
Let me help you unpack this MDC mess. Whilst the MDC accepts that it is impossible to deliver free and fair elections without implementing the reforms, hence the resubmitted COSEZ, what the party fails to grasp is the reality that if this Copac constitution is accepted in the referendum then the door to implementing reforms will be shut. It is nonsense to talk of amending a constitution that the populous has just adopted, particularly when those amendments are the very reforms Mugabe has resisted all these last five years!
If the truth be told, and it must be told, MDC are quietly reverting to their chilling position; they will drag the nation through another election regardless of the cost in broken limbs and lost lives!
I was watching a wildlife documentary about wildebeest migrating in search of good grazing. They had to cross this flooded river and the point they happened to arrive at had steep banks, 30 feet drop. The more savvy zebra would look for a safer crossing point and if the river is flooded they would wait 3 or 5 days if necessary. Not so with the wildebeest; it was tails up and jump. Many broke their legs, many were swept away by the strong fast flowing flood and drowned and those that made it across had the impossible task of climbing the steep and slippery bank on the other side. What a carnage!
Zimbabwe’s 2008 chaotic and violent elections were carnage!
By failing to have the reforms implemented the country’s political leaders had let the nation down. After five years of bickering amongst themselves and wasting billions of dollars the GNU had brought the nation back to the same political situation as in 2008, the same dangerous river crossing point!
The referendum is giving the people their chance to decide whether the critical reforms have been implemented. The need for implementing the reforms has not vanished, the reality of the repeat of the violence is still there and just because the GNU failed to implement them does not mean no one else can.
A “YES” vote in the referendum means people do not want the reforms and accept the politicians’ failure; it is yes to the violence; it is tails up and jump! There will be another carnage, a repeat of 2008 or worse!
A “NO” vote can be a demand for the reforms to be implemented, a demand for a safer crossing point. Surely this is the common sense position.
Tsvangirai is the madman Chandagwinyira who will sit before a blazing camp fire on a roasting hot day because that is what he has set his mind to do. This Copac constitution gives Mugabe dictatorial powers. It is nonsensical that anyone who believes in democratic rule would vote for such rubbish; the only reason Tsvangirai is doing it is because he has set his mind to do it. If the people are foolish enough to follow Chandagwinyira then they will pay dearly for their folly!
If this Copac constitution is adopted then this will constitute the crossing point for the nation for decades to come; Zimbabwe’s elections will be a chaotic and violence affair, a carnage, for years to come. Frankly the world is fed up with Zimbabwe’s failure to sort out its political problems, the sanctions will be lifted regardless of the level of violence and we will be on our own.
This is the list of those who attended Christpower’s funeral: Prime Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe, The Right Honourable Morgan Richard Tsvangirai and his good wife, Mai Elizabeth Tsvangirai; the Right Honourable Deputy Prime Minister, Thokozani Khupe; “x” number of Ministers; ”y” MPs and “z” hundreds of thousands of ordinary Zimbabweans. A great tribune indeed given he was only 12 years old.
However the greatest tribute the nation can pay to Christpower, in my humble opinion, would be if by his gruesome death the nation was shocked into realizing the urgent need to address this Zanu PF culture of violence decisively once and once for all and thus vote NO in the referendum. Let the name of Christpower Simbareshe Maisiri be entered in the annals of history as the last victim of Zanu P’s wanton political violence! That will be some small recompense for this innocent life so ruthlessly and brutally cut short!