Tuesday, April 08, 2008

(HERALD) MDC mustn’t advance foreign interests

MDC mustn’t advance foreign interests

THE elections have come and gone, and what’s left now is the determination of the winner of the presidential contest whether by a run-off or recount of the valid votes cast. Whatever the mode used, Zimbabweans hope they will be the eventual winners along with a leader willing to stand for and defend the ideals of the liberation struggle for which thousands of lives were lost while many were maimed over nine decades for demanding their birthright, the land that had been expropriated by selfish white settlers.

We must never forget that the Third Chimurenga, that saw land returned to its rightful owners, was the logical conclusion of that decades-old struggle which is why it roused the same enemies we fought and defeated yesterday.

The battle for Zimbabwe, of course, continued with the harmonised elections which were as much a contest for land as they were a battle for political supremacy.

This is why even before the polls were concluded, land became a topical issue when white former commercial farmers headed to the farms anticipating a second colonisation in the event of an MDC victory.

MDC leaders — particularly those from the Tsvangirai faction — did not help matters either by remaining quiet even as the white former farmers used their names in threatening newly resettled farmers with eviction.

This conspiracy of silence by the opposition confirmed what Zanu-PF has been saying all along, that the MDC was formed as a consequence of misplaced economics on the part of the British, who believed it was cheaper to fund an opposition to unseat the Government than to meet the costs of land purchase in Zimbabwe.

And as many MDC officials have reminded us over the years, and even in the recent campaign, they itch to reverse the land reform programme.

A rude awakening indeed for the thousands of Zimbabweans who endorsed the MDC at the polls as that amounted to voting away their rights to land, and everything on and under it.

Yet it shouldn’t be like that. Everywhere in the progressive world, be it in Britain, the US, or Australia; political parties differ only on the modalities of government but not its objective.

They are clear on their national interest, ethos and and foreign policies. Any differences only have to do with domestic policy, that is how best to govern for the good of the greatest number of citizens.

A case in point are the ongoing enthralling US presidential debates, where candidates concur on foreign policy but differ on domestic engagement.

What is more, MDC leaders could do with a leaf from the circumstances of their party’s launch that saw all three main British parties set aside their differences to come up with the Westminster Fund for Democracy that bankrolled the MDC launch.

The objective of the Labour, Tory and Liberal Democrats’ leadership was to protect their interests, and those of their kith and kin who held scandalous hectares in Zimbabwe’s prime agro-ecological regions, at the expense of black Zimbabweans.

This should be our guiding philosophy if we wish to progress as a people, which is why it was refreshing to hear President Mugabe emphasise the centrality of land to nationhood during the burial of his father-in-law in Chikomba over the weekend.

To this end, we feel it is high time those in both factions of the MDC pronounced themselves on the national question, and stopped promoting the interests of foreigners.

We wait to hear on which side they are on, that of the returning white former farmers or the thousands of Zimbabweans who were recently resettled on the lands of their forebears?

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