Thursday, November 13, 2008

(TALKZIMBABWE) MDC reaching the terminus, time to renew leadership

MDC reaching the terminus, time to renew leadership
Norman Misihairabwi – Opinion
Wed, 12 Nov 2008 11:42:00 +0000

DEAR EDITOR – On October 26 2008 Morgan Tsvangirai addressed a rally at Sakubva Stadium in Mutare. The crowd roared, ululated and clapped in approval of the MDC leader’s populist words. They always do. He was in that region to appraise his supporters on the power-sharing deal signed by him, President Mugabe and Prof. Arthur Mutambara of the other MDC formation.

Songs written by Paul Madzore – MDC legislator for Glen View, were belted out encouraging the MDC leader not to be used by the “powers in Harare” and to “stand for the people”.

“We are saying to Mugabe we need power-sharing, not grabbing,” said Tsvangirai adding that “We are saying no to grabbing. If they insist on power-grabbing, we will go back to the trenches until we get what we want.”

MDC Youth chairman Thamsanga Mahlangu said if the deal collapsed the MDC should push for fresh elections.

“We will demand fresh elections under the United Nations. This time around we will not permit Mugabe and Zanu PF to intimidate us,” Mahlangu said.

“We are prepared to go back to the trenches and finish off Mugabe and Zanu PF.”

Now the deal has failed and we expect the MDC to go to “the trenches” whatever that means and "finish off Mugabe and Zanu PF" as they promised!

Zimbabwean people are already in the trenches – bearing the brunt of this political bickering – without a Government, although they voted in March and June.

Tsvangirai took himself out of that race on June 27, and hence forfeited the opportunity to become President. Political expedience would have made him a Prime Minister under the new arrangement. That is why he is a Prime Minister-designate, not Prime Minister-elect. He was not elected for that post, but was a designated through a process he took part in, which he is now snubbing as illegitimate.

I do not understand the MDC's strategy, but I know that the United Nations will never force an independent, sovereign country to go to the polls. The Zimbabwean debate now focuses on one ministry and there are many other important debates going on at the UN to focus on the allocation of ministries in Zimbabwe.

The fight that the MDC is spoiling for will not even be debated at the UN. The UN will get a briefing from the AU which is getting a briefing from Sadc. The information (including recommendations) submitted to the AU by Sadc is the same information the UN will receive. The MDC will be lucky to even get an audience at that level.

The MDC meets on Friday. They have to be honest with themselves. The fight they are spoiling for will not only work, but they could render themselves unimportant at this very critical juncture. If President Mugabe appoints Cabinet (and he could well do after the Sadc go ahead), the MDC will again cry foul like they did with the June 27 run-off election, but with no strategy of reversing those appointments.

No matter how much we deceive ourselves: fresh elections will never be held under any circumstances – the population is wearied and there is no legal requirement for those elections to be held. The MDC should stop fooling themselves that the international community will bring change in Zimbabwe.

Maybe it's time for new leadership in that party.

Norman Misihairabwi

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