Wednesday, December 09, 2009
By Golden Guvamatanga
AS MDC-T celebrated its 10th anniversary on November 29, they did so amidst questions from many stunned and angry Zimbabweans: What really was there to celebrate? Celebrating 10 years of existence that have destroyed livelihoods of millions of Zimbabweans?
Does it need a genius scientist for MDC-T leaders to see that all is not well, and that the people are suffering? Was this the same MDC-T who always rapped Zanu-PF for being spendthrifts, and being insensitive to the people’s plight, while they painted themselves as saviours?
Or could we just conclude that despite their claims, MDC-T finally proved that it is and has always been detached from realities on the ground and their 10th anniversary was nothing but lack of sensitivity?
Since they held their anniversary in Highfield, the home of national politics, were they telling Zimbabweans that they are so blind to their needs?
Recently, MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai chose to play golf when other members of the inclusive Government and the people were at the National Heroes Acre burying national hero Cde Misheck Chando, who was not just a member of Zanu-PF, but was also a parliamentarian?
At that time, questions were asked on what constitutes leadership, when a leader could not respect the death of a parliamentarian just because that person was from Zanu-PF whom they claimed to have "disengaged" from?
And, the political script will still not spare the MDC-T as it will forever point to the undeniable fact that the socio-economic challenges faced by the majority of Zimbabweans is a result of sanctions they requested the West to impose on Zimbabwe.
Their leader could have made an about turn on sanctions, but has that U-turn echoed in the White House, Whitehall and many other Western centres where they sold out by begging for sanctions?
Lest we forget, it was MDC-T that assisted in the drafting of the heinous Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001, the US sanctions law that has blocked our access to lines of credit. They also helped the West in the implementation of the sanctions regime, because their faith in NGOs, most of which are run like personal fiefdoms, did not only result in many Zimbabweans losing jobs, but it also resulted in the closure of our vibrant manufacturing and commercial sectors.
There is this false notion that just because Zimbabwe is using multiple currencies, then all is well with the people, and the economy is really turning around for the better.
Maybe Minister Biti, MDC-T’s secretary-general, will spring surprises when he presents the 2009/2010 budget. Real Christmas surprises, other than thinking that the RBZ Bill is only meant to score points in his personal conflict with Dr Gideon Gono. It is as if the Bill, which eventually has to be an act of Parliament, should not outlive Dr Gono’s tenure.
One does not also need to be a Nobel laureate in economics to see that even the overpriced basic goods and services such as transport, bread and maize-meal are actually beyond the reach of most people — countrywide.
Public transportation is one of the major indicators of a working economy, so maybe the MDC-T leadership should find out how much commuter bus owners are making per day, despite the argument that 50 cents per trip in Harare is "cheap".
We should hope that their meeting was not one-sided: them speaking to the people, but that their supporters, but that the latter clearly told them that life is unbearable. Were they told that even the dollar-for-two loaves of bread are not selling?
It is not because their supporters do not like bread. They cannot afford it. They cannot even afford to pay rentals. The Mayor of Harare and Zesa Holdings must have also given them the true picture about the current payment of bills for goods and services they offer.
We had hoped that before the rally, Tsvangirai could also move around Highfield and experience first hand the potholed roads, the vendors who are hardly selling anything.
He would also have seen "tumatsaona", where even the green bar is cut up into small pieces and sold from one rand and above depending on size.
If his supporters wanted to be honest, he should randomly ask them to produce a dollar note, and he would have seen that the majority did not have although it was month end and despite the fact that most of them wanted to go to Rufaro stadium to watch the match between Dynamos and Shooting Stars. Yes, the US dollar has purchasing power, but only when you have it.
These were therefore celebrations that also exposed MDC-T’s political infidelity that saw them "going to bed" with the country’s detractors, because they were not happy that Zanu-PF was reclaiming land, which was in the hands of a small group of people who used their race and superiority as power leverages.
And, was it not a bit odd that their handlers did not really make much of an issue of those celebrations in their news reports? Was it because of what the MDC-T leadership said or it was a plan whose results we still have to see? Zimbabwe realised way back that with the West, it is not over until it’s over? Only time will tell.
The celebration also exposed the tired rhetoric, where MDC-T always blames Zanu-PF and President Mugabe for its misfortunes, as they cling to the so-called outstanding issues in the GPA, while refusing to admit that the number one outstanding issue is the removal of the illegal sanctions.
The media reported that Tsvangirai made an about turn, but for an occasion this important to MDC-T, was it not a bit odd that none of the speeches made by the leadership was on their website by Monday, and that pirate radio stations that normally quote Tsvangirai verbatim, did not do so this time.
This is why it is important to read between the lines. They could have called them sanctions that Sunday, for purposes of making a pretence at fulfilling their obligations under the GPA, while at the same time they remain "restrictive measures".
People must recall what the US government said: they imposed the sanctions, and they will remove them when they see fit?
This is despite the fact that the sanctions are also strangulating even MDC-T, including some of its leadership.
The argument that sanctions are travel bans remain an insult to the people, because they are now travel bans on people who cannot move freely, even for short distances like Highfield to the Central Business District.
Surely, they must have heard some cheeky Kombi rank marshals calling out for passengers, "Handei City/Copacabana! Handei kutown kwatakabhanwa!" These are the hidden nuances in ZDERA — outlawing people (to travel at will).
Celebrating at a time like this also means that they were doing it for the West who imposed the sanctions using hypocritical claims — bringing democracy to Zimbabwe when all that they wanted was to pursue their selfish interests.
Doing it also on behalf of a recession hit West, who must wonder why Zimbabwean people could indulge in such luxuries when they cannot even afford to heat their homes.
Progressive minds worldwide also wonder why MDC-T had this bash when they have made it impossible for Zimbabweans to have decent services like electricity, water, food, and clothing, among other basics, whose failure to access they blame on President Mugabe.
Even Studio 7, the pirate radio station, and MDC-T’s mouthpiece also reiterated a Herald story of November 24, where Health and Child Welfare Minister Henry Madzorera; an MDC-T member, confirmed reports of cholera cases.
Ordinary and Advanced Level examinations started a few days ago, amidst threats from invigilators, regarding payment. And, media reports also say that Grade 7 examinations have not yet been marked. To MDC-T, this obviously is President Mugabe’s fault?
Thanks also to MDC-T and their Western sponsors for trying as much as possible in the past decade to derail the milestones achieved in education.
And some of them would not care less since their children are educated outside the country. Thus they do not care about the future of most children who are unable to access decent education services that would lead them to a better future.
Most people are still unemployed and cannot afford basic foodstuffs although they are now readily available. The festive season is also a few days away. How many families will afford Christmas goodies? After Christmas, how many parents will afford school fees for the 2010 school calendar?
Despite the onset of the rainy season, farmers are facing immense challenges ranging from inputs and lack of funding. Since land is a central issue to the West’s quest in the illegal regime change using MDC-T, the usual blame game was quiet evident, using toned-down language.
After painting such a grim picture, we still wonder what was there for MDC-T to celebrate about. Was this an anniversary etched in blood and on stone tablets, which was impossible for them to defer until a later date when the picture was better?
The good thing is that most Zimbabweans are now seeing through them as they continue to assess their election promises. They still wonder when the delivery of the free buses, the 10 billion pounds, free education and "real" salaries would start.
People now know full well that MDC-T has failed to bring the "good times" they promised. People cannot continue lives of unfulfilled promises, promises made by a political party that bound the country using sanctions as a weapon to reverse the gains of the liberation struggle.
Only time will tell before Zimbabweans experience reality: MDC-T going down the political drain due to lack of judgement at critical moments, as they did on November 29.
It is time that the other Zimbabweans see the light, and see MDC-T for what it is, a Western Trojan horse.
Thus to Zanu-PF, I say, be wary of the sincerity of the MDC-T leadership’s statements because, the mutation in the MDC-T’s DNA is fast.
The unsanctioned trip of the ambassadors-designate is a case in point. When a country’s representative-to-be acts this way, then what will happen when they are in the line of duty? Can they be trusted to faithfully represent the people?