ZIMBABWE – “People have increasingly become apathetic and disillusioned by the failure of the opposition to deliver them from their tormentor President Robert Mugabe and his ruining party Zanu-PF,” said Tendai Biti.
“That is why we in the PDP are leading the chorus on coalition formation, leadership renewal and ideas-based politics. ”We believe that through a coalition, opposition political parties can appeal to a broader constituency beyond our individual bases and thereby mitigate the possibility of splitting the opposition vote to Zanu-PF’s benefit.”
You are spot on Mr Biti, our people have indeed become “apathetic and disillusioned by the failure of the opposition to deliver them from their tormentor President Mugabe”. What is perplexing is your failure to grasp the reason why the opposition has been such a total failure.
You say you and your political party PDP “are leading the chorus on coalition formation, leadership renewal and ideas-based politics”. MDC had the majority in the GNU parliament had more cabinet members in that cabinet than Zanu PF and yet MDC failed to implement even one of the democratic reforms every greed were absolutely necessary for free, fair and credible elections.
SADC leaders reminded MDC leaders again and again throughout the five years of the GNU to implement the reforms but their warnings fell on deaf ears. The regional leaders literally begged MDC not to take part in the 2013 elections but of course MDC leaders ignored the pleas too.
There are three logical reasons why MDC failed to implement even one reform in the five years of the GNU:
– MDC leaders are incompetent; as Tsvangirai has already admitted the party believed they have the mass support to overwhelm whatever vote rigging Mugabe and Zanu PF throw at them. How hopelessly wrong MDC strategists turned out to be; Zanu PF did not just rig the elections but did so blatantly and “won” the elections with a landslide.
– MDC leaders are arrogant; this a common weakness right across the Zimbabwe political divide. Tsvangirai and his friends did not pay heed to the warning and pleas from SADC or anybody else because they really believed they knew best. Indeed the only reason Tsvangirai has changed the party’s constitution so he can stay on as party president belong the original maximum two five-year terms is because he believes he is the only one competent to lead. His fellow MDC leaders are no different, they too want to stay on as leaders regardless of the pathetic track records as leaders these last 15 years.
But talk of Mister-Know-It-All arrogance and what better example than Robert Mugabe; he has led the nation for 35 ruinous years, he is so old and sick he can hardly stay awake for more than a few hours, etc. and yet he is more desperate than ever to stay in power.
– But most important of all MDC leaders are corrupt; again a common cancer across the country’s political divide. Five years is a long time for even the most incompetent MDC leaders like Tsvangirai not to have realized that the raft of democratic reforms were important for free and fair elections. Not even one reform was implemented because Mugabe bribed the entire MDC leadership the gravy train lifestyle, the $4 million Highlands mansion for Tsvangirai, etc. MDC leaders took the bribes and kicked the reforms into the tall grass. Of course MDC leaders sold-out.
“Vanhu veMDC vadzidza kudya vanyerere!” (MDC people have learnt to enjoy the gravy train spoils of power and not rock the boat!) Boasted one Zanu PF politician to the repeated question during the GNU why MDC leaders had not implemented even one reform.
“”Your own mouth condemns you, and not I,” I was tempted to remind the boastful Zanu PF buffoon. Zimbabwe has sunk into these depths of economic ruin with regime has ridden roughshod over the people’s freedoms, humans rights, hopes and dreams because Mugabe has bribed Zanu PF politicians; top brass in the Police, Army and CIO; the Judges; Editors and Journalist in the country’s public media; etc. so they all turn a blind eye his corrupt and tyrannical excesses.
So to turn back to Mr Tendai Biti; Mugabe did not “win” the 31st July 2013 elections because there were too many opposition parties resulting in the “splitting the opposition vote to Zanu-PF’s benefit”. Zanu PF won because the party was able to blatantly rig the elections. The only way the opposition can stop Zanu PF rigging the next elections is by implementing ALL the democratic reforms agreed in the 2008 GPA.
Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC-T party supported by 18 local NGOs led by Elections Resource Centre (ERC) have been calling for the implementation of the electoral law reforms, which “are not a threat to anyone (meaning Zanu PF)” as Tawanda Chimhini, ERC Director has readily admitted. So if their proposed reforms are not going to stop Zanu PF rigging the next elections there is really very little point in implementing them and thus contesting the next elections with or without opposition coalition.
Most of the top leaders in PDP, the various MDC factions, Zapu, Mavhambo, Mujuru’s People First, etc. are recycled deadwood from Zanu PF or MDC; the same corrupt and incompetent lot. You obsession with coalition as the way forward show just how breathtakingly incompetent you really are because if you have deadwood in the individual parties to start with surely you will still have deadwood, only a bigger pile, even if you succeeded in bringing all the opposition parties together.
The opposition have been a great disappointment in the past because there were no quality leaders. Put quality before quantity and you will get the desired results those who have put emphasis on quantity have, as a rule, found themselves going round and round in circles.
If the truth be told MDC and Zanu PF leaders have never wanted all the democratic reforms in the 2008 GPA implemented because both parties knew their own leadership position will not be secure if there was a healthy and functional democratic system because both parties have truck-loads of deadwood each.
What Zimbabwe needed MDC to do during the GNU was to implement ALL the democratic reforms; sadly that was not done. The country needs these reforms implement now just we did during the GNU because only when we have a healthy and functional democratic system can we be assured of quality leaders emerging. We do not need a coalition of mediocre leaders and much less the watered down Tsvangirai reforms to be implemented!