HomeOpinion & AnalysisLet us revive the 1999 spirit

Let us revive the 1999 spirit


ACCORDING to the Oxford Everyday Dictionary, the word democracy is from a Greek word demos meaning the people.

It further states that a democrat is a person supporting democracy, that is governing whether a country or an organisation by “collective decision-making” or by “majority decision-making”.

When the MDC split in October 2005, Zimbabweans believed that the Senate elections announced by President Robert Mugabe caused the split. It was said then that some of the leaders wanted the party to contest yet the other half was against.

All factions gave convincing reasons for their thoughts. Regretably, the party was split into two groups — the anti and pro senate.

Zimbabweans were losers at the end of the day as all their hopes were in MDCs to remove Zanu PF. Zanu PF smiled their way to 2008 elections where more than 30 of the 99 seats were won because of splitting of votes by MDC-T. For their sins the MDCs got 100 and 10 seats respectively.

In presidential elections Mugabe got 43%, Morgan Tsvangirai 48%.

Leading up to that elections more insults from MDCs were intended for their leaders not Zanu PF.

The majority people of Zimbabwe spoke loud and clear that they wanted an MDC government by voting for it in March 2008 (56% presidential and 140 parliamentary seats), but alas leadership arrogantly refused to listen and accept those votes from Zimbabweans.

It is embarrassing that personal differences not ideology stopped the people’s victory and even today it is still the stumbling block in uniting the movement.

It is a shame that to some MDC leaders, Zanu PF is now a better devil than their colleagues in the movement. MDC leaders are now spending their time hunting one another in every corner of the land.

The July 2013 elections were disastrous as Zimbabweans collectively disapproved of the divided MDC and most of them rather stayed away from the polling booths which enhanced the nikuving Zanu PF chances. Zanu PF’s rigging was also helped by the division within MDC as people lost confidence in it.

Former journalist and Zapu spokesperson Methuseli Moyo in his article of December 11 2010 actually three years before the 2013 elections said: “If next elections are held under the first past the post-constituency based system, the MDC-led by the professors has zero chances of getting any seat. If it is by proportional representation ‘maybe’ they will do a Bantu Holomisa and get one or two seats.” I refuse to equate him with Temitope Balogun Joshua, Emmanuel Makandiwa or Eubert Angel, the writing was on the hall for everyone to read.

He was vilified by none other than this writer because we were living in “denial”.

The 2013 elections went as per Methuseli’s “prophecy”.

Questions then arise, is Tsvangirai, Welshman Ncube, Tendai Biti and others unable to work together such that having Mugabe win elections is seen as a better option ? Where is the spirit of 1999?

Are our leaders prepared to meet their doomsday? Some leaders think they are bigger than the movement. It is a tragedy to dress a nonentity in the robes of a giant especially before a fight because the very same robes that you put on will undoubtedly work against the nonentity in the battle.

While some leaders have found it worthy to give us sarcastic advice that paints other leaders as worse than Mugabe’s
Zanu PF, the reality is that such leaders and their beliefs would die a natural political death. People of Zimbabwe want an MDC government.

The issue of a kettle calling a pot black must stop. This holier than thou attitude by some leaders must end. Personal egos and individualism must not delay the revolution. Reviving the 1999 spirit is the way to go.

 Edwin Ndlovu is a former MDC provincial spokesperson who defected to
MDC-T last month.

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