ZIMBABWE has yearned for peace for many years. Zimbabwe has been without peace in many years. The first guerrilla incursion into Rhodesia was in March 1966 and culminated in the tragic Battle of Sinoia.
This marked the beginning of the war of second Umvukela after the Anglo-Ndebele War and effort by Gogo Nehanda and uKhulu Kaguvi. The third Umvukela ended with the signing of the Lancaster House agreement in December 1979.
The elections in 1980 were marred by violence and many people believe that if it were not for the attendant violence, the result would have been different. The 1980 election produced the first black government led by Robert Mugabe as Prime Minister.
There was peace in the country for just about two years. Not much of it though because that spell of peace was interrupted by the Entumbane disturbances between February 8th and 12th in 1981. Then there was Gukurahundi a year later.
The genocidal killermen rampaged through Matabeleland leaving a gruesome trail of blood and death leading to Joshua Nkomo fleeing for his life and going into exile in the United Kingdom. This forced Joshua Nkomo to capitulate, leading to the signing of the Unity Accord on December 22 1987.
After these years of cruelty and death, the population were to experience stress of a different kind. Because of poor policies, industries started relocating to Botswana, of all places, leaving many of our people jobless.
The introduction of Esap in 1990, which was meant to improve our economic fortunes as a country did not yield the desired results. The Zimbabwe dollar started losing value, and things came to a head on November 14 1997 when the Zimbabwe dollar lost 71,5% of its value against the US dollar! If you like, that is the day it transformed into a ZimKwacha!
The Zimbabwe work force felt the bite worse than business! Labour unrest became the order of the day.
On September 9 1999, at Rufaro Stadium, a coalition of trade unions, civic groups and students movement gelled into a political party called the MDC. The people’s hopes were entrusted on the MDC and the mandate of the new party was to deliver change.
Change became the people’s project. Since that day, people of Zimbabwe have invested heavily in the realisation of the objective of that project in terms of trust in the MDC leaders, physical effort expended, time and money, and patience that change would eventually occur. The people love their party and they have undying faith in it.
It is worth noting though, that MDC supporters suffered the trauma of the 2005 split. With that in mind, allow me to ask if it is fair to subject the MDC fraternity to yet another traumatic stress of a split? Where is loyalty to the party?
I am a loyal cadré of the party and I want the MDC preserved, loved and looked after well. I am not interested in personalities. I am for the party.
Loyalty must be to the party. We must preserve its existence to perpetuity. Morgan Tsvangirai must be loyal to the party. Tendai Biti must be loyal to the party. All of us, MDC cadres, must serve the MDC and not individuals.
We are no different from Zanu PF militias if we get angry on behalf of others, take the law into our hands and mete out mob justice. We merely exacerbate the problem that way.
In 1 Kings 3:16, King Solomon had to decide which of the two women arguing over a baby was the genuine mother.
When he asked the baby to be cut in half, the imposter urged him on, not worried about the resultant death of the very baby she claimed to be hers. The genuine mother would rather have the imposter take the child so that it lived!
I guess that should be the spirit when it comes to the survival of the party if we love it. We cannot be like the unbalanced jilted lover who kills his girlfriend just because if he cannot have her, no one else can! We really would be very small if we are the type to break the toy rather than let the other child play with it.
Tsvangirai has a legacy built in the 14 years he has been at the helm of the MDC. He has taught the nation to cherish and seek democracy.
Yes, there has been Zapu with the late Father Zimbabwe, Nkomo. He made his contribution and earned our respect and honour. We revere him as a hero to this day! But Tsvangirai and the MDC went the farthest in shaking the Zanu PF hegemony.
Yes, it is an open secret that there has been rigging and management of results with the complicity of the military and intelligence services. It is quite apparent.
The nation is grateful to Tsvangirai for his contribution to the people’s project. The MDC did beat Zanu PF in the 2008 election! It is the only political party that has ever beaten Zanu PF! We celebrate that. It’s a legacy that is there for posterity. But the honour can be shattered with just one foolish move.
Once that happens, it cannot be gained. If I were Tsvangirai, I would step aside and let someone else steer the ship even if it is just for the sake of the party’s survival in perpetuity.
You can imagine the accolades that I would receive as we tour the country introducing a new leadership and assuring the party cadrés that the new leader has my support! I would still be on board the ship and we would arrive at the destination together. If I were Biti or Elton Mangoma, I would learn not to push too hard. Say something once and give others time to digest.
I would also learn to love and cherish the party. Why should I keep pushing when I can see that the party will tip over the precipice? It is obviously malicious to the party to keep pushing and pushing so hard as if the intention is to ensure the demise of the party.
Let all the feuders go because they do not care about the party. The party has plenty of other leaders in waiting to take the party forward!