MDC-Renewal, MDC dovetail well

TODAY my good friends and colleagues MDC leader Welshman Ncube, MDC-Renewal secretary-general Tendai Biti, Priscilla Misihairabwi Mushonga (MDC secretary-general), Elton Mangoma and others will sign a unity pact bringing our two parties together.

Sadly, I will not be there because I am already committed to attending a school prize-giving event which I agreed to attend weeks ago, but I will be there in spirit.

Some may disdainfully dismiss this as a non-event — an old friend in another party recently said that this amounts to “nought plus nought equals nought”.

While I am the first to concede the obvious — that the MDC performed poorly in last year’s elections and that this is but a small step, I disagree with those who say this is a non-event.

Firstly, given that the two biggest parties are busy tearing themselves apart, it is refreshing to have former colleagues come together again.

One of my greatest sadnesses when the MDC split occurred in 2005 was that I had to separate from some of my closest friends, including Biti and others.

That split was a gift to tyranny and remains so.

At the very least then, it is good to be back on the same team with fearless and principled men and women who have all along shared our vision of a free, tolerant and vibrant Zimbabwe. There is no doubt that together we will be stronger than when we were apart.

Secondly, I am pleased to be reuniting with “doers”. In my view, Biti and Mangoma in particular were two of the best Cabinet ministers and their work speaks for itself.

It was Biti who turned the economy around and did his best to allocate money to the most worthy causes.

It was Mangoma who performed miracles in paying off Zesa’s debt and in turning it around. Both were attacked viciously — Mangoma was arrested — precisely because they were so effective. But that is only two people I have singled out.

There are many others in the MDC-Renewal team such as Lucia Matibenga who have a lot to offer Zimbabwe as there are in our present team.

Thirdly, this reunification combines not only talent, but regional support.

MDC’s Achilles heel, rightly or wrongly, was always that we were perceived as a regional party with most of our support in Matabeleland.

This step removes that perception and brings ethnic and regional balance. In other words, we dovetail well.

We may be small at present, but we will not be doubling up.

We will be complementing each other’s respective support base.

I have tried not to be disdainful of small things because the Bible tells us that it is through small things that the good Lord creates large things.

Jesus described the kingdom of God as “a mustard seed”, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground, yet when planted it grows and becomes the largest of all the garden plants with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade (Mark 4:31).

Now for the avoidance of doubt, I am not comparing this event to the kingdom of God!

All I am saying is that God’s usual practice is to use small and weak things to achieve His mighty purposes.

That was why he approached Gideon who responded by asking God: “How can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh and I am the least in my family.” (Judges 6:15).

So this may be a small and seemingly insignificant event but that in itself does not mean that great things will not come out of it.

I believe that this must be seen as a start, not an end in itself. We desperately need to align and unite those in Zimbabwe who have a deep-rooted belief in democracy, tolerance, freedom, servant leadership, small unobtrusive government of the people, by the people and for the people.

We know there are like-minded people in other parties or who do not have a political home at present. We know that most Zimbabweans feel rather desperate about politics at present, feeling that there is little sense anywhere.

My hope and prayer is that this event will see the beginning of a process which will attract all those people who are uncomfortable where they are to put their energy into a grouping of people who have a different, constructive, positive vision of Zimbabwe.

So today’s event may only be one plus one now, but I am happy to be associated with this great group of patriots.

God bless Zimbabwe.

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