THE struggle for democracy and political discourse does not belong to an individual or group of individuals but to the people of Zimbabwe.
P align=justify>Leaders will come and go as they should, but the spirit of democracy will remain anchored in our minds.
It is therefore disconcerting to hear some people ascribing the success of the struggle against Mugabe’s regime to certain individuals. Some people have come up with theories that give rise to the perception that without these perceived “gods” the struggle is doomed.
We must shun the personality cult syndrome which has brought us to where we are today.
In the 80s, people took Mugabe to be incapable of sinning. He never erred, if he did, it was because “he had been misled by his ministers”.
When he behaved angrily, it was because he had been angered by unpatriotic citizens who had no appreciation of his liberation war credentials. He was a “saint”.
Today the country is in a mess because we did not take the leadership to task when it became evident that the country was being run down.
We witness the importation of the same thinking in the opposition that Morgan Tsvangirai can never go wrong — he is founder of the struggle against the government and should not be subjected to democratic scrutiny, he is irreplaceable and in fact, owns the struggle. The national project cannot survive without him.
Those who try to oppose him must be taken to some “concentration camps” for some lashing and political orientation because they are wrong and should not be allowed to challenge the dear leader.
We hear people making careless remarks such as: “What did they want in Tsvangirai’s stronghold; they deserve it!” referring to the unfortunate incident in which MP Trudy Stevenson and some members of her MDC faction were attacked.
My fear now is that we might be cultivating the same intolerance that has been sown by Zanu PF and allowed to pervade the nation during the past 26 years. Some people may be tempted to ask why it is taboo to venture into Tsvangirai’s political domain when all along we have been crying foul over Zanu PF’s strategy to litter all the rural constituencies with hordes of militia with orders to terrorise, intimidate, attack and shut out the opposition?
If indeed the rural constituencies belong to Zanu PF, why do they become nervous each time the opposition tries to penetrate in search of support?
In the same vein, why does Tsvangirai feel threatened by a group of people that have no support?
The opposition is exposing itself to manipulation by Zanu PF and if it does not wake up now, it will pay for its political blunders.
* Zivai Vusimbe writes from Harare.