THE MDC-Tsvangirai have been flying adverts all over trying to make us believe that they can bring real change to Zimbabwe – change that you can trust.
The insults that its leaders have been hurling before the electorate, especially at Simba Makoni, left me wondering about the level of tolerance we are supposed to enjoy once the MDC gets into power.
Calling a fellow contestant a “zhing zhong” is really regrettable coming from people fighting for meaningful change. The question
one would ask is haven’t we had enough of people who waste valuable energy on personalising issues instead of concentrating on policy?
The current US contest for the Democratsic presidential nominee has some similarities to what we are seeing, especially between MDC-Tsvangirai and Makoni’s election bid. They all are promising change, which I think is really welcome. But when Hillary Clinton attacks Barack Obama for his lack of experience, I see a resemblance with the MDC. They afford to call Makoni a “zhing zhong” (fake/inexperienced), but honestly who between the Makoni presidential bid or the MDC-Tsvangirai) suits this tag?
Tsvangirai has had the most experience in the fight for change but does he have the same experience in governance and democracy (which is closely related to change)? There was the Ari Ben-Menashe issue, the James Makore/Chimbaira issue in 2003, youths hired to block perceived political enemies at Harvest House (Welshman Ncube), the unfortunate split of the MDC, and more recently the Lucia Matibenga/ Theresa Makone fiasco. Do we call these democratic decisions from a potential state president or are they a hint of the kind of change we are likely to face?
Is this the kind of change we would like to have?
The insults on Makoni have been credited to lawyer Tendai Biti. I thought Biti knew better about issues of democracy and name-calling. Being in the position he is, he should know better the dangers we have on hero worshipping and immortalising leaders. Does he dream of one day leading the party he belongs to and facing other candidates too?
Would he want to spend time hurling abuse at others in the form of name-calling? Yes the MDC needs to think of possible successors to prevent what has happened in the ruling party and the NCA where individuals are now bigger than the constitution.
What difference does Lovemore Madhuku make from such fellows as Sam Nujoma, Yoweri Museveni, Fredrick Chiluba and others who fail to appreciate the need for succession? What Zimbabwe and in particular Zanu PF have failed to learn is that countries like China and Iran are succeeding because they have realised that parties and governments need re-energising.
l Madhanzi writes from Chiredzi.