Abstract as it may he sound, he was warning future leaders to be wary of resorting to violence, intolerance and corruption to cling onto power.
Mugabe’s 31 year reign has been punctuated with allegations of bloodshed and dishonesty and resorting to these may now seem to be the norm rather than the exception, with politicians from most parties resorting to chicanery to hold onto power.
While the MDC-T has generally been considered to bring a breath of fresh air in Zimbabwe’s murky politics, events leading to the holding of its congress have analysts asking whether Zimbabwe was ready for democracy or this remained a pie in the sky.
Elections in most of the provinces have been blighted by violence, with the most striking picture being of a youth running away with a ballot box in Midlands before votes could be tallied.
Bulawayo province has seen the worst political violence, with opposing candidates, Gorden Moyo and Matson Hlalo trading accusations of being the masterminds of the bloody orgy.
Mashonaland has also had its fair of confusion and violence, raising fears that elections and constitutionalism were far from being the determinants of how the country or political parties would be governed.
Media scholar, Brilliant Mhlanga claims violence in the country is a result of a bad birthmark and an inheritance from the way Zanu PF has been conducting its politics.
“It is in fact my contention that the violence in MDC -T be understood as a symptom of a massive political tumour that has been affecting our national psyche as Zimbabweans for a while,” he said.
“It speaks about Zimbabwe’s bad birth mark which mark has continued to taint any project that people seek to push, hence the pitched battles we have seen leading to the MDC T Congress.”
Mhlanga said a glance at the MDC-T’s history revealed that it was a party of massive violence and political upheavals rather than a peaceful party, as its spokesman, Nelson Chamisa regularly claims.
“As a revelation, people should be very much afraid, that if members of a party are prepared to subject each other to this form of violence, what of ordinary citizens who have no political affiliation whatsoever,” he continued.
Last week, Chamisa claimed that his party could have been infiltrated by Zanu PF and the violence was as a result of that infiltration.
The party’s chairman, Lovemore Moyo also blamed Zanu PF tendencies, within the party, claiming they were responsible for the chaos.
In the long run, Mhlanga said these incidents of violence were likely to create discontent, while fomenting factionalism and heightening infighting, much to the detriment of the party.
“This is a clear sign that democracy in Zimbabwe remains a seriously elusive pipedream.
“This violence within the so called change agents shows the extent to which Zimbabwe’s wound has festered,” he said.
The media scholar said this was an indication of the huge task that lay ahead if Zimbabwe was to finally taste the promise of democracy.
Political analyst, Trevor Maisiri said the violence within the MDC-T was incomparable to Zanu PF because of difference to access to power, but warned that the infighting could be foreboding of worse things if the party was to rule.
“The danger is that if the MDC-T does not exterminate even the small instigations of violence in its structures, there will always be possibilities of its amplifications if the party comes into power,” he warned.
Maisiri claimed infighting within the MDC-T was being worsened by that the party lacked a “coherent value system or [an] ideological persuasion” that holds the party together.
“So what you will realise is that the MDC is still in a movement status and has not fully transformed into a political party,” he said.
“Movements bring people together based on common issues whereas parties bring people together based on common values, so this infighting is very characteristic and expected due to the particulate nature of the MDC’s issues-based agenda which has, therefore, brought all these supporters together.”
Maisiri of the African Reform Institute added “what you will see is that there are varying and divergent value systems in the MDC and this normally leads to uncontrollable tension and ultimately violence.”
He, however, was optimistic that after the congress, MDC-T would find common ground and aim all their ammunition at Zanu PF.
However, the analysts agreed that violence had become an ideological tool in the country and getting rid of it would be a difficult task.