Let’s look beyond MDC, Zanu PFLloyd Msipa, New ZimbabweMay 16, 2007
THE SADC extra-ordinary summit held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, has come and gone and Zimbabweans are not any better off than before. All the expectations of possible censure of Harare have disappeared.
What we have is a promise by the South African President Thabo Mbeki to mediate between the feuding parties in Zimbabwe.
There seems to be a lot of faith from both MDC formations in this process of mediation judging by the media reports. Both camps seem to genuinely believe that since President Mbeki has been given this task by the SADC heads, he is likely to carry it through.
The naivety of both MDC camps was aptly put into context by the NCA Chairman Dr Lovemore Madhuku, who seems to be the only person whose head is screwed on right.
Madhuku has clearly said in his view, Thabo Mbeki's negotiation initiative is not in good faith.
Folly is sometimes defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Mbeki's initiatives on Zimbabwe have been relied on in the past, and the outcome has been the same -- nothing. How soon we forget!
The MDC is now eight years old and it seems as the years go by, its prospects of becoming the governing party are slowly drifting away. The MDC, it seems, has failed to transform from its civic movement status that saw it draw membership from academics, trade unionists, students, professionals and others into a properly constituted political party.
With both the MDC and Mbeki's latest initiative looking very much doomed, what then is the way forward? Fellow Zimbabweans it seems we have put all our eggs in one basket.
We are ten months away from the next decisive election in Zimbabwe and under the current political scenario, what are the prospects of an MDC victory? I put them at zero. I think it is time we came up with a more viable political option that will meet Zanu PF at next year's polls and win.
Both MDC factions as currently divided are over reliant on the goodwill of President Mbeki and the international community. We currently have the Secretary Generals of both parties shuttling back and forth to South Africa all in the name of negotiations. What they do not seem to realise is that no prospects of any Constitutional reform exist in Zimbabwe without the masses.
Both MDCs have failed to launch a people's revolution within Zimbabwe itself. That is the source of constitutional reform, not South Africa, Britain, Australia or the United States. Power comes from the people, not the international community. Prime Minister Tony Blair has come and gone, and of course, he did not assist the MDC in its ambition to replace Zanu PF.
President Mbeki, it appears, is playing for time and before the MDCs know it, the elections will be a few weeks away. It is not difficult to see that the two MDCs have run out of options. Why would they be bickering over a name, for instance, if they were serious political players? Besides, the speeches they give now are largely rehearsed and repetitive. The factions have become elitist with both leaders spending their time abroad instead of being in Zaka, Gwanda, Murobedzi canvassing. It is common knowledge that 70 percent of Zimbabweans live there.
A new political party, which is not Zanu PF or MDC, but possibly with elements of the two and other progressive minds, at this juncture of Zimbabwean politics has the potential of causing an upset. This new political party should be prepared to take advantage of progressive former Zanu PF parliamentarians who are already knowledgeable about the machinations of the governing party. After all, who among us can claim they were never affiliated to Zanu or Zapu at some point in their lives?
They will use this information, plan within this new political party the downfall of Zanu PF in the March 2008 poll. The MDC has failed to take advantage of this resource covertly or otherwise. We have currently a situation where civic groups agitating for a New Zimbabwe have no other political party to work with except the two factions of the MDC. What is required is a wider choice of political organisations to jerk the MDC and Zanu PF off their comfort zones. Surely there are more potential players out there.