Lack Of A Sustainable Economic Model In The Running Of The MDC Makes Its Leaders Vulnerable To ZANU PF – Opinion
13 May 2020
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Zimbabwe's former finance minister and opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) politician Tendai Biti is greeted by party leader Nelson Chamisa as he leaves court after being convicted and fined under the country's electoral act in Harare, Zimbabwe, February 18, 2019.

By The Radical Zimbabwean|The lack of a sustainable economic model for the MDC is what has caused this current wave of back stabbings and skulduggery in the party. By ‘sustainable economic model’ one is referring to the financial arrangements of a political party which ensure that it has enough money and resources to be competitive.

The trouble in Zimbabwe is that the money which opposition political parties are reliant on is being apportioned by the Zanu regime. Opposition parties fighting a fascist regime shouldn’t rely on the oppressor’s generosity and whim. Imagine Zanu and Zapu guerilla operations relying on the money coming from having their MPs in the Rhodesian parliament – it’s unworkable. Will get to this later.

As much as I hate to say this, if those two (that man and that woman) get their hands-on the $7m dollars for opposition parties, they are going to have the power to coax other MDC MPs and their activists on the ground into joining their faction. They may not even have to actively go out and bribe people, seating MPs themselves will volunteer themselves to them. See, MDC MPs especially those who are not wealthy rely so much on the wages they get from being in that farcical parliament, they will likely volunteer their allegiance to that man and woman because those two will ensure they still get their hands on those salaries, for a while. Zanu could even be mischievous enough to incorporate this Muzorewa faction into a farcical government of national unity where that lot will be in charge of things like primary education and parliamentary hygiene.
One is not against MDC MPs, buy one recognizes that their position in military kleptocracy has a serious defect. Whether they notice this or not, once a person becomes an MP they will be part of the political class in Zimbabwe (albeit a second tier) that enjoys a cushy life, nice houses, nice cars all financed by public taxes. As such, their political motivations and experiences of the problems in Zimbabwe in most cases will be different from the people they are supposed to be representing.
For example, the first thing a seating MP would be passionate about is their parliamentary salary and the benefits they enjoy in their constituency. Those are the things they will defend gallantly. Once those things are secured, they will then assess other people’s problems and if those other problems require solutions which put their MP privileges at risk, they are likely going to be against those and propose superficial alternatives. Majority of the public want the problems in the country to go and for that to happen, every state structure in the country needs to be overturned and recreated to serve the people and that includes Parliament, and that includes sending all Zanu government officials and their stooges in the state to prison for a long time or forever.

Indeed, there are some radical MDC MPs who warm the cockles of one’s heart when they say it as it is, when they call for radical political change. But they are in the minority. All MDC MPs should be radical…so radical that they should donate half their salaries to the party’s humanitarian wing…so radical that they should be leading demos for regime change every week…so radical that they should use the parliament to mock the regime…so radical that they should eventually withdraw from parliament due to the fact that it has zero influence on government policy or accountability on the issues which matter…so radical that they should actually do things which can bring political change in Zimbabwe.

Now there is an argument that if the MDC do not send MPs into those parliaments, Zanu will run riot and puts through legislation that ruins the country. But hang on, Zanu is already ruining the country and that is because the country is a military kleptocracy where every state sector, Reserve Bank and means of production which matter are controlled by them. Indeed the courts from time to time serve justice on small matters, but on the substantive issue about who rules Zimbabwe the judge presiding might as well be wearing a Zanu cap and matching underwear because they will favour the incumbent.

Zimbabwean parliaments are actually serving Zanu’s interests by giving the world a false impression that Zimbabwe has democratic structures when it does not.

Without a sustainable economic model, the MDC will continue to be susceptible to bribery from Zanu via its MPs. Without a sustainable economic model, the MDC will continue to be a begging party at the mercy of Zanu. A sustainable economic model can be achieved by running the party like a proper business legally and clandestinely. In the past, one has written extensively about the three essential layers for the MDC – business capital, intellectual capital and activism.

What’s the way forward
It’s difficult to develop a sustainable economic model especially in a country like Zimbabwe, Zanu will destroy any successful capital venture that finances the MDC. This is why this economic model needs to be operational in the diaspora. The MDC in Zimbabwe needs to sit down with the diaspora and come up with ideas. The MDC has a trump card which is Nelson Chamisa who is a charismatic superstar orator and charming man. He will be key to aggressive diaspora crowd funding which is one of the revenue streams needed for this thing. In the next publication, one will explore some of the avenues. In the short term, one understands that the MDC has no alternative but to rely on that state funding. Which means these factional wars will continue to happen, but whoever gets their hands on that $7m will have the upper hand because of the desperate maxim of our MPs.