By Patrick Guramatunhu- “The agenda for political reforms has been on the table for many years. When the MDC was founded two decades ago, the agenda was to reform governance in Zimbabwe which was already in terminal decline,” admitted Nelson Chamisa in his Tuesday afternoon Zimbabwe 2021 Agenda address.
“The transformation of governance and society remains at the core of the party’s agenda. However, history has shown that there are impediments to the party’s path to power, hence the need for political reforms to level the political playing field. It is important to have free, fair, and credible elections because they provide the basis for legitimacy.
“We have seen that no matter how many elections are held if there is a legitimacy deficit, the country will remain stuck in the doldrums. We need Zimbabwe to return to legitimacy, openness and democracy. (RELOAD)”
As a young Roman Catholic familiar with the ritual of confession, I had often wondered what the Devil would say in his confession. As an adult I have become engross with the here and now as contrast to the here, now and after life expected of a good Christian. It was not the Devil’s confession I want to hear but that of a politician!
Above is a snippet of a corrupt, incompetent and utterly useless Zimbabwean politician’s confession. It is everything I had ever imagined in the Devil to confess, one and half hours of howling at the moon.
“It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing!” to borrow from William Shakespeare.
It is true that implementing the democratic reforms to restore the individual freedoms and rights including the right to a meaningful vote and the right to life itself was MDC’s primary task. Zimbabweans have risked life and limb to elect Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends into power on the understanding the party will bring about the democratic changes the nation was dying for, as the party’s own name implied.
So, one has to ask why are political reforms still on the national agenda two decades since the formation of MDC?
If Nelson Chamisa’s address was an honest and earnest dialogue with the people of Zimbabwe as the title, Zimbabwe 2021 Agenda, implied; just as a confession should be sincere and truthful; then he had to answer the question above. The whole speech was a clarion call to all Zimbabweans to fight for change without as much as a backward glance to the last two decades, as if the years never even existed. Rubbish!
The last 20 years are important. Many people have suffered and many have died, over 500 were murdered by Zanu PF in the 2008 wanton election violence alone, in the fight for democratic change. The country is in a worse economic and political state today than it was in 2 years ago precisely because the democratic changes that should have happened never happened.
We owe it to all those who have made great sacrifices for democratic change in Zimbabwe to say why we failed to deliver any changes in the last 20 years.
Besides, if we fail to thoroughly and candidly interrogate the failures of last 20 years past, how can we be sure we will not repeat the same mistakes again!
There is no denying that MDC leaders have had many golden opportunities to implement the democratic reforms and end the curse of rigged elections once and once for all. The best chances to implement the reforms were during the 2008 to 2013 GNU.
Morgan Tsvangirai and his fellow MDC leaders, including Nelson Chamisa, failed to implement even one democratic reform in five years. Not even one!
Mugabe bribed the MDC leaders with the trappings of high office, the ministerial limos, very generous salaries and allowances, a US$ 4 million Highlands mansion for Tsvangirai, etc., etc. With their snouts in the feeding trough, the MDC leaders forgot about reforms for five years. Not five hours, five days or five months! FIVE YEARS!
Worse still, ever since their blatant betrayal in failing to implement the reforms during the GNU; MDC leaders have taken up the call for reforms and free and fair elections again and again to win the people’s trust but only to completely ignore the cause in pursuit of their selfish agenda.
“The worst aspect for me about the failure to agree a coalition was that both MDCs couldn’t now do the obvious – withdraw from the (2013) elections,” wrote Senator Coltart in his book.
“The electoral process was so flawed, so illegal, that the only logical step was to withdraw, which would compel SADC to hold Zanu PF to account. But such was the distrust between the MDC-T and MDC-N that neither could withdraw for fear that the other would remain in the elections, winning seats and giving the process credibility.”
There it is the confession on another politician admitting MDC leaders abandoned the call for reforms and free and fair elections in pursuit of the few gravy train seats Zanu PF dangled in their faces.
Needless to say, Nelson Chamisa and his fellow MDC friends will be participating in the 2023 elections even if Zanu PF does not implement even one token reform.
Mnangagwa knows that MDC leaders will participate in the elections regardless how flawed and illegal process. Indeed, that is exactly the reason why Zanu PF is not even paying attention to all these calls for democratic reforms. Why would Zanu PF implement any reform and risk losing the election when the party knows the opposition will participate and give the process credibility and give the results legitimacy!
“Life is but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more.” To once again borrow from William Shakespeare.
After 20 years of the MDC idiots strutting and fretting upon the Zimbabwe political stage and with not even one democratic reform to show for it we, Zimbabweans, should have given these poor player their marching orders a long time ago.
MDC leaders will never ever deliver the democratic reforms and the free, fair and credible elections; if they failed to do so when they had the golden opportunity to do so, during the 2008 to 2013 GNU, it is naïve to think they will do so now.