Stopping MDC implementing even one reform in 5 GNU years is one of the greatest Tom Sawyer trick ever pulled off
20 May 2023
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 By Wilbert Mukori- Zimbabweans love to boast, at least until a few years ago, that they are one of the most literate nations in Africa. In this case, the definition of literate as some one who can read and write needed to be revised, as far I am concerned, to include “and understand what read and written”. 

If Zimbabweans understood what they read then they would not be so naive and gullible and the country would not be in such an economic and political mess! How is it possible that we have fallen prey Tom Sawyer’s tricks, not once, not twice but multiple times; for a literate nation. 

“Tom appeared on the sidewalk with a bucket of whitewash and a long-handled brush. He surveyed the fence, and all gladness left him and a deep melancholy settled down upon his spirit. Thirty yards of board fence nine feet high. Life to him seemed hollow, and existence but a burden.” wrote Mark Twain in  The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. 

“ . . . . . At this dark and hopeless moment an inspiration burst upon him! Nothing less than a great, magnificent inspiration.

“He took up his brush and went tranquilly to work. Ben Rogers hove in sight presently – the very boy, of all boys, whose ridicule he had been dreading. . . . .

“Tom went on whitewashing – paid no attention to the steamboat. Ben stared a moment and then said: “Hi- yi ! You’re up a stump, ain’t you!”

“No answer. Tom surveyed his last touch with the eye of an artist, then he gave his brush another gentle sweep and surveyed the result, as before. Ben ranged up alongside of him. Tom’s mouth watered for the apple, but he stuck to his work. Ben said:

“Hello, old chap, you got to work, hey?”

“Tom wheeled suddenly and said:

“Why, it’s you, Ben! I warn’t noticing.”

“Say – I’m going in a-swimming, I am. Don’t you wish you could? But of course you’d druther work – wouldn’t you? Course you would!”

Tom contemplated the boy a bit, and said:

“What do you call work?”

“Why, ain’t that work?”

Tom resumed his whitewashing, and answered carelessly:

“Well, maybe it is, and maybe it ain’t. All I know, is, it suits Tom Sawyer.”

“Oh come, now, you don’t mean to let on that you like it?”

The brush continued to move.

“Like it? Well, I don’t see why I oughtn’t to like it. Does a boy get a chance to whitewash a fence every day?”

That put the thing in a new light. Ben stopped nibbling his apple. Tom swept his brush daintily back and forth – stepped back to note the effect – added a touch here and there – criticised the effect again – Ben watching every move and getting more and more interested, more and more absorbed. Presently he said:

“Say, Tom, let me whitewash a little.”

Tom considered, was about to consent; but he altered his mind:

“No – no – I reckon it wouldn’t hardly do, Ben. You see, Aunt Polly’s awful particular about this fence – right here on the street, you know – but if it was the back fence I wouldn’t mind and she wouldn’t. Yes, she’s awful particular about this fence; it’s got to be done very careful; I reckon there ain’t one boy in a thousand, maybe two thousand, that can do it the way it’s got to be done.”

“No – is that so? Oh come, now – lemme, just try. Only just a little – I’d let you, if you was me, Tom.”

“Ben, I’d like to, honest injun; but Aunt Polly – well, Jim wanted to do it, but she wouldn’t let him; Sid wanted to do it, and she wouldn’t let Sid. Now don’t you see how I’m fixed? If you was to tackle this fence and anything was to happen to it – ”

“Oh, shucks, I’ll be just as careful. Now lemme try. Say – I’ll give you the core of my apple.”

“Well, here – No, Ben, now don’t. I’m afeard – ”

“I’ll give you all of it!”

Tom gave up the brush with reluctance in his face, but alacrity in his heart.”

Beautiful! Genius!

Robert Mugabe pull-off the same dirty Tom Sawyer trick with Morgan and his MDC friends. The primary task of the GNU was to implement the democratic reforms and stop Zanu PF rigging elections. Mugabe’s challenge was to distract Tsvangirai and his 2 Deputy Prime Ministers 30 or so MDC Ministers and over 150 MPs and Senators so they forget implementing the reforms. Distract then not just for a day or a month but for five years. He pulled it off! 

MDC leaders failed to implement even one token reform in five years of the GNU. 

Implementing the reforms was Zimbabwe’s get-out-of-jail card and MDC failed to play it. 

“Mazivanhu eMDC adzidza kudya anyerere!” (MDC leaders have learned to enjoy the gravy train good-life, they will not rock the boat!) boasted Zanu PF cronies during the GNU why MDC was not implementing the reforms. 

Tsvangirai and company were convinced they were now fully paid up members of Zimbabwe’s ruling elite with a life-time seat on the gravy train. They had a very rude awakening the morning after the July 2013 elections when Zanu PF had a landslide victory and it was back the ghetto for most of the MDC leaders. 

Ever since the lost golden opportunity to implement the democratic reforms MDC/CCC leaders have given up on getting even token reforms implemented and focus their attention on participating in the flawed elections to give Zanu PF legitimacy and win the few gravy train seats Zanu PF offers as bait. 

Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC/CCC friends have got away, so far at least, with the blatant betrayal of the people on reforms and the participation on flawed elections because the people themselves as just as ignorant and gullible as the MDC leaders. It is no secret that even to this day the likes of Nelson Chamisa has no clue what the democratic reforms are much less how they are to be implemented. This is why he still talks on reforms even now with just a few months before voting day. 

The Zimbabwean voters are so gullible many of them believe in the oxymoronic nonsense of CCC has strategies to win rigged elections. Not just an elections but elections “so flawed, so illegal, that the only logical step was to withdraw”, David Coltart, one of very few MDC/CCC with some, not much, grey stuff between his ears. 

After 43 years of rigged elections and with the nation in deep, deep trouble because of the decades of corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF rule, one has to be insane to forfeit one’s right to a meaningful vote in pursuit of winning rigged elections. 

So, now Zanu PF has the right to rig elections! And we, the people have the privilege of the Herculean task of jumping over the bar that is being raised higher and higher until we fail!!!