The 31st July election has been envisaged in many quarters locally, regionally and beyond as the last battle of ‘Waterloo’ especially for the MDC-T party. Events came rushing, emotions were aroused – victors won the elections. Surprisingly, there is a groundswell of an anti-celebratory mood. There is no popping of champagne bottles neither the honking of cars and I haven’t come across any ZANU -PF party supporter(s) in jubilant celebrations. The members of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC- T), their rank– and – file and the ordinary Zimbabweans still remain in denial, disbelief and in shock as I write. I suspect pharmaceutical companies must have run-out of supply of Blood Pressure (BP) Tablets in the past few days (post – 31 July 2013) (no pun intended).
Those who write history in haste are quick to point that the 31st July elections marked the last straw that broke the MDC’s back. On the other hand, others are already writing an MDC-T’s obituary. Nevertheless, what remains crystal clear is that both the people of Zimbabwe and the MDC-T fought a spirited and good fight for jobs, social justice, human rights, peace, democracy and socio-economic and political transformation through non –violent means, especially after the hemorrhaging of the economy by the nemesis ZANU – PF through their (gonomics) and the kukiya-kiya economic policies which include but are not limited to farm mechanisation and price controls (Operation Reduce prices).
Coming to whether the 31st electoral outcome signals the crumble, disintegration, collapse and end of the MDC-T – it’s too quick to extrapolate. Only time will tell. The preceding events that will likely obtain in the near future will qualify or disqualify this assertion. Certainly, in my own considered view I do not foresee the eclipse of the MDC-T from the political scene – rather I foresee the regrouping of all democratic forces and the realignment of forces in a bid to salvage the country from the imminent crisis that seems to obtain. As clear as day follows night, it is also apparent that Zimbabwe is going to plunge further into a crisis situation. Tellingly so, Zimbabwe is indeed at the crossroads and the nation will still need the MDC-T for several reasons. The MDC-T is still a serious political force that cannot be shrugged of easily especially in a ‘free and fair’ environment. Admittedly, we know free and fair is utopia and far-fetched in the Zimbabwean political context.
Whether elections were rigged, stolen, or were a ‘sham’- free, fair or ‘unfree’ and ‘unfair’ remains an academic debate. Essentially the 31st electoral outcome is now history! Let us fast forward as a nation with progressive like – minded people. The tragedy of our times is that we tend to major on the minor and minor on the major. When faced with monumental and difficult challenges human beings tend to be distracted from the real issues at stake. Oftentimes, the leadership also become confused and weakened in the face of adversity. This is what 31 July has done to our minds, souls and spirits. Many of the so called analysts have started to offer ‘practical’ solutions to the MDC-T leadership – solutions which in my view are not ‘practical’ at all. For instance there has been talk about leadership renewal – but at this critical hour do we need such?
Furthermore, do we chase the chief executive officer every year when the company fails to perform well? Even if there should be a change of guard –let it be done democratically and constitutionally (internal party constitutionalism). The MDC-T has never been in short supply of leadership – leaders come and go but the ideals should not die. Unfortunately, many several questions and conspiracy theories are now being thrown around. Some say the MDC-T was exposed through its participation in the Coalition government, some believe they neglected the party at the expense of government business. All is now history. Period!
What the MDC-T cannot afford at this time is its political extinction from the political map. Let the MDC-T be guided against the ideas of the 2005 split – let the MDC also stand guided about the ‘struggle within a struggle’ to quote the great eminent Zimbabwe’s finest political scholar professor Masipula Sithole. Let his soul rest in eternal peace! Admittedly, the MDC -T did its best under difficult conditions. Even if we had the best of the candidate in terms of wits, intelligence, mobilization and strategies the outcome was likely to be the same. As the way forward, let the MDC-T draw lessons from the Russian revolutionary Vladimir Ilyich Lenin who elucidated that, ‘there is no prescribed method of struggle, every method will depend on the circumstances that exist at each particular epoch’. 31 July has failed to awaken conscience but has rather reawakened consciousness – the lesson is simple we should not give up as a nation.
To the MDC- T these elections have evoked different philosophical and religious sentiments. What is just or unjust, fair or unfair, god or ungodly, peaceful or violent? Above all, the issue of faith and trust in God has been re-emphasized – to this end (the MDC- T) should stand motivated by Martin Luther King Jnr’s teachings. This is not the Waterloo –it’s not yet over until it’s over! Certainly, certainly, certainly we should never throw away the baby with the bath water. Zimbabwe is at the crossroads so is the MDC-T but it’s not the End!
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NIV
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.