Monday, 16 July 2007

MDC: Fatal dalliance with ‘reformasi’

MDC: Fatal dalliance with ‘reformasi’

Poor Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga! She is a good girl, one with a good sense of humour too. She can bravely step out of party line, if only to vindicate the commonsensical. In these times of overbearing compliance, that is no small trait. She should not come to grief. No, she shouldn’t, and all honest men have a duty to defend her.

TB’s viral cough

Efforts at sewing the tattered rag that original MDC has now become have come to naught, a big, well-rounded naught!

Of course this in neither tragic nor unexpected. The vultures have long been in the air, the beast tottering like a drunken British lord.

But the MDC’s final collapse releases many from a heavy sense of entrapment.

Many of its members were feeling trapped by their party’s dizzy merry-go-round politics to nowhere.

They have turned, turned and turned into an ever-widening gyre. They surely needed a release, and this might just be it. I am aware I am being pedestrian — even absurd — given my insistent warning to you gentle reader to prepare for MDC’s ides by way of a massive split, to be followed by a permanent divorce, itself an interregnum before further interesting splits amoeba way, all to finish this pathetic, diseased creature that TB (Tony Blair) spat in our crowded room called Zimbabwe.

Man-child or child-man?

So, you might then ask: why the iteration, why this wordy ceremony? Well, for the sake of some victims of this political sandstorm, victims well inside both formations of the split MDC who seem hard pressed to make sense of what has hit them.

Priscilla is one such, and frankly my heart goes out to her, hoping old Mushonga to whom she is betrothed, is verily, verily cured of this nagging disease called jealousy.

Here we go. Priscilla is deeply hurt that the so-called unity talks between the warring factions of the MDC have collapsed. She blames it on Tsvangirai.

She comes across as a soul in deep anguish, a soul that hoped for a permanent suture to this deep political gush that rocked MDC’s Western benefactors.

Now Tsvangirai’s Mabvuku address has shattered all that and she is very unhappy.

Given who she is, I get the sense she is ventilating the exasperations of her side nominally headed by Arthur Mutambara. As an untried technocrat, Mutambara is a man-child, which is why he will make an excellent civil servant at SIRDC, once given the chance.

As a gambling politician, Arthur is, without doubt a child-man, which is why Welshman Ncube watches with glee as harsh events spank him the schoolboy style.

There is something immensely politically naïve about this surly robotics professor, something that makes him an avid teenager in the fertility dance of elders.

If you do not understand my simile, go to Mashonaland Central this August and watch elders beat and dance to the drum after midnight! It is no stuff for boys of tears.

Governed by ignorance

Arthur has been soundly whipped by the turn of events, with the biggest cane lash coming just recently in Luton where he was left holed in a dingy hotel by Tsvangirai, as the latter proceeded to address a diaspora rally alone.

Tsvangirai would not share his supporters with Mutambara.

It made lots of political sense for the Tsvangirai group, and in equally measure, made lots of resentment sense for the Mutambara group.

Those near enough tell me Mutambara burned red with rage, vowing if Zimbabweans are keen to be governed by "ignorance", let them jump right ahead! Now, at what point did he see this "ignorance" threatening to misgovern us?

Only after being skipped for the rally? So the show for unity became another opportunity for bitter acrimony and resentment. No doubt, Priscilla is living through the consequences of this great betrayal, as Ian Smith would call it.

By attempting to re-unite the two formations, Arthur sought to play larger than the deep-seated conflict, larger than its bloody protagonists.

Now he bleeds bitterly, while the world laughs raucously.

And as he burns himself out, Welshman’s hawks are edging forward, led by the shrewish Trudy Stevenson, still spotting marks of the past encounter, ironically in the same Mabvuku where Tsvangirai is said to have rammed the last nail in the coffin of unity.

After a calculated lull, she is piling the heat, accusing the villager of all sorts of evil, not least a violent cast which Trudy happily illustrates by her truly begotten body. Or what remains of it after Tsvangirai’s thugs fell upon her.

Her charge list is longer, larger to include abuse of party funds in furtherance of the dear leader’s private interests.

Dulini-Ncube, then united MDC’s kitty minder, is on standby to back up Trudy’s claims. The two sides seem set to barter-trade hot, pregnant words, and we certainly shall hear, where the eye cannot see.

A daughter of peace

Poor Priscilla! Evincing this motherly anguish for unity and peace, she finds herself hoping to blunt drawn daggers, by a blow of fervent kisses.

A laudable but vain act, more so in a world where love has cooled. Like all people anxious for peace, she is set to lose it, or even get devoured by the war she is so reluctant to acknowledge, let alone read fully.

Listen girl, you recall Mutambara’s recent anger against MDC elements which hope to cobble agreements with the so-called Zanu (PF) reformists? E-ehee, you got it girl.

That is what is eating Tsvangirai’s group’s time and effort!

They think they have identified the real vectors of Zanu (PF) power, and are entangled in mad courtship to worry about the Mutambara faction and its inane hope for reuniting. Do not you know this?

In step with reformasio

Now for the real complication. The Tsvangirai faction of the MDC is caught up and dizzied by a whirlpool of tempting negotiations.

It feels much sought after, and has illusions of greatness.

But not when you look a little closer. First, let us trace the contours of these tempting offers.

There is the ongoing talks minded by Thabo Mbeki, President of South Africa with the support of SADC, to which both factions of the MDC have sent representatives.

Tsvangirai’s group thinks it carries a bigger mandate than that of Mutambara, a feeling reinforced by the price war it thinks it caused, a war it hoped would soften Zanu (PF) to make concessions at the table. Except this suggests the whole faction is behind the talks, or that Biti is minding the faction’s interests. But that is for another day.

Then there is the so-called unity talks between the two factions.

I stress that the significance of this dimension should be measured, please.

Through these talks, both factions seek to recover lost ground, to achieve what they were before the split.

As I have repeatedly said, it does not make them any bigger, any better, any mightier than the ant-muscle they have always been vis-à-vis Zanu (PF).

Again, these talks have had representatives from both sides. How representative those representatives are, in food for another thought.

Suffice it to say that the representative-ness of those representatives is best judged by the tremendous progress that continues to elude them, indeed the hot lips that have replaced balmy kisses.

Thirdly, there is the redolent dimension the Tsvangirai faction would rather I do not write about, much of it unfolding nicodemously, all at the push of those with no known totem.

These are talks that are remarkably close to thick conspiracies, talks involving Tsvangirai and elements he believes wield the future of Zanu (PF), the so-called reformasios!

There is even talk of the emergence of another party, itself an amalgam of the so-called reform-minded Zanu (PF) elements and the Tsvangirai faction.

It rests on shared sponsorship here, shared consanguinity there.

Above all, it rests on assumed power which neither and influence which neither side wield.

Opposition commodified

Lastly, there are multiple talks involving both factions separately, and donors and opposition groups within the so-called civic movement.

I have already referred to the giant anomie which has seized both factions in the wake of the change of guard at No. 10, as well as worrying (for the MDC) signals coming from Germany and Portugal over Zimbabwe’s participation at the Africa-EU Summit.

They read the beginning of a thaw, and are worried that with Blair gone, their cause might turn the brown of permanent wilt.

I do not need to say more, except to advise the gentle reader to count the number of trips to Europe Tsvangirai has made in so short a space of time.

What I have not referred to extensively is the disillusionment between these MDC formations and their twilight alter ego, better known as the civic bodies.

Let me recall for the gentle reader a recent bitter acknowledgment of rampant self-aggrandisement within the opposition and so-called civil society, an acknowledgment made by both Majongwe and Coltart in a discussion with Violet Gonda of the pirate SW Radio.

Only last week, the same disappointment came through again, this time from the lips of Munyaradzi Gwisai (remember him?).

In his inimitably vulgarised Marxist way, he complained that the opposition struggle had been "privatised and commodified", adding: "We call it the commodification of resistance syndrome where, given the crisis, many of those who lead these groups and organisations, in fact, have been living quite well off as a result of the financial support that has poured into civic society and that can be a big hindrance in people uniting, because everyone wants their little to shine and appear in the papers so that they get more donor funding coming in".

Purpose in stomach

Forget about the Marxist verbiage from this mistaken youngster, and read his real content: namely a confirmation of the donor dollar impulse at the heart of the so-called opposition movement in Zimbabwe.

Except this dreadlocked storm-in-teacup-firebrand does not realise that in a political movement, self-aggrandisement is a symptom of atrophy, never an ephemeral aberration.

It is a time-honoured degradation of the politics underpinning a movement, quite distinct from greedy hangers-on who have jumped onto the Zanu (PF) bandwagon.

MDC erstwhile supporters have found purpose in their stomachs than in the cause.

This has depressed their supporters, and Tony Hawkins’ agonised discussion with Gonda reveals the depth of disenchantment.

When a worker is seduced by capital

If you doubt my analysis, just take the example of the ongoing price war.

How dead and uncalculating can a leadership ever be politically?

As with the land question, Morgan Tsvangirai and his acolytes who include the irreverent Chi-baby, have taken a position against restoring pricing sanity in the market.

To them, the current crackdown on errant businessmen is a ruse which Zanu (PF) has mounted for short-term populist gains, ahead of March 2008 poll!

Yes it is, but one that coincides with a popular wish and expectations.

Is this not what politics is all about, namely fastening your cause on the wishes and dreams of the governed? In the case of Zanu-PF, it is obviously deeper. We see a consistency of taking and defending the common man’s interests and welfare, do we not?


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