Give UMDC Unity A Chance

By Pius Wakatama

On November 27, 2014, 5 000 Zimbabweans, 17 African diplomats, representatives of the embassies of Australia, France, Norway, India, USA and the UK as well as 31 local civil society organisations gathered to grace, witness and applaud a historic event.

This was the signing of a re-unification agreement between the MDC led by Welshman Ncube and the MDC Renewal Team.

According to the signed agreement, the re-unified party would re-discover its 1999 founding principles and values, reconnect with civil society and have the muscle to dislodge Zanu PF from power at the 2018 elections.

The re-unified party will be called the United Movement for Democratic Change (UMDC).

It was reported that Tendai  Biti profusely apologised to Ncube for all the nasty names he had called him when he decided to walk out of the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai.

Now he could also see what the professor had seen long ago.

This is the stuff that real followers of Christ are made of.

They themselves forgive those that trespass against them and they, therefore, are not ashamed to repent and ask for forgiveness from those they trespass against. They are men and women of integrity who are also ready and willing to suffer and even to die for “principles and values.”

The fact that the international community, including 17 African diplomats and 31 local civil society organisations were there to witness the event, should not be taken lightly.

It means that for them, this was a very encouraging development towards a better future for the country.

Civil society organisations have been at the fore-front of the struggle for democracy and human rights.

They have fought and suffered, under terrible conditions but continue to fly their flags high.

They, and indeed all Zimbabweans, who are looking forward to the “Zimbabwe we want,” looked at the unity of these two parties as an important step in the right direction.  

The reaction of the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai to this union was rather disheartening.

The MDC-T said that it was unfazed by this re-unification and described it as a coalition of political dwarfs.

MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said Tsvangirai was not losing sleep over the merger, claiming their party remained the most popular in Zimbabwe.

Gutu went on to say, “As the MDC-T, we are more concerned with pressing national issues such as the crippled economy as well as the collapsing health delivery system. We remain the largest and most popular political party in Zimbabwe by the sheer size of our enormous support base throughout Zimbabwe. We are unfazed by the coalition of political midgets and Lilliputians.”

The mentality and attitude of pride demonstrated by Gutu clearly demonstrates why Ncube, Mangoma, Biti, Ian Kay, Roy Bennet, Priscila Misihairabwi-Mushonga and others chose to leave.

They are lost in the wilderness and there is now very little difference between them and Zanu PF. 

When the MDC decided to go into the GNU with Zanu PF, I warned Tsvangirai, “If you sleep with a skunk, you will come out smelling.”

It seems as though now there is no difference between MDC-T and Zanu PF. They smell the same.

The spokesperson of the newly formed UMDC, Jacob Mafume, cautioned the MDC-T saying the so-called dwarf would prove very powerful come 2018.

“We are not political dwarfs , but what we are clear about is that the people came in their numbers to celebrate the re-unification of the people and not to hero worship anyone but to work as equals,” Mafume said.

“We are not looking for a messianic figure, but we are sure the collective will of the people of Zimbabwe, if harnessed properly, will overcome the dictatorship of Robert Mugabe.

“I am personally very disappointed because I thought very highly of Obert Gutu. His writing has always encouraged me. It was, therefore, quite a shock to hear such drivel coming out of his mouth.  He says their party remains the largest and most popular party in Zimbabwe. Yes, it is popular.

“It is popular for being dribbled by Zanu PF and loosing elections even when they had posted more votes than Zanu PF. As for dwarfs, Gutu must surely know the story of David and Goliath. When one is on the right side, size does not matter because God takes over.”

Gutu said the MDC-T is more concerned with “pressing national issues such as the crippled economy as well as the collapsing health delivery system.”

What power do they have to enable them to do anything about these issues when they are not in government?

What can they hope to achieve now when they rushed into elections without any of the reforms, agreed upon in the GNU, being implemented but rushed into elections without even seeing the voters’ roll? 

Instead, their president was wasting precious time womanising and borrowing millions to build a comfortable mansion for himself while Zimbabwe was crying in pain.

Gutu must not take Zimbabweans for granted.

They are not fools. At one time, Zanu PF had majority support but now they have to depend on rigging.

The formation of the UMDC was just the first step.

Gutu and all other intelligent and serious leaders in the MDC-T and all other opposition parties must now stop playing politics and come together with other serious Zimbabweans to form a real force able to save Zimbabwe from imminent disaster.

This is the time for real patriots to forget their differences and personal political ambitions and unite to remove President Robert Mugabe, and the wreck which is now Zanu PF, from the scene and proceed to build the Zimbabwe we want. Yes, we can.

The really tough battle is already won.

Jonathan Moyo, the weevil, single-handedly destroyed Zanu PF from within, just as he had said it could be done.

I have nothing but admiration for Moyo. I can’t say I understand his motives but anyone who destroys the monster called Zanu PF is a hero to me.

I have no sympathy at all for most of those Moyo has caused to be kicked out of Zanu PF, so far.

They are mostly corrupt crooks and murderers.

He needs to continue because there are still a few more of them left.

The fact that all those affected so far are accused of belonging to Vice President Joice Mujuru’s faction is beside the point.

Those who are clean should count this as a blessing in disguise and should come to join the new united opposition. I am sure the door is more than open for them.     

Zapu, led by Dumiso Dabengwa, is reported to be seriously discussing about joining with others into a coalition.

The obvious and honourable thing for Zapu to do is to merge into this new UMDC as equal co-fighters.

In any free and fair elections Zapu, by itself, would be a formidable force.

It still has a significant constituency in the whole country despite all the harassment and violence that it has endured.

Its leader, Joshua Nkomo is a true national hero, equated to Madiba, Nelson Mandela.

Any opposition with the experienced leadership of Zapu within its ranks can only be a winner.

Simba Makoni’s Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn has to be part of this new opposition grouping.

This party was formed by brave people who had the guts to stand up to Zanu PF and say, enough is enough. Unfortunately, when the going got tough, some of them gave in. 

Makoni’s gifts, training and experience in Sadc and in Zimbabwe are well documented.

The same is true of Lovemore Madhuku of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA).

His incisiveness and his bravery under severe punishment are legendary.

The NCA’s struggle for human rights and constitutionalism is a matter of public record.

Christians should pray that God will give him, and other gifted leaders like him, the grace to put aside self and seek unity for the good of Zimbabwe.

Divided we fall; united we stand. He, who has ears to hear, let him hear.

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