Morgan Richard Tsvangirai has been leader of MDC-T as it is now known for 13 years and before then, he was Secretary General of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trades Union (ZCTU) an organization that was set up by the new African-led government after years of domination by a small white minority government of Ian Douglas Smith.
Smith and his cronies, whether in Rhodesia or elsewhere, never believed that black people had the capacity to run a government. It is understandable why Smith and those who believed in his ideology of separate development and conscious segregation of races, found it hard to accept Africans as equals because Africans had always been viewed by them as exploitable, and expendable.
Unable to take the humiliation that we were subjected to for a century, that is, being brutally denied our inherent and natural rights, dispossessed of our land, our political right to rule our selves forcibly taken away from us and a surrogate leadership imposed on us.
This evil system practically decided on the kind and quality of education we would have as Africans, determined by law where we should live, by a combination of a series of laws, influenced the kind of economy that Africans would have in their own country. It is against this back ground that the liberation war became inevitable and the removal of the minority white regime a must and a necessity.
At Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980, we all had aspirations to experience a new life, one in which we the sons and daughters of the soil would come up with policies that would advance our interest as a people as we had regained the power and right to pursue our interest in ways that would champion the needs of the people of Zimbabwe. We still had a problem in our hands because the fact that we negotiated our way to independence meant that we had to accommodate those whose interests were at variance with our own. Land reform was delayed as was an attempt to reform and democratize the economy.
For a while, emphasis was put on rebuilding public infrastructure and extending it to all areas that had been previously neglected by our oppressors. This was a necessary condition for taking the country forward and still remains one area of huge responsibility for government for years to come.
Developing the country in the interest of its inhabitants is not exclusively a task dedicated to ensuring that international capital takes precedence over the people and that all policies reflect a preponderant bias towards the few powerful nations of the world. Necessarily, these nations were not extremely helpful when we needed all the support to defeat a system that was based on racial discrimination and the total neglect of ninety-eight percent of the population.
Western nations have sought perpetual control of what one might call former colonies by using a variety of strategies and one of the most effective is to divide the nation into groups of good and bad guys. My personal opinion is that what is good for the former colonial power can never be good for the indigenous people and therefore, whatever they consider bad, might actually be good for the indigenous people.
I am raising all these issues because of the statements that have been attributed to the Prime Minister by a local newspaper on September 19,2011. Generally speaking, the Prime Minister has found it difficult to cultivate positive relationships with people who played a very important role in our liberation struggle, choosing rather to stay with all countries that directly or indirectly connived with our oppressors in the then Rhodesia.
What is even more frightening is that judging by the language the Prime Minister chooses to deploy each time he is with his friends or the so called friendly countries, he certainly appears to be spoiling for a fight when in fact he should be doing everything in his power to ask his friends to remove sanctions placed on Zimbabwe illegally.
While sanctions may create an opportunity for the Prime Minister to find space to blame Zanu-PF for all the economic woes, he needs to understand that we, the ordinary people, feel that there is no need for western countries to produce an election outcome they want by manipulating which way our economy should go. The use of sanctions as a political tool to subdue the people of Zimbabwe so that they can develop a mindset that works in the interest of the western nations is political and economic blackmail of the worst order.
Morgan Tsvangirai keeps on reminding us of the events in Ivory Coast and North Africa and keeps threatening that Africa is now impatient with lack of progress on the democratic developments and that unless people like Brig. General Nyikayaramba change their positions, then the unpleasant events like we saw in Ivory Coast and North Africa are on their way to Zimbabwe and the rest of the African nations.
His advisers failed him massively because their analysis of that situation failed to recognize the obvious differences in the conditions and the realities that inform political behavior in the situations given as examples. The assertion is too simplistic and lacks credible evidence to sustain the argument and at best it is as far fetched as it is reckless.
I fear that the Prime Minister is failing to graduate from an activist to a statesman. No statesman will undermine the government to which he is part. So far, there is clear and demonstrable evidence that President Mugabe has been relentless in condemning violence right across the board.
Whereas the Prime Minister has not missed any opportunity in airing inflammatory statements and indeed demonstrating that he is willing to have bombs fall on Harare and destroy our country and kill innocent people in pursuit of his ambition to rule Zimbabwe.
The example of the so-called revolutions in North Africa, do not apply to us in any way and form. In fact, I hear of the Arab revolutions and it is fair that we call them such. I do not think that Arabs really think that they are Africans. They happen to be in Africa, but everything about them is Middle Eastern and the problems that have surfaced in these countries have their origins in the Arab world where they are firmly rooted.
Mubarak is gone but the problem is not over and may never be over unless and until the Palestinian Question has been resolved. Gaddafi may be gone, but the underlying problem is not going anyway any time soon. Those who want to join the Arab revolutions are free to go to the Arab countries and join in and leave Zimbabwe in peace.
We fought a war once and we got our Zimbabwe. Rather than continue to look for opportunities to destabilize the country, we have a rare moment to unite for peace and work for the progress of our country instead of spending our energy in creating paths for more conflict when there are far more important things to worry about.
Tsvangirai needs to spend a lot of his time supervising his municipalities that are failing to clean up the cities, are building on open spaces without proper approvals, failing to provide community amenities to thousands of residents in our various cities and indeed making sure that those councilors who are accused of holding land and speculating with it when people are struggling to get decent housing are investigated and if found guilty, are brought to book.
I think it is time that the Prime Minister knows that he is not an envoy of western nations in Zimbabwe, rather he represents a significant grouping here and it is here that he should direct all his energy in the interests of Zimbabwe.
The Prime Minister’s advisers should not seek to divide him with the security sector because that is not in his interest to do so. What this sector says through some of the senior personnel in the system while important but it may not be significant. To me, it would be surely a different thing if the President, who is the likely contestant, were to announce that no matter the outcome of the elections, only he will remain President. That has not been said and there is no sign that the President intends to say it.
Therefore, the idea of wrong and right, freedom and tyranny is language that has lost currency because of the way it was abused by Mr. Blair and Mr. Bush in the various ways they prosecuted against innocent people. The use of such language by Tsvangirai suggests that MDC-T has already arrogated itself the right to rule Zimbabwe which in reverse suggests that they are not prepared for an election outcome that declares any other person as winner. The right to decide who rules Zimbabwe is a sovereign right of the people of Zimbabwe and that must remain so.
*Dr. Davison Todson Gomo is the CEO of the Affirmative Action Group in Zimbabwe. He writes in his own personal capacity.