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MDC-T may have misread the public mood in Zimbabwe

by Staff reporter
14 Dec 2017 at 07:53hrs | Views
Award-winning journalist and New York Times Foreign Correspondent Hopewell Chin'ono has said that the MDC may have misread the public mood in Zimbabwe, by going to give testimony before the United States Senate. Chin'ono also said that the opposition may have wasted an opportunity to have a meaningful national dialogue with Zimbabweans emphasizing that the United States of America will never change the government of Zimbabwe. Writing on his Facebook page, Chin'ono said:

The morning after the car crash senate hearings… I am still shocked that there are Zimbabweans who are not political enough to know and understand that sanctions against Zimbabwe will not affect Emmerson Mnangagwa, but their mothers and fathers in the townships and villages scattered around the country.

When the government is denied a line of credit and fails to raise foreign exchange to import fuel, it is ordinary Zimbabweans that will sleep in fuel queues, not Emmerson Mnangagwa.

We are currently pushing for the diaspora vote to be granted so that our compatriots abroad can exercise their right to vote, how do you expect a sitting president not allowed to go and campaign in the diaspora due to ZIDERA sanctions to grant that right?

I just couldn't wrap my head around Dewa Mavhinga's request for the US government to retain its current foreign policy around Zimbabwe, a foreign policy which is anchored on The Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 which has punitive economic sanctions against Zimbabwe.

Dewa Mavhinga said and asked the US government to, and I quote him; "Maintain existing US policy toward Zimbabwe until the military removes itself from politics and the 2018 elections are legitimately assessed to be peaceful, transparent, free and fair and that power is smoothly transmitted to the newly elected government."

All the things he spoke of have been overridden by his request to maintain a foreign policy which includes sanctions on Zimbabwe.

I would understand if Mr Biti and his gang had said that they had engaged the Zimbabwean government and that the new President and his government did not respond positively.

They haven't even engaged the new administration whose ministers have only been in office for exactly eight working days.

How do we expect a government that has been in office for a week to undo a 37-year legacy and how do we expect our requests to be acted upon by this government when we haven't presented them to the new administration?

All these questions require good old common sense and nothing deeply intellectual. This trio failed to heed Sun Tzu's pertinent advice. The legendary Chinese General said that you must really know your enemy, its weaknesses and strengths.

Biti and co have energized the hardliners in President Mnangagwa's ruling party, hardliners that were always wary of dealing with the MDC.

Instead of giving ammunition to the reformers in ZANUPF, they have made it difficult for such people to have a case and to convince their colleagues to push the required electoral reforms through.

This now has the effect of the opposition not having a seat on the table that will be directing the political change in Zimbabwe. When this happens, don't fool yourself that it is ZANU-PF that will suffer, it is us the people.

The ruling elites will not miss a meal because the economy is in bad shape. Robert Mugabe proved this to us during the 17 years he ruled under sanctions.

He never missed the opportunity to upgrade his US$700000 Pullman Mercedes Benz Limousine because of sanctions. It was those of us who were living in Zimbabwe that bore the brunt of the economic meltdown down.

It was your parents and grandparents that went without water, drove on potholed roads, suffered from electricity load shedding, the list goes on.

The ruling political elite built houses like Savior Kasukuwere's and drove in 4 X 4s, bought generators and drilled boreholes. They never felt the effects of sanctions.

I now fail to understand what Dewa and Co hoped to achieve by calling for the US government to carry on with the punitive measures. Zimbabweans who ululated at the misdirected speeches show a very limited and narrow understanding of politics.

They don't understand the relatedness of things. Dewa Mavhinga argued that direct financial assistance should only come after the elections, and what happens to the economy in the meantime.

I have to say this, the people that purportedly spoke on our behalf don't stay in Zimbabwe except for Tendai Biti who is extremely wealthy.

Dewa Mavhinga lives in Johannesburg and Peter Godwin the author of the book, Rhodesians Never Die, lives in New York.

They will not feel the corrosiveness of what they have asked for. It is those of us who live and work in Zimbabwe that will feel the punishment of these economic punitive sanctions.

It is us who will feel the heat of the backlash. It is also us that will go out and vote for a new government. Again one wonders whether the opposition and its surrogates like Dewa Mavhinga and Peter Godwin understand the relatedness of things.

The MDC Alliance and its surrogates have misread the Public mood in Zimbabwe. They have thrown out an opportunity for meaningful national dialogue which is directed by Zimbabweans for Zimbabweans.

America can not and will not change governments in Zimbabwe, it is Zimbabweans who can do that. They should have spoken to Zimbabweans first and mobilized at home.

What is the net effect of this schoolboy error? Time will tell.

Source - online