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'Hello Congress delegates! May I deeply kiss your conscience?'

24 May 2019 at 08:02hrs | Views
Naturally, pangs of conscience should mercilessly prick and pound every normal MDC 5th Congress delegate who is likely to misguidedly cast any stray vote in shameless defiance of the party founding principles. The Congress vote has a decisive effect on the future of the party and Zimbabwe in general and should be treated with the care, virtue and moral soundness it deserves. Therefore, the crucial MDC 5th Congress, to be held in Gweru from the 24th to the 26th of May 2019, has a telling effect on the party and democracy, and should be viewed as such by the representative delegates that have been assigned the unenviable duty by the grassroots structures. Individual delegates, although ostensibly representing the party grassroots structures that mandated them to elect new leadership, have individual privacy and choices as provided for in both the party and national constitutions through the secret ballot. Therefore, an unequivocal call is bellowed and sounded to their conscience which will be at play in the construction or destruction of the party depending on who they elect or reject. Any corrupt vote will inevitably throw the party into disarray and drain its remaining credibility and energy resource potential. In that regard, a strong knock on the door of the conscience of the delegates is more than called for.

Guiding Headclamps

The paramount guiding template and headclamp for Congress is the non-negotiable need to redirect the party to its founding principles that saw its birthing and immediate overwhelming acceptance by the generality of Zimbabweans in 1999 to date. Democratic practice is the chief guiding principle for the MDC. People have been callously closed up for years by ZANU-PF and the former despot, Mugabe and painfully cry out for freedom  day in day out. Fortunately, these people have finally found the essential life-giving and  breathing pipe in the MDC and the delegates should always be mindful of that. The distinct object of the party is to offer an unparalleled alternative to the dictatorial ZANU-PF. The perennial hunger for freedom in Zimbabwe has seen the MDC immediately become a beacon of hope to many citizens, the region and the international community. In that vein, this Congress, through the unbiased election of able leadership, should be able to realign and rail party in the correct development oriented  direction.

No to Negative Bias

Congress delegates are fondly expected to shun any negative bias in the form of tribal, regional, nepotistic or whatever retrogressive form. Any attempt on negative bias should not find any leakage outlet as delegates dutifully elect national leaders to ably lead the party for the next five years. The provincial caucus presentations of manifestos by the candidates is a commendable approach that positively portrays  the party as being towed by democratic dictates and headclamps. This has allowed the candidates equal access to the delegates while also affording the delegates the priceless opportunity and empowerment to assess whether individual candidates have the capacity to fulfil the promises and pledges they make, or not. Leadership is partly about assertiveness and the ability to implement one's manifesto. However, it  is saddening to note how a myriad of candidates with nothing to offer, seem to have chosen to shamelessly abuse the name and person of Chamisa  as they seek the priceless vote into office. In the interest of rebranding and reinvigorating the party, such individuals should be accorded the opportunity to wait a bit as this is not their time. It is noteworthy that since the demise of the legendary and founding president, Morgan Tsvangirai(MHSRIP), the party has been maimed and dented and sorely requires realignment and reinvigoration in a myriad of aspects. Only able and principled leadership can do that.

Seamless Integration

If the party is to make any lasting impact in the politics of Zimbabwe and wrestle the mantle from ZANU-PF, there is great need for the delegates to vote-in leadership that will delineate seamless integration. MDC is an integrative party currently trying to mend dilapidating rifts through fully implementing the alliance concept. Delegates are expected to dutifully abide by the vision of Tsvangirai in that regard. Leaders who are currently castigating the alliance concept for selfish reasons, should be rejected. Seamless and genuine integrative voting is key for the success of the party. Any cut and paste, pretentious integration will obviously have a putrefactive impact on the strength of the party. The iconic Tsvangirai left a loud and echoing voice that should ring and wail into the eardrums of every progressive delegate and democrat. The unequivocal call by Tsvangirai to have the MDC family reinvent itself through integration is an immortal invitation to nontribal, non-factional , non-regional and non-sexist demand for genuine unity that is premised on selfless sacrifice and democratic  orientation. The Bulawayo scenario of alleged rigging and tribal slates during provincial congresses should never see the day in MDC. Therefore, any attempt to ignore seamless integration, whether covert or overt, will result in the sad production of a poorly patched underwear-like scenario featuring a cut of soft cotton cloth, donkey-harness material and knickerbocker nylon, loosely bound together by a thin cotton thread, explicitly spelling disaster for the party.

Re-inventing and Re-branding the Party

The conscience of the esteemed delegates calls them to vote in a way that reinvents, rejuvenates and beautifully rebrands the party. Sadly, the MDC has been bruised and battered for years and is nearly on its knees. It is only the selfless and patriotic vote that is blind to tribe and any related forms of discrimination that can rescue the party from the neck-high murky waters it is currently in. Arguably, the appeal and magnetic pull that the party has lost over the years is partly due to partisan choice of leadership and some form of grocery-club slate orientations and groupings. That should change.

Decisive Vote for Praise-singers

If there is anything that is cancerous to the growth of any political party, it is praise-singing and bootlicking. A strong verdict  should be issued to all praise-singers through the ballot. Delegates should be mindful that no economy can be run or revived by any bunch of praise-singers. Not even the American economy! It is shocking how Zimbabweans and MDC delegates in particular, fail to emulate South Africans when it comes to definitive and sustainable voting, yet they expect the magogos of Uzumba to resist voting for ZANU-PF food parcels. The Congress vote should be the poisonous tick grease and pesticide spray for all opportunistic praise-singers and self-styled bootlickers, falsely claiming loyalty to the president.

Principled Stand with the Downtrodden

The MDC is founded on local grassroots representation, inclusivity, cultural respect, equality and dignity. The Congress vote should never stray from that reality. Therefore, it is imperative to take a stand with the downtrodden and disenfranchised ordinary Zimbabweans of all walks of life and cultures to maintain the party's non-negotiable stance of principled and balanced representation. Congress should take note that the MDC is not only an urban party but belongs to the rural and marginalized society as well. All the power to turn the tables in favour of the party lies in the hands of the delegates who are expected to vote responsibly in humility and selfless sacrifice. Selling one's vote for bond notes is tantamount to cementing the continued suffering of all Zimbabweans. The blood and wounds of those murdered and maimed while standing for the party or crossing borders to other countries, rest in the cups and tea pots of those who vote for their relatives, kinsmen and friends instead of voting for democracy.

Dignity in Sorrow and Restraint in Success

Finally, those candidates and their supporters who will win should remember to be restrained in success. It is crucial to maintain heightened levels of maturity because the struggle for democracy is greater than the Congress win. Derogatory celebrations have no place in the MDC and modern contestation.

More so, those who will lose should embrace the value of being dignified in sorrow. The bigger picture is to free Zimbabwe. After Congress, all forces should unite and mobilize and strengthen the party. Loss-induced splits are never fruitful. Remember, only one of the competitors wins the price!

The Echoes and Voices!

Esteemed compatriots, as you cast your priceless vote, kindly heed the echoes and wails of the voice of reason whispering into your healthy eardrums, ‘Hello Congress delegates! May I deeply kiss your conscience?'

Those who can, let them hear!

Nhlanhla Moses writes in his capacity as an ordinary grassroots citizen and can be contacted on:


Source - Nhlanhla Moses
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