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'Reforms are empty words, lipstick on Zanu PF crocodile' - and MDC meerkat

20 Jun 2019 at 07:12hrs | Views
Wilbert Mukori
I once watched a documentary on a family of meerkats. In their daily foraging they group came across an ostrich egg. The whole group was certainly very excited with the find, there was a lot of good food here. The billion dollar challenge was how to crack the shell.

Some tried biting the egg but failed to open their mouth wide enough for the teeth to get a good purchase. It was the digging the got me laughing; here is a creature that has always got its food from digging and was clearly programmed to dig. As the digging got more frantic the sheer frustration was pulpable and tempers flared!

After half an hour or so of hell, the group wandered away to hunt for scorpions, millipedes, beetle grabs, etc. Ostrich eggs were off the menu, at least whilst the recent experience was still fresh in the group's collective memory.

Reading through Tendai Biti's recent article reminded me of the meerkat documentary. Who would have believed human being and meerkats can have so much in common.

"Whole communities today live on less than 35 cents per person per day. In practice, this pays for a small dollop of maize, four leaves of vegetables, and a cap of cooking fat. We have a term for this, Tsaona, which means living by ‘accident'," Biti started off.


"But the crisis Zimbabwe faces is no accident. This is a man-made calamity. Over the last 39 years of independence, ZANU-PF has presided over the disintegration of the productive sector of the economy. Driven by sheer incompetence, greed, and the need for regime survival, the party has completely destroyed a once thriving economy."

Any Zimbabwean out there with half a brain would be cursing already in sheer frustration because the nation knows all this already. The nation figured this all out by the late 1990s and, better still, came up with the solution – democratic change. The people realised Zanu PF was the man-made calamity and they had failed to remove the regime from power the last 20 years because the party rigged the elections. The only sure way to stop the regime rigging elections was to implement democratic changes to ensure elections were free, fair and credible.

The people of Zimbabwe have risked life and limb to elect MDC leaders into power on the understanding they will deliver the democratic changes the nation was dying for. MDC have been on the political stage for the last 19 years, five of them they had the majority in GNU parliament and cabinet, and yet have failed to bring about even one meaning democratic change. Not one!

"ZANU-PF cannot realistically be expected to reform a system that it not only profits from, but on which its rule depends. Future reform has to dismantle the corrupt political economy, whilst also expanding the productive sector," admitted Biti.

There is no doubt that he and a few others in MDC know and understand the need to implement the democratic reforms, good governance and, last but not least, that Zanu PF will never implement the reforms because the party is "profiting" from the corruption and misrule. He is calling for the formation of a Transition Authority which will then implement the reforms.

The question Tendai Biti and many of the MDC leaders have carefully avoid answering is: why did the last GNU fail to implement even one reform?

Indeed, there were many other opportunities to force Zanu PF to implement the reforms which were wasted notable the insistence in participating in elections when it was clear the elections would be rigged.

Only one or two MDC leaders have ever admitted sold-out in failing to get the reforms implemented and why.

In his Book, The Struggle Continues 50 years of tyranny in Zimbabwe, former MDC – Ncube Senator and Minister of Education in the GNU, David Coltart, admitted Zanu PF was flouted the electoral rules and that it was clear the upcoming 2013 elections would not be free and fair. And yet he and his fellow MDC leaders participated in the elections regardless.

"The worst aspect for me about the failure to agree a coalition was that both MDCs couldn't now do the obvious – withdraw from the elections," explained Senator Coltart.

"The electoral process was so flawed, so illegal, that the only logical step was to withdraw, which would compel SADC to hold Zanu PF to account. But such was the distrust between the MDC-T and MDC-N that neither could withdraw for fear that the other would remain in the elections, winning seats and giving the process credibility."

So, MDC leaders participated in the flawed and illegal elections in 2013 because of greed. The three main MDC factions did form a coalition for the 2018 elections and still they participated knowing fully well that not even one reform was implemented since the last rigged elections for the same reason -greed.

"Without governance and transparency, the only investors we will get in Zimbabwe are cowboys and opportunistic traders, a mafia by another name. Without political change and the necessary will, reform will only amount to empty words. As I often say, it's just putting lipstick on a crocodile," said Tendai Biti.

You should put some of that lipstick on your own crocodile mouth. Before you ask Zanu PF to implement any reforms first implement the reform to cure MDC leaders of their insatiable greed that has made you lot participate in elections regardless how flawed and illegal the process. You have participated even when ZEC has failed to produce something as basic as a verified voters' roll, for Pete's sake!



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