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MDC's poor appreciation of economy rears its ugly head

25 Mar 2021 at 05:38hrs | Views
Last week an image of a Chicken Slice outlet, which was vandalised by someone who used some spray paint to create a graffiti message appealing for the release of some MDC Alliance activists remanded in custody, made rounds on the social media.

The sight of a political graffiti message spray-painted incongruously on a recently painted Chicken Slice outlet wall summarised everything that is wrong with the MDC formations when it comes to Zimbabwe's economy.

Granted, the first thing that the party would do would be to deny responsibility for the criminal act and argue that anyone could vandalise the outlet's wall.  Yes, anyone could have done it, but how would a non-MDC member benefit from appealing for the release of the MDC Alliance activists?

 The shameful act also exposed how the MDC leaders and members are short-sighted. Their roots in the student activism mindless militancy that manifests itself in their readiness to engage in violence and destruction is evident.

Apart from tertiary institution student politics, this mentality also has its origins in the formation's historical origin from a labour body.

Food riots Following Government's adoption of World Bank and International Monetary Fund-recommended austerity measures under the Economic Structural Adjustment Programme (ESAP) from 1991 to 1995 and the Zimbabwe Programme for Economic and Social Transformation (ZIMPREST) from 1996 to 2000, Zimbabweans' lives become very tough.  

This is why all it took for the destructive January food riots in 1998 was a bread price hike.  

The protests were hijacked by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), which was fronted by its then secretary general, the late Morgan Tsvangirai.  While protesting is a right, which is guaranteed by the Constitution, using the right to violently vandalise and loot private businesses is not.

It ceases to be a right and becomes a criminal act.  Given the fact that all the MDC formations trace their umbilical cord to the ZCTU, one is not surprised that each time the formations stage protests, they re-live the massive destruction and looting of January 1998.

It never crossed the minds of the ZCTU leadership that pillaging private business also meant destroying workers' sources of livelihood and the labour body's source of its lifeblood membership subscriptions.  

NERA and MDC-T youth violent and destructive protests As part of the MDC-T's strategies to win the 2018 harmonised elections and to secure a conduit for funding from some countries following its traditional Western funders' decision to turn off the funding taps after its 2013 poor electoral showing, Tsvangirai formed the National Election Reform Agenda (NERA) in 2015.  

The outfit was born out of the MDC-T's internal campaign, #WithoutReformsNoElections (WRENE).  

Tsvangirai also invited the membership of other 13 opposition political parties into NERA during the same time that he was pushing for a coalition of opposition parties to face Zanu-PF in 2018.  It is, therefore, not surprising that on August 24 and 26, 2016 MDC-T and NERA youths staged violent and destructive protests in Harare.

The MDC-T youths claimed to be demonstrating against alleged police brutality, while NERA youths were ostensibly protesting for political reforms ahead of the 2018.  

In both cases, most of the casualties of the two mindless and violent protests were not Government as the perpetrators claimed.  

While the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) and the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) lost a pick-up truck each to the MDC-T hooligans, most of the victims were private businesses such as Choppies, Goldtech and Bata among others.  

A civil society group, Citizens Against Violence and Anarchy Trust (CAVAAT), which filed a lawsuit against NERA at the High Court on behalf of business operators in the central business district in June 2017, put the losses incurred by businesses as a result of the protest at $1million.

In its court papers, CAVAAT argued that NERA was "in breach of its said legal duty, failed to put in place adequate safeguard to ensure that its demonstration was peaceful and that no property belonging to private citizens was destroyed."  

In a default judgment issued in February 2018, the High Court ordered NERA to pay $300 000 damages to CAVAAT and costs of the suit.  Fuel price increase protests

When President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced a fuel price increase on January 12 2019, the ZCTU, which had been organising protests against Government on behalf of the MDC Alliance and just waiting for an opportune moment, threw Harare and Bulawayo into an orgy of violent and destructive protests.  

In Bulawayo, many shops were torched and looted and, again, Choppies was a victim.

The total loss incurred by businesses during the three-day protest was put at US$300 million.  

Dragging innocent business into opposition politics The story of the vandalised Chicken Slice referred at the beginning of this article defines the new lows that the MDC Alliance and its supporters have gone in dragging private business in its fight against Zanu-PF.  

Following the claims that a hired Impala Car Hire truck was used in the alleged abduction of a Bulawayo-based journalism student, Tawanda Muchehiwa, by unknown people in July last year, the formation's excitable youths like Takudzwa Ngadziore and Makomborero Haruzivishe went on rampage harassing the company and its workers.  

The latter even locked up Impala Motor Spares workers in their central Harare shops arguing that the company should disclose the identity of the hirer of the truck, information which company's late owner, Thompson Dondo had already furnished to the police.

The MDC Alliance formation also pushed for a #BoycottImpala to punish the innocent company. Another company which suffered unfairly at the hands of the MDC Alliance is Chicken Inn.

The company was punished by a #BoycottChickenInn campaign for supplying the police investigating the alleged abduction of three MDC Alliance, Cecilia Chimbiri, Joana Mamombe and Netsai Marowa, with closed circuit television footage covering the trio's visit to one of its outlets at a time that they claimed to have been kidnapped.  

One would not be surprised that the attack on Chicken Slice was a missile meant for Chicken Inn, but shelled on the victim in a case of mistaken identity by the assailant.   It is, therefore, not surprising that a few weeks ago, the political outfit's leadership drove over 400 kilometres to Chiredzi to tell the Chilonga folk they (leaders) would boycott Dendairy products.  

The people were obviously miffed because all they got was a statement that the MDC Alliance leaders, in their luxurious lives, would remember the Chilonga folk not by abstaining from eating good food or giving them any, but by avoiding the Dendairy brand.  

Although the formation's co-vice president, Tendai Biti claims to be the best Finance Minister Zimbabwe has ever had and to be more knowledgeable about the country's economy than any Zimbabwean, his behaviour is not too different from that of excitable youths like Ngadziore and Haruzivishe.  

Biti and the rest of the MDC Alliance members would rather burn down the economy just to get power instead of nurturing the economy so that more people get employed and the quality of their lives improves.  He has been at the forefront calling for the boycotting companies such as Chicken Inn and Dendairy and labelling them enablers.  

To the MDC Alliance, which invited sanctions, economically suffering Zimbabwe are an electoral trump card because apart from claiming to know better, the formation has no political strategy. Facing futility One wonders which country they are dreaming of running one day by planning to bring the economy to its knees.  

Fortunately, Zimbabweans are not as foolish as the MDC Alliance leadership. They continue to support local companies.  

The targeted companies continue do well because the MDC Alliance's mindset that its so-called enemies should be every Zimbabwean's adversaries is just childish.  

The futility of the formation's hatchet job on the economy and Zimbabweans is exposed by the fact that it calls its largely unemployed young members (thanks to the sanctions) to boycott Impala when they cannot afford a one-way mushikashika (pirate taxi) trip or the most affordable meal at Chicken Inn.  

The party is just out of touch with people's concerns and stupidly running rings around itself.

Source - the herald
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