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Haruzivishe represents everything wrong about opposition politics

09 Apr 2021 at 06:16hrs | Views
A young member of the MDC formation led by Nelson Chamisa, Makomborero Haruzivishe, was sentenced to 14 months in prison by the Harare Magistrates Court this week for inciting public violence.  

While many blindly joined the faction in baselessly condemning the presiding magistrate Judith Taruvinga for Haruzivishe's new circumstances, very few took time to assess the faction's hand in his incarceration.

This is because since 1999, the various formations and factions of the opposition outfit have used emotions to hoodwink their followers into believing that the role of the opposition is only to remove Zanu-PF from power, nothing more, nothing less.  

For this reason, they, especially the youth, have been reduced into mere tools for an opposition which does not care a hoot about their welfare and future. The MDC has used its youth as tools against internal opponents and perceived external opponents such as Government and, by extension, Zanu-PF.  

The 2000 Constitution Right from the beginning, the MDC did not have a defined agenda or strategy for the benefit of the youth in the very unlikely event of it landing State power and in the intervening period.

 Some youths followed the party, not because of its pro-youth manifesto, but because of the youth's natural attraction to new things. Over 20 years later, the situation remains the same in the several MDC factions and formations.  

Less than two years after its formation, the MDC used the youth drawn largely from the Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU), to campaign against the 2000 proposed constitution ahead of the February 12 and 13, 2000 referendum.  

This resulted in Zimbabwe rejecting a very good constitution, which had been drafted by the Constitutional Commission that was chaired by the late former Chief Justice, Godfrey Chidyausiku.  

This cost the nation millions of dollars, all in the name of spiting Zanu-PF.  Land  Following the United Kingdom's refusal to deliver on its Lancaster House Agreement pledge to fund Zimbabwe's Land Reform Programme, Zimbabweans were left with no choice except to get their own land back in January 2000.

This saw white former farmers supporting the MDC in the vain hope that the party would unseat Zanu-PF and assure them continued tenure despite its skewed nature.  

The main reason why the liberation struggle was fought was to gain ownership and control of the country's resources, the main one of which is the land.  

Instead of fighting to ensure that the youth had land, the MDC gladly received countless cheques from the former farmers to help it to fight its own people to secure tenure for the farmers.  When the white former farmers finally realised that they were fighting a losing battle, they abandoned both the land and the MDC.  

With the land liberated, one would expect that the MDC leadership would realise its error and support the land reform programme so that the youth among its supporters would benefit.  Instead, the party denied the youth a meaningful future by discouraging them from applying for land, arguing that it was a Zanu-PF project.  

It discouraged them from participating in other youth empowerment initiatives such as the funds which were provided by corporate citizens like Stanbic Bank and Old Mutual through CABS.  The party killed a whole generation's future by politicising the land reform issue for narrow political ends.  

The opposition outfit also barred its youth from participating in artisanal mining, opting instead to take advantage of the resultant economic frustration and harnessing it against Zanu-PF, Government and the people of Zimbabwe.

Today when the youths who benefited from the land reform programme post on social media the impressive economic progress they are making on the land, the likes of the MDC Alliance formation's Gilbert Mutubuki post images of their criminal handwork — public and private buildings defaced by opposition political graffiti.  

Haruzivishe is 29 years old and has nothing to his name because his MDC formation taught him nothing meaningful to do with his life and hands except to mindlessly fight Zanu-PF and Government.  

Out of the 32 urban local authorities in Zimbabwe, Chamisa's faction of the MDC controls 28, but there is no single income generation project for the youth in any of the councils and municipalities. This is because the faction does not have the youth at heart and is generally bankrupt of meaningful ideas and strategy.  

Youth only good as DRCs and the Vanguard When Chamisa's predecessor, Morgan Tsvangirai tried to hold an unsanctioned political meeting in Harare's Highfield high density suburb on March 11 2007 under the guise of a Save Zimbabwe Campaign event, he and other opposition leaders and anti-Government activists ran into the cross hairs of law enforcement agents.  In the ensuing running battles with the police, Tsvangirai and others sustained some minor injuries.

In revenge, he constituted violent youths in his party into groups of vigilantes called Democratic Resistance Committees (DRCs). These went about petrol-bombing police stations in the country.  

Affected police stations included the Harare Central Police Station, Marimba (Harare), Chitungwiza, Gweru and Sakubva in Mutare.  

The Marimba incident resulted in three women, including a police officer, sustaining severe burns.  

Following public outcry and the arrests of the DRC members, the vigilante group went underground, but every now and then the party would threaten to reconstitute it.  The terror group was eventually replaced by another militant one named the Vanguard.  

Tsvangirai used it to deal mainly with internal opponents such as former MDC-T treasurer general, Elton Mangoma.

He set the Vanguard on Mangoma in February 2014, when he and the then secretary general of the party, Tendai Biti, pushed for leadership renewal following Tsvangirai and his party's poor electoral showing in 2013.  

Tsvangirai sent the Vanguard to Bulawayo to assault his then deputy, Dr Thokozani Khupe, in August 2017 for refusing to support his idea of a coalition of opposition parties.  

During Tsvangirai's funeral at his Buhera home in February 2018, Dr Khupe and the now MDC-T leader, Douglas Mwonzora, had to be rescued by the police from a thatched rondavel into which they had been violently herded by some Vanguard members who were about to torch it.  

The following month, Chamisa dispatched the same group of violent youths to assault Dr Khupe and her then driver, Witness Dube to force her out of the party's Bulawayo offices.  

The youths who demonstrated were "stupid" While the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) was still seized with collating and announcing the results of the 2018 presidential election on August 1 2018, Chamisa, sensing defeat, sent youths to violently protest on the streets of Harare ostensibly for the delay in announcement of the results.  

In November the same year, Chamisa described the participants as "stupid" during an address at Harvest House.  

It is sad that youths in Chamisa's MDC faction continue to be used by senior party members only to be abandoned.  

In 2011, party youths, Last Maengahama, Tungamirai Madzokere and others were arrested for the murder of former Zimbabwe Republic Police Borrowdale Deputy Officer in Charge, the late Inspector Petros Mutedza.  

They callously and zealously killed the innocent police offer in the name of fighting Zanu-PF and Government on behalf of the MDC-T, but they are on their own at Chikurubi Maximum Prison.  

No number of visits by Chamisa will secure their freedom. Instead of moulding youths into responsible and law-abiding citizens who can contribute meaningfully to the building of their country, senior MDC Alliance leaders have been at the forefront of encouraging lawbreaking by the youth.  

When Haruzivishe and other ZINASU members locked up Impala Motor Spares workers in their shop in central Harare in October last year, Chalton Hwende, a senior MDC Alliance member, took to Twitter to praise him and to describe Impala as "enablers" who "must fall."  

Ahead of Haruzivishe's sentencing, the formation's deputy chairperson, Job Sikhala, tried to comfort him by stating that former South African President, the late Nelson Mandela came out of a 27-year prison stint to become a President.  

The fact that the police at one time had to retrieve Sikhala who was hiding in a ceiling makes clear his insincerity and how lightly the formation takes the predicament of the youths it uses for its own ends.  

Haruzivishe's sentencing was announced close to a week before hand and Chamisa demonstrated how contemptuously he regards youths like him.  Instead of attending court in solidarity with the youth, Chamisa was in the far-flung Bvukururu area of Zaka District in Masvingo tweeting joyfully of how refreshing it was for him to be there while youths were in sorrow over Haruzivishe's predicament.  

Hwende and Sikhala were nowhere to be found both on the ground and on Twitter.  

Time for youths to  open their eyes Instead of being misled by Chamisa, Hwende and Sikhala that it is alright to commit crimes in the name of fighting President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF, it is time that youths from various MDC formations realised that their leaders have exploited, abused and misled them into believing that Zanu-PF is the enemy when, in fact, they are the youth's main adversary.  

It is time they realised that there is no heroism in committing crimes and getting jailed for politicians who regard them as "stupid" people.  

It is time that the youth in opposition realised that their leaders have no plan for their (the youth) lives and join progressive political parties that care for the youth's livelihoods.  It is time for them to walk out of political parties and formations that make them terrorists instead of proud citizens of Zimbabwe.  

Haruzivishe's incarceration should serve as a reminder to the like-minded youths that incitement is a criminal offence punishable with a jail sentence.

Source - the herald
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