Thursday, July 12, 2012

MDC-T Challenged to Reveal Its Agenda for the Region.

Mgcini  Moyo

In the past few weeks, there has been a mass movement of supporters from MDC-T to the MDC led by Professor Welshman Ncube.

These defections which are widely reported in Matabeleland but happening all over the country, reflect the defectors' vote of confidence in Prof Ncube. This mass movement is not surprising as it is a culmination of a whole range of incidents that have proved beyond reasonable doubt that the MDC-T as a party has no vision for Zimbabwe in general and no agenda for Matabeleland in particular. It is my interest in this piece to argue more on why I believe the MDC-T is not useful to Matabeleland.
The movement of people from MDC-T was always going to happen because time is an equaliser as it allows for people to analyse people's actions and promises and judge their future commitments on the strength of past delivery. The MDC-T came to the region soliciting for votes being wolves wearing sheep skins and now their true colours have come out clearly that they are wolves whose agenda is to consume the people of the region. Simply put, the MDC-T has no agenda for Matabeleland; if they do I challenge them to a public debate on that subject. I have no doubt that they will fall flat without any explanations of what their agenda is for the region.

MDC-T took the people of the region for a ride and given the amount of challenges that faced the country at that time the people gave them a vote but the truth has come out openly that all they wanted was to get into Government positions for personal fulfilment and not service delivery.
The Government of National Unity has given the people of Zimbabwe a window of opportunity to see for themselves the strengths and abilities of all the people who were elected into office. This has revealed that the pack of the MDC-T leadership from Morgan Tsvangirai to even the lowest ranked MPs that they are nothing but a group of individuals that have no clue whatsoever on how to move the country forward.
Tsvangirai himself has become a caricature of a politician due to what Prof Jonathan Moyo rightly described as "an open-zip shut-mind” approach to issues. This has seen him a subject of ridicule to many Zimbabweans raising questions of his suitability to run the country if he cannot run his own personal social affairs. Be that as it may be, I would like to go back to the subject and the debate on why the MDC-T has become so unpopular in Matabeleland, leading to the mass exodus of people from its ranks. What is important about these mass movements is that they consist of key people in the MDC-T ranks that have been highly active on the ground.
These are the people with massive influence in their communities and they are the people capable of influencing a huge section of voters. What this tells us is that there is a huge section of voters who are quietly waiting for the election day to vote against MDC-T. The compelling reasons for this postulation are many but below are the 10 key factors that point doom for the MDC-T with regards to the Matabeleland vote:

After voting for the MDC-T in large numbers in Matabeleland, Tsvangirai went on to exclude the MPs from Matabeleland from the initial list of his Cabinet appointees until there were protests from the region. He only revised his list to include people from Matabeleland after the protests, a clear sign that he was never interested to do so in the first place.

In his reshuffle he removed Thamsanqa Mahlangu from the position of Deputy Minister of Youth and replaced him with his "home boy” Tongai Matutu. Logically if Mahlangu was not performing then he should have been removed by another young MP from Matabeleland. This was the most logical thing and in doing what he did he weakened the influence of Matabeleland voice in Government and also undermining the importance of the votes he harvested from Matabeleland.
He also removed Gorden Moyo from the influential post of Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister to a less effective Ministry of State Enterprises and Parastatals, a ministry that did not even have an act to administer. It is a ministry that does not do things on its own and has to get consent from line ministries to implement any of its policy proposals. He is not even allowed to appoint boards for parastatals supposedly falling under his purview as this remains the prerogative of the line ministry. By removing him from the Office of the Prime Minister he seriously reduced the influence of Matabeleland from the pulse of power and thus undermined the votes that he got from this side.

The MPs and ministers in Matabeleland are of poor calibre with little if any capacity and have only managed to make the people of the region look like fools. People like Dorcas Sibanda MP for Bulawayo Central and Thabitha Khumalo among others have shown how useless the MDC-T MPs are. For instance, the people are not amused by the push for legalisation of prostitution by Thabitha Khumalo and the push for legalisation of marriage of men by men and women to women that the MDC-T is pushing for.
The Christian community that had seen them as beacons of hope is not happy at their agenda of pushing for unbiblical issues like promiscuity, legalisation of prostitution and gays as this works against the Christian religious ethics and values. As a result the Christian community is quietly taking away its vote in protection of its religious values and contamination of lots of constituency by the MDC-T. The amoral behaviour of the party president Tsvangirai has not helped the situation as the Christian community is now viewing the MDC-T as rotten from its head.
The internal contradictions of projecting the party as fighting to democratise the country yet it does all sorts of undemocratic practices in their internal processes has also led to their losing of the support base. There are many among their ranks who are disgruntled at the way their congress was conducted, especially how they subverted the democratic process in choosing leaders especially in Bulawayo. They have also failed to show that they have internal conflict resolution mechanisms that are able to unite their supporters. To many people it has become clear that if they cannot be democratic within themselves how then can they be trusted to be democratic in ruling the country, hence the mass exodus from the party.
Failure by the MDC-T to articulate issues that resonate with the region, for instance the MDC-T has been speaking with a forked tongue with regards to the issue of devolution of power. Its national leadership, including Tsvangirai, has chosen to speak about it only if they are in Matabeleland, a clear signal that for them, this is nothing but a way of soliciting for votes. If they were genuine about it they would have elevated the issue of devolution to a national pedestal. This a betrayal of the Matabeleland vote as people of the region thought in voting for them they will push for devolution but for them it is just another issue.

Failure to have a well-articulated and genuine position regarding Gukurahundi, choosing to bundle it with Murambatsvina and the 2008 presidential runoff violence when these are incidences of incomparable magnitude. Their acceptance to articulate the Gukurahundi issue only alongside Murambatsvina and the June 2008 presidential election violence clearly shows that they are not really committed to the issue but only use it for electioneering. This is also another sign of betrayal of the Matabeleland vote as people thought they will deal with this without fear.
Sabotage of initiatives that can revive the economic base of Bulawayo. For instance the sabotage of Dimaf by Minister Tendai Biti who has quietly refused to release the funds for the companies. Interestingly it has since emerged that he chose to deposit that money in one of the banks that has collapsed and not at the Dimaf account at CABS. Clearly this again betrays the vote of the people of the region who voted them to deliver in areas like industrial revival yet they now turn around to sabotage what is obviously the answer to the resuscitation of Matabeleland to its status of yesteryear when it was the industrial hub of the country.
The MDC-T is failing to show any capacity or willingness to articulate any programmes or pronounce solutions that can deal with the unique problems of Matabeleland especially how to deal with the completion of capital projects like Nust, Lupane State University, Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Airport, Ekusileni Medical Centre, Bulawayo-Nkayi Road, the Mzingwane -Mtshabezi pipeline and the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project among many such projects. As a result the people of Matabeleland who gave them their vote now feel betrayed hence the mass exodus from MDC-T.
It is my conclusion that the MDC-T litany of failed promises and lack of a vision for Zimbabwe in general and an agenda for Matabeleland is the main cause for the mass exodus of people.

Mgcini Moyo is the MDC Youth Assembly(BYO) Deputy Spokesperson for Media Information and Publicity he writes in his personal capacity he can be contacted at

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