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MDC, 12 years after the Working People's Convention
Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU)
May 31, 2011

During the last days of the month of April the Movement for Democratic Change faction led by Morgan Tsvangirai held its three day long 3rd Congress. Thousands of Zimbabweans thronged Zimbabwe's second largest city of Bulawayo, in efforts to make history. For a party brought to life in 1999 at the famous and epoch making Working People's Convention it is imperative to interrogate whether the party is still in pursuit of that vision or is now trudging on the retrogressive and unprincipled political path alongside ZANU-PF.

It should be remembered that the fundamental objective of the struggle against the evil dictatorship of ZANU is not simply to bring down an authoritarian establishment, but to create and install a democratic culture and make the rise of a new dictatorship impossible; a culture firm enough to withstand the trials and tribulations of time in the same manner the United States constitution has survived periods of political turmoil, economic melt downs, global wars, yet America has remained receptive to the sounds of these great words 'we hold these truth that all men are created equal and that they are endowed with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life liberty and the pursuit of happiness'

Because human nature is susceptible to error of judgment no system no matter how benevolent it may appear is weakness free. And methods of the most immoral nature more often than not continue to be employed to subvert a people's quest for democracy, it is thus imperative that only a set of revered and tenable ideals and values be the guiding force in the execution of the struggle. Only rarely does it occur that advocates for democratic rule fully recognize the importance of unshakable worshiping of principles not personalities. Consequently, this is almost never realized.

It shall be recorded that the MDC was the only political force able to enter and shake Robert Mugabe and ZANU-PF's corridors of power since the fall of the union jack. But twelve years down the line the MDC, a party supposedly a movement for social democracy seems to be under a deadly and toxic siege from a capital centered clique inspired by the ever approaching prospects of economic as well as individual political gains. These individuals some of whom have hands which can extend to reach to the party's top leadership clandestinely steered the party into abandoning its founding documents in a rush to reach to the feeding trough with the hitherto enemy.

Prudence dictates that when the dynamics of politics are volatile only a political philosophy stands indomitably guiding a movement, but for the MDC the philosophy was thrown away just as it seemed politically expedient. A number of high sounding words have been used to justify such process of bastardization. Instead of taking advantage of ZANU-PF's unprincipled efforts in particular during the constitutional reform debacle, founding ideals were deliberately usurped for immediate gains assumed to be concealed in the government of coalition. Promises of social justices were abandoned for the realization of a typical dog like veneration of nothing but a very insipid and weak kneed power interest.

Promotion of patronage not a philosophy saw the rise of men and women distanced from the mass and many a times the broader democratic objectives. Cowards who cannot with-stand a battle cry nor the aspirations of the people understands were promoted into leadership zones impeding the calls of disapproval from the people for so long as their pockets are hefty or they are close to a mystified leader. The constitution mysteriously has been subverted and often replaced by the some of the most unprecedented forms of violence just to foster the usurpation of a popular sentiment and philosophy of life, and in the end those cowards in charge of donor funds not those endorsed by the people occupy leadership domains.

Contrary to the vision of the Working People's Convention, an untouchable ruling elite was formed at cost of the party detaching itself from the mass. Traditional founding institutions such as the National Constitutional Assembly, ZCTU and ZINASU have at some point in time branded enemies because they stood in defense of the people's project. Funds, instead of strengthening the struggle were clandestinely sourced to strangulate the students union with high ranking officials of the party spending immense amounts of efforts and resources creating and sustaining an unproductive ZINASU rebellion.

These are signs of distortion and subjugation of a people's quest for freedom by opportunistic leaders continuing the struggle for mere historical efforts. If the MDC is to offer real change in Zimbabwe it has to come to full realization that the country is in crisis because of a culture of brutal authoritarianism emanating from an ideological miscarriage. History have taught us that there is nowhere in socialism which prompted our national crisis, but those at the helm of governance subtly negated the values of socialism and have distorted the ideology to support the ruling party's domination of the people of Zimbabwe and to attain sympathy from international socialism, in the end their broader evils have temporarily been concealed. Liberating the country needs an alternative political culture inspired by long term political ideals and values. A bastardized party such as the current state of the MDC can only offer personality change not an alternative political culture, which Zimbabwe is in search of.

The thousands of men and women who gathered as well supported to make up the famous Working People's Convention, and other democratic proclamations have had their efforts floating in vain as a bunch of neo- liberals of very little ability take hold of the people's project; our project. Because these are individuals of very little ideological understanding, to them opportunities not principles matter most, hence they have managed to run the party using experiments misunderstood and justified as experience to run the party. Supported by an 'acceptable' particular group of cowards operating as civic organizations, western tax payers' money have been and continue to be swindled at the expense of the people's project.

The project of the people of Zimbabwe physically and structurally known as the Movement for Democratic Change was born from the womb of wisdom whose substance no wise man would exchange even for the crown of a king. These were proclamations that we may live in exceptionally small houses, and bear the burden of life, but had the consolation of unstained virtue and hope, twelve years down the line the constitution has been changed to accommodate a personalized leader in the same way ZANU-PF has been personalized, legitimate student demands have been branded wanton enemy noise and in a typical ZANU-PF manner a pseudo students union created and heavily funded to create an artificial concern yet in vain subverting and sabotaging the efforts of students union (ZINASU), suddenly the calls for a genuine people driven constitution have been replaced by the lucrative party negotiated constitution (COPAC).

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