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Reclaiming the soul of the MDC

05 Apr 2018 at 19:18hrs | Views
The current furor surrounding the succession battle in the MDC since the loss of President Morgan Tsvangirai has been brutal and bloody. It has involved harassment, intimidation, sexism, tribalism and even attempted murder.

In fact, the reason that many in the MDC accept Nelson Chamisa as their leader was merely because he strong-armed his way to the top, treading on a lot of worthy feet and using his threatening supporters to quell dissent.

However, there must come a time when the MDC is more than just the survival of the fittest, it should be about who is most suitable to lead it and who has the credentials to back their claim to Tsvangirai's legacy.

Chamisa is a new brand of politician who looks the part, talks well but has very little of substance when it comes to vision or policy. In fact, as the MDC was born from the People's Working Convention in February 1999, the leader of the party must brandish solid credentials for working on behalf of the workers and the people.

Chamisa and his people have tried to hide his history as someone who has actively worked against the workers and their rights.

In 2015, while still an MP, he played an assisting role to prominent advocate Thabani Mpofu in the ZuvaPetroleum Supreme Court Case. During the case he courted the ire of workers' representatives. Criticism came raining down heavily on Chamisa for "worsening the plight of the worker".

The Supreme Court ruled in favour of employer, Zuva Petroleum, in a judgment that triggered mass job terminations for around 9,000 workers.
Many blamed Chamisa for "hating workers so much as to want to see them die".

Khupe on the other hand has a history of strong and substantial work on behalf of workers in Zimbabwe. She started her activism in the 1980's when she was part of a strong trade union movement agitating for better working conditions.

She was the Zimbabwe Amalgamated Railway Union Secretary from 1978 to 1999. Khupe went on to become one of the founding members of MDC and became a National Executive member in 1999 when that party was formed.

So while Khupe worked for the workers, Chamisa worked against.

While Khupe was one of the founding mothers and fathers of the MDC, Chamisa joined and became a career politician, notorious for achieving little for the people but ensuring a dramatic rise in the party regardless.

Khupe was a foundational pillar of the MDC from the very beginning, while Chamisa jumped on board when the struggle had been launched.
With this in mind, it is rich that Chamisa now has the audacity to try and remove Khupe's MDC credentials and threaten an MDC meeting she is leading.

Calling Khupe a "lost cause", the party's Acting National Spokesperson, Tabitha Khumalo, dismissed the MDC founding mother as if she was naught.

By dismissing and bullying Khupe, the "Gutu boys", have shown their utter disrespect for the MDC. To them it is not a cause or a movement, but a label, a brand, which will be coopted for the singular purpose of attaining power.

Those of us who care deeply about the MDC and the cause have to weigh up who they should back to lead the MDC into these vital elections.

We have a simple choice between a founding mother who stood side by side with Tsvangirai from the beginning and has a long history of working on behalf of us, the workers of Zimbabwe, is a champion of our people and fights for the soul of the party which still stands for democracy, freedom, peace and unity.

On the other hand we have someone who jumped on the party bandwagon, contributed little as an MP or Minister, acted consistently against the workers and provides no vision for the party except vacuous politics.

The decision is between the real MDC and the brand MDC.

Between those who fight for the soul and history of the party, and those who would throw it to the dogs.

Before, we present ourselves to the people we must decide what we are offering.

The MDC slogan is "Chinja Maitiro, MaitiroChinja,"or in Ndebele, "Guqula Izenzo, IzenzoGuqula," meaning "Now is the time, fight for change, support the Movement."

Now is the time, my MDC brothers and sisters, we need to continue the fight for change and support the Movement. With Chamisa, our soul is being ripped out and the Movement has lost its identity. It is just a label where he gets to say who is in and who is out.

There is fast becoming no place for those who truly represent the MDC ideals.

We need to retake it.

Source - Mike, Harare
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