By Tafadzwa Masango
THE streak of violence within the opposition MDC Alliance that can be traced right to the roots of this political outfit is not something that can easily be explained away as some would want to do.
Violence has been the bedrock of the opposition party politics since its formation and ‘our betters’ who preach human rights and democracy to us continually turn a blind eye to this violence because they are partly to blame for that violence.
They have nurtured and supported violence within the opposition because it is an instrument of the regime change agenda.
The only unfortunate thing is that the violence, instead of being focused on ZANU PF, State institutions and ordinary citizens, is now internal.
Violence, impunity and indiscipline are the the calling card of the opposition militia which, at one time or another, has been used by various MDC Alliance leaders in their squabbles for power and control of the party.
It should be stressed that, what is happening in the MDC Alliance in the run up to its elective Congress is nothing new in that, each time positions and power are up for grabs in the opposition, violence is used as campaign tool.
For years, young men and women in the opposition have been trained and indoctrinated in acts of sabotage and violence in order to create a state of collapse in the country, to create an impression in the minds of the electorate that ‘things have fallen apart’ and that ZANU PF has failed to govern and therefore must be removed from Government.
One can say the MDC Alliance itself was built on the philosophy of violence as one of the key strategies for effecting regime change.
How else can the MDC Alliance operate if not through violence?
These youths, some of them now past that age, were trained to defy authority, show no respect for national leadership as well as insult and taunt law enforcement agents.
All this training is necessary from a psychological point of view as part of preparations to effect regime change.
Munyaradzi Gwisayi was quoted in the Weekly Worker No 727 of June 26 2008 saying: “The crisis was not going to be resolved through elections, but through mass actions…the way forward for the MDC and civil society was to create a united front against regime.”
The one common denominator of all the ‘mass actions’ by the opposition has been the violence, rampant looting and destruction of property.
Paul Temba Nyathi, in the aftermath of the 2005 MDC split, said: “Tsvangirai followers seem to themselves that they can win elections by beating people and crudest methods of intimidation…this had largely escaped the attention of the media (sic).”
The independent media has been complicit in the regime change agenda and would thus turn a blind eye to the sins of the opposition as they were seen as the cost of the war against ZANU PF.
At a meeting held on July 3 2005 in Bulawayo between Bulawayo Agenda and its sponsors, Konrad Adeneur Foundation (KAF) of Germany, the latter informed the former that they would no longer fund groups that concentrated on talk shows, but would readily fund ‘brave’ organisations that engage in demonstrations to remove Government from power.
KAF made it clear to Bulawayo Agenda that money would be directed to programmes of confrontation.
Over the years, we have seen men and women being assaulted, some to the point of death, as power struggles in the MDC Alliance hots up.
Thokozani Khupe, the late Trudy Stevenson, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, Frank Chamunorwa, Peter Guhu, Tendai Biti, Elton Mangoma, Elias Mudzuri, Douglas Mwonzora, Lovemore Moyo, Welshman Ncube, Lucia Matibenga and many others have been on the receiving end.
Most even know, personally, those who gave them these terrible hidings, but would never make police reports or pursue the matter because this would open the cesspool that would expose the use of violence to destabilise the country and the ‘invisible hand’ of specific Western embassies in funding and fanning this violence and sabotage in the country.
A committee set up in 2005 to investigate violence in the MDC as a way to appease the more finicky donors who had the decency to be worried about internal violence included Giles Mutsekwa, Moses Mzila-Ndlovu and (the now late) Tichaona Mudzingwa, interviewed those implicated in the violence and the alleged victims.
What is interesting is, in the report and transcript of the interviews, some of the goons openly boast they could assault anyone and get away with it because they had the backing of top politicians, including Tsvangirai.
Others said, if interrogated over the violence, they would sing like parrots to the law enforcement agents and reveal all the other extra curricular activities the MDC leadership instructed them to take part in.
Others even went to the extent of threatening members of the committee for ‘asking’ them the ‘wrong questions’, whatever that means.
All in all, the internal report reveals that violence is within the MDC’s DNA and leaders within that party have had no problem unleashing violence when their positions are threatened or when decisions are made that do not favour them.
The violence that is ongoing in the run up to the MDC Alliance elective Congress should not be taken as a new phenomenon, but should be seen in the context of what it really is, part of the ‘democracy’ that is the MDC.
It is not an MDC Alliance election if candidates and their supporters do not brutalise each other, or someone runs away with the ballot boxes or burns them before they are counted.
This is all the inheritance of an organisation which has no real understanding of democratic processes.
It is not enough for a party to have the word ‘democracy’ in its name, as evidence by the MDC Alliance.
A lack of ideology, previously unaudited donor funding and outright greed are the cocktail that drives the leadership of this political outfit and, as such, what you have is an organisation which is bereft of simple structures and is festering with opposing interests and goals.
It is this greed that has seen the imposition of friends, relatives, girlfriends and cronies into positions of power at the expense of bona fide members.
It is this greed, lack of proper organisational structure and inconsistency that has seen the party having double candidates at the polls.
In all this, ‘our betters’ who had something to say about ‘divisions’ at the height of factional wars in ZANU PF suddenly have lost their voices.
Suddenly, when it’s the MDC Alliance, ‘our betters’ remember that they cannot meddle in Zimbabwe’s internal affairs.
Let this be a lesson to those who still believe that ‘our betters’ are really interested in democracy and human rights.