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MDC Alliance’s attitude in Matabeleland not surprising

What is now evident and concerning about the MDC Alliance (the Alliance) is its narrowing area of concern; it clear now that the Alliance’s centre of focus is not people but power. When focus is power and principles secondary, people’s needs become the victim of politics.

The Alliance has become blinded to reality by its obsession for state power that it has forgotten its responsibility to the assets (the people) of its journey to that power; the Alliance needs to shift people with it, but through policy conviction not bullying tactics. We recently witnessed the hunger for power and contempt of people in their fullest force at the White City Stadium in Bulawayo when, in its haste to deliver its message, the Alliance leadership opted for convenience and overlooked the main language spoken in Matabeleland.

Successful campaigns are not only effective at selling their product, they also excel at delivering incisive strikes at their rival. One of the roles of the pro-Mthwakazi agenda is targeting those precious moments; when hunger for power (and not the desire to serve people) leads the Alliance toward arrogance, pro-Mthwakazi organisations must remind it of its limitations.

We will no longer tolerate the conduct by some Alliance supporters who display arrogance borne of limited information about their party’s aims and objectives. To cover that obvious gaping hole, they have turned themselves into mediocre bullies who try to intimidate anyone who does not share into a dream that they themselves have little comprehension of.

It is not a sign of arrogance for the pro-Mthwakazi agenda to be calling for the rejection, in Matabeleland, of all but essential political engagement with Zimbabwean politics; that is what the agenda is there for, to protect Mthwakazi interests against a regime whose focus is the management, and not empowerment of Matabeleland.

Truth be said, the MDC political family is behaving with perplexing arrogance and has for long counted the Matabeleland vote as a given. The party thinks turning up in the region is enough and it does not feel the obligation to respect people of Matabeleland. We need to slam that door and demand excellency from the MDC and its allies.

The Alliance must appreciate that it is its attitude and not the myriad of promises being made by its vibrant but less experienced leader that will determine its altitude. People do not just marvel at the oratory eloquence of leaders, they read the speaker’s attitude. The choice of the Shona language for the White City Stadium address was not an honest oversight but a true reflection of the organisation’s soul; the Alliance is simply MDC-T that has allowed desperate hangers-on the privilege of association, and the MDC-T is a mirror of the base of Zimbabwean politics.

Changing a facial makeup does not change the person that you are; the MDC Alliance is quite frankly a poorly disguised MDC-T, and it will not change Zimbabwe’s political fundamentals because, like ZANU PF, its very existence, structure and maintenance is dependent on Shona supremacy.

Zimbabwean politics is built on the assumed Shona supremacy and the desire to create something of an ethnic Shona dynasty within the borders of modern-day Zimbabwe territory; the system and all supporting institutions are built to preserve ethnic Shona values and customs while managing everyone else, a reality not lost to the MDC leadership. Certainly, anything that threatens or is perceived as threatening that set-up will not be embraced.

Least this argument be misinterpreted for an anti-Shona language agenda, I emphasise that it is not the choice of language the MDC Alliance leadership used in its recent rally in Bulawayo’s White City Stadium that is a problem but the attitude that influenced the decision-making process leading to the use of Shona language as the major vehicle of communication in a mainly Ndebele speaking region.

Attitude makes a huge difference in politics; the MDC Alliance’s current attitude is very unhealthy, it needs an urgent review if the Alliance is to be different from ZANU PF and grow its support in Matabeleland. What the MDC Alliance has done to date is not sufficient for it to maintain its support in Matabeleland. The Alliance is itself too shaky to hold up till the next election


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