Tsvangirai, Sikhala and bane of Zim opposition
Bernard Bwoni Correspondent
THE Achilles heel of Zimbabwe politics is the lack of an authentic, relevant and effective opposition. Instead of a policy-orientated response to the current economic challenges facing the country, what we get from the likes of Job Sikhala is the “overthrow” of a democratically elected government in Zimbabwe. In any other part of the world, calling for the “overthrow” of a democratically elected government is at best criminal and at worst treasonous. It would be a different matter if one focuses on adjusting their barebones policies and hope for an electoral victory against the ruling party.
But calling for the overthrow of government is not only sloppy and political immaturity. As if that was not enough Tsvangirai came up with his own hastily prepared statement saying “We are drawing a line in the sand and we shall pressurise and mobilise the people …we are going to mobilise. The form and content is left to the MDC to plan and execute.” Both Tsvangirai and Sikhala are not putting on the table the alternative policy strategies to any of the reasons they are proposing these calls for the ‘overthrow’ of an elected government and calls for mass action.
Now the question to pose to Tsvangirai is where are your shadow policies to the country’s economic challenges? A sober opposition acts as trouble-shooters and not mere meddling spectators or rubble-rousers. Sikhala says: “Let Mugabe be warned that if we cannot live as free men and women in our country of birth, we will rather die as free people.” These two men who are calling for the “overthrow” of a government freely and yet they make confused and confusing claims that their freedoms are being violated.
Tsvangirai and Sikhala are being very dishonest and irresponsible with their calls for these mass demonstrations which they have failed to muster anyway. These two men need reminding that such calls for such unconstitutional means of removing an elected government will not address the economic challenges facing the country.
Calling for any action with the potential to lead to chaos and unnecessarily endangering lives is irresponsible leadership, an illness of those with misguided and misplaced loyalties to push champion the interests and agendas of a power-hungry opposition which fronts the agendas of even more powerful external stakeholders.
There is no painless side to violence, there is no excuse for acts of violence; there is no better or worse violence and all perpetrators walk the same line in the eyes of the recipients of the vile acts.
Violence in politics must never be condoned or downplayed as there are innocent victims and misguided perpetrators. A genuine opposition should be busy challenging the ruling party on matters of policy and not trying to instigate unrest in the country.
How is a walk in the streets going to address the country’s economic challenges? The call from these two bears no attempt at restructuring the economy but to cause disruption to the country and potentially harm to others.
It is the resilient Zimbabwean spirit that has sustained this country through this very difficult period and not the ill-advised calls for violence or mass action from an irresponsible opposition. It is this beautiful Zimbabwean spirit that is going to address the country’s economic difficulties and not the thoughtless calls from opposition leaders who are seeking relevance through reckless means. Zimbabweans are one and together are going to pull through.
The admission is that the country is facing economic challenges but is the opposition engineered violence the solution the challenges?
Zimbabwe deserves a genuine opposition built on genuine and deep-rooted values. Any citizen would welcome a strong opposition to the ruling party, an opposition that can carry forward the country’s vision and direction and not parade it carelessly to the highest bidder for political celebrity status.
An opposition that can define and direct the country’s vision forwards as opposed to naïve fascination with aiding and abetting structures and systems which will never empower the people of Zimbabwe. An opposition that engross itself in calling for the “overthrow” of an elected government is structurally and strategically flawed. A people-centred opposition must go beyond empty proclamations and crafty schemes to cause unrest as an alternative and backdoor to the corridors of power in Zimbabwe. Surely if a mere substance-free call for the ‘overthrow’ of President Mugabe is all it takes to tread the corridors of Zimbabwean power then State House would be heaving with Presidents of all colours and creeds right now.
These ill-thought out calls from the opposition have not been associated with better outcomes and fortunes where such actions have been encouraged, again by external players with own vested interests.
You look at Libya and Egypt today and it is not only disappointing but distressing to watch. The reckless calls for violence and these mass demonstrations will not address our current challenges.
The calls from the opposition are careless and ill-advised. The opposition in Zimbabwe does not offer any reassurances that national direction will remain unaltered, the defining foundations of Zimbabwe will remain entrenched and that the nucleus of this country’s vision will remain guarded should they enter into power by some miracle. Zimbabwean opposition politics is in an ideological grey area and vacant space, existing but non-existent, totally unconvincing; bend over backwards and forwards to the whims and commands of stakeholders with agendas that will never in a million years upgrade the lives of the people of Zimbabwe.
The people of Zimbabwe only want solutions, not social gatherings to massage Tsvangirai’s politically and personally wounded ego. — www.bernardbwoni.blogspot.com.
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