HARARE – In response to the unwarranted arrest and subsequent release of MDC cabinet minister, Elton Mangoma, the MDC released a statement to the effect that the MDC “is fighting to restore justice, rule of law and security of every citizen”.
“This arbitrary arrest of innocent citizens has to stop forthwith,” said the MDC, adding that currently, 29 innocent MDC activists have been languishing in prison for over 500 days on a trumped up murder charge.
They reacted quickly because one of the big men in the party had been taken for a precariously dangerous joy ride and later released, unlike hundreds of other MDC supporters who are always arrested and never released, with some never to be seen or heard from again.
What is the MDC doing about this situation, which has been dogging us since it was formed 13 years ago?
They have been in government for four years now and their supporters continue to be harassed, beaten up, arrested and killed.
Any plans, private or public, to stop the rot? Next time, Mangoma, like many others, might not be so lucky.
I am, therefore, offended by the MDC’s statement, which makes it look like concern should only be raised when one of the party leaders is targeted by Zanu PF.
The MDC further said the “selective application of the law is a major cause for concern” as if they did not know about this before, during and after the party was formed. Or are they just realising it now?
Where has the MDC been all along and what have they done to protect their supporters other than issuing press statements that never console the victims?
After Mangoma’s experience, the MDC called on all Zimbabweans “to hold on in the face of injustice by overzealous Zanu PF functionaries…for real change is just an election away”.
Really? Just an election away, yet their supporters can be held for 500 hundred days and the MDC is unable to do anything about it?
Yet Zanu PF vigilante groups are sprouting all over the country and the MDC is unable to intervene on behalf of its own supporters? How has the MDC ever tried to protect its supporters?
Every day, MDC supporters make headlines, not because of what they are doing but because of what is being done to them by Zanu PF.
While Zanu PF urges the masses to “be vigilant” the MDC is asking all Zimbabweans to hold on in the face of injustice, telling us that they “salute all Zimbabweans who are yearning for a new democratic country”.
They are calling it the last mile yet people have been running away from their own government since before the so-called independence.
How long is a mile? How many years does a mile last? I find the MDC’s attitude towards its supporters very patronising and as selective as Zanu PF’s application of the law.
This attitude has to be changed because they are doing to the people the very same things that Zanu PF has been doing to us.
Is the MDC serious when it says real change is just an election away?
Did they not say the same during the 2008 elections? And has the MDC earned any redress for our 200 compatriots who were killed because of their affiliation with the party?
Why does the MDC believe change is just an election away when all that is necessary for a free and fair election remain untouched, unexplored and with nobody fighting for those changes.
Morgan Tsvangirai has to distinguish himself from the rest, though; has to show us some vision not reaction.
We want leadership; we want a party that thinks on behalf of the people while taking orders from the people.
Does Tsvangirai still believe, like he himself said, that Mugabe is part of the solution?
Mugabe is not part of any solution even if he has his grip on the party and the institutions of state.
Mugabe is the problem.
The reforms MDC should have fought for are still missing and time is running out.
The MDC says things like “no reforms, no election”.
As a colleague said, “if that’s the case, then unless we fool ourselves into thinking that ZanuPF will reform, there will never be elections because Zanu PF will never implement these reforms.
It would be suicidal (for Zanu PF) to do so.” It’s nothing but a carefully crafted vicious cycle.
Populist talk won’t do much for the people. Proper consultation with the people, listening to the people and unapologetic action are what we need.
Tsvangirai has no excuse to fail.
The people have the answers, Mr Tsvangirai! Ask them; listen to them! – Tanonoka Joseph Whande