via Real work begins for revolutionary party by Lawson Mabhena News Editor
IF political rallies are anything to go by, then it was always clear that Zanu-PF would win the just ended harmonised elections. However, because huge turnouts at rallies can be misleading — MDC-T was given the benefit
of doubt. “They just want t-shirts and caps”, “they were forced” and “they were bused”. These are some of the famous lines that were used to dismiss a resounding Zanu-PF victory based on rally attendance.
And now that the revolutionary party has won by a landslide, many are beginning to curse the day they down-played the star rallies addressed by President Mugabe in all the country’s 10 provinces.
Many will now admit that Zanu-PF was always headed for victory. Mr Morgan Tsvangirai and his party had made a number of monumental blunders and the writing was on the wall.
While we were afraid to either admit or see it, The Gaurdian of the UK said so. So did the UK Telegraph, The New York Times of America, Freedom House and MDC-T-aligned pressure group, Zvakwana/Sokwanele.
Mr Tsvangirai and many others chose to ignore these surveys but now that the results have come, he is asking questions about their legitimacy. But that is not the issue.
The African Union and Sadc observer missions will tell you that these elections were free and fair.
The question Mr Tsvangirai should be asking is: “Where did we go wrong?”
MDC-T’s tenure in the Government of National Unity (GNU) is a case in point. Mr Tsvangirai and his fellow ministers got drunk in power, leaving the electorate with a good idea of what an MDC-T Cabinet would look like.
Instead of leaving their mark, they chose to sabotage all Government initiatives. Civil servants were poorly paid, service delivery was pathetic and industry collapsed.
On the flip side, MDC-T ministers became richer, driving around in the latest vehicles and growing bigger tummies. Not to be outdone, was Mr Tsvangirai himself, who soon after the death of his wife, Susan, went on a bedding spree that left a trail of broken hearts and a child without a birth certificate.
Mr Tsvangirai also hogged the limelight for all the wrong reasons for his penchant for the good life. Instead of ensuring that his corrupt councillors who dominated the country’s urban areas provided land for housing stands to the masses, he built himself a mansion that could easily attract the producers of SABC 3’s Top Billing and MTV’s Cribs.
His new wife, Elizabeth, also went on an international shopping spree that could have made American reality star Kim Kardashian green with envy. “As Zimbabwe prepares to choose a new president this year in long-awaited elections, voters are increasingly questioning the erstwhile opposition, the only serious challenger to the tight grip Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party, have held on this nation for decades,” the New York Times noted.
“. . . Meanwhile, officials in Tsvangirai’s party, many of whom suffered poverty while fighting to remake Zimbabwe, began enjoying the trappings of power. Government ministers, members of Parliament and other officials were awarded fancy cars and travel allowances. Tsvangirai traded his trade-unionist leather jacket for tailored suits.
Tsvangirai’s lifestyle has been the talk of a nation where millions live on $2 a day. He has taken to travelling abroad with a sizable entourage, officials and analysts say, honeymooning in London and spending holidays in Monaco. He recently moved into a government residence that cost about $3 million to build.”
While enjoying the sweet trappings of power, Mr Tsvangirai and his party lost track of time and were shocked when the life of the Seventh Parliament came to an end, signalling the need for harmonised elections.
So off-guard was MDC-T, that the party had no clear policy on how they would steer the country to better times once in power.
“The two (Mr Tsvangirai and Mr Tendai Biti) were not seen in public on the same platform as a team, except in the picture where they are reading the Zanu-PF manifesto with organising secretary Nelson Chamisa.
They all looked pensive and that image was a public relations disaster, the hallmark of a disorganised group, contrasted with Team Zanu-PF . . . Rather than explaining their manifesto to the people, they were relaxed, reading a Zanu-PF one,” the Zimbabwe Guardian observed, after MDC-T’s crushing defeat.
Lessons that should be learned by MDC-T from this election are also relevant to Zanu-PF. The people must not be taken for granted. They demand results.
Leaders who will get drunk with power will face the same fate as Mr Tsvangirai.
For Zanu-PF, the real work has only just began. The jobs that were promised must now become reality. Industry and agriculture must now be revived.
Empty promises will only result in shocking election results.
The clock is ticking. Five years is not that long, ask Mr Tsvangirai.