Ncube: Case for a coalition of democrats

Ncube: Case for a coalition of democrats – NewZimbabwe 27/02/2016 by Welshman Ncube

AS a nation, we have reached a stage where it is abundantly clear that the continuation of Zanu PF rule constitutes a clear and present danger to the national security of the state of Zimbabwe and its peoples.

We have in place a government which long stopped pretending it is in power to serve the collective interests of its nationals but one which has no shame at all in exhibiting itself as a government for the personal welfare and interests of the individual leaders who make up the political leadership supposedly running the country. They are interested only in themselves and have become totally and unashamedly self-serving. The purpose of their government is deliberately to suppress and impoverish the people while they feast on the bones of a once great nation.

Just about every facet of the economy, every aspect of social services, every area of our lives is in a shambles. The litany of the wrongs and ills of our country induced by Zanu PF are simply too numerous to tabulate. Look at the rate of unemployment. Look at the levels of national poverty. Witness the staggering figures of national debt. Reflect on business closures.

Remember the thousands of workers who lost their jobs last year. Look at the state of our parastatals sector. Witness the decay of our railway system. Read through our trade figures. Look at the production figures in all the sectors of the economy- agriculture, mining, manufacturing, tourism, etc. Witness the impending drought. Marvel at the total lack of any plan or even appreciation to deal with the drought catastrophe we are in.

Count the young generation that has left the country for the diaspora. Feel sorry for those who happen to need medical attention where the health sector long ago had hospitals and clinics transformed to death houses.

Talk of fiddling while Rome burns! The only concern of what passes for our ruling party leaders is where they will be the day Robert Mugabe goes. They live, sleep and wake up for one purpose and one purpose only, to fight factional wars on which cabal or clique will succeed Mugabe. Every institution of the state has been drawn into these factional wars. Not even the judiciary has been spared.

It is a full scale war on each and every front where quite literally it has become the law of the jungle – the survival of the fittest. No rules! No law! No sense of right or wrong. No morality! No mercy. No love. No care. Just full bloodied war. The very essence of a modern and civilised state lies in grave danger and jeopardy. Just about anything is possible. The only certainty is the uncertainty of it all.

As compatriots and patriots we must re-pose Lenin’s question: What is to be done? Every democrat, every patriot, every nationalist and every Zimbabwean who loves our country and requires to secure the future of our children and grandchildren must ask and re-ask himself or herself this question. It is no longer enough to sit back and hope that fate will be kind to us or that the Almighty will intervene in our favour. We must place our own redemption and the very survival of our nation in our own hands as democrats and patriots.

We all have grievances on the rights and wrongs of the past on what went wrong with our struggle to free Zimbabwe from the clutches of the disaster that is Zanu PF rule. We remember our collective promises to each other at the Working People’s Convention in 1999. We remember the energy we had as we proclaimed the values and principles which were to guide and bind us in our struggles.

We remember too, the promises of the Programme for Change we adopted in song and fanfare. We remember our holding of hands and our declarations that together in unity we shall prevail. It was not to be. We all have our different narratives of what went wrong whether sincerely held or not.

After so much promise we have delivered pretty little to the ordinary working people. Yes, we elected our own legislators and councillors. Yes, we went to Parliament and are still there. We even were once part of government. But the painful reality is that the condition of working people is far worse today than it was when we gathered at the Zimbabwe Women’s Bureau in 1999. Our country is in far greater peril today than in 1999. We cannot undo history but we can create the future. Our responsibility today is to seize the moment and ask ourselves how we can regain our country from the clutches of cruel, uncaring, very selfish rulers.

Is it not a serious indictment on all of us who have toiled in the trenches of the battles against Zanu PF since the formation of the united MDC that today a large number of our citizens have come to the conclusion that the future may be better secured for them by those who fought relentlessly against the democratic movement for decades from within Zanu PF in all its ugliness, until it started to devour its own children; and only decided to stand up against Zanu PF after being jettisoned from the gravy train?

Is it not ironic that we find ourselves in circumstances where we must contemplate, debate and decide if the greater and broader national good does not demand that in answering Lenin’s question on what must be done, we should include in our actions the means of working with rather than against those who were yesterday towers of the defence of Zanu PF rule? More poignantly, if we were to consider working with former Zanu PF stalwarts, surely we must find within ourselves the necessary resolve to work with those with whom we have disagreed and still disagree with who were and still are part of the democratic movement.

If we are to bring the misery of our people to an end in 2018 we must seek ways of building coalitions which exclude no one who, at the barest minimum is committed to seeing an end to Zanu PF rule. We might not even agree on what kind of government is to be put in place, guided by what policies after Zanu PF is gone, but we must unite around the imperative of removing Zanu PF from power and leave the post-Zanu PF future to be fought over when Zanu PF is gone. It might yet turn out to be a false revolution, but it is difficult to imagine how it can possibly be worse than this.

It might turn out to be impossible to build the coalition with capacity to dislodge Zanu PF, for the things which divide us as democrats in the opposition run deep and some of them are at the core of the value systems which are foundational to our being. But this should not deter us from trying. Try we must.

My point is that attempts to build a coalition of democrats to defeat Zanu PF must exclude no one who professes to be a democrat. Our nation is in great peril. We owe it to ourselves to do all we can to save our country.

Clearly, the beautiful ones are not yet born and we must make do with those already born with warts and all. We cannot save Zimbabwe unless we recognise the peril it is in. All those who profess to be our leaders with an interest in saving the nation from doom must come to the Table of Patriots at which all shall be equal.


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    It is a sobering thought prof. Take the initiative. Invite all democrats to a conference. You miss the point when you discount ZPF people. The majority of them did not take an active part in Gukurahundi. Gukurahundi people are still in ZANU including the top brass in government, army, security agents and police. The writing is clear that all they think of is to save their interests until they die. If we unite they will bite the bullet. They should be brought to book and that process starts with coalition of opposition parties. You get a country that is highly indebted with nothing to show for the debts. The criminals who looted state coffers should account for their wealth. With a coalition that gets very imminent. Never mind who leads. Simply form a coalition. It pains the people to hear Tendai Biti saying he will never work with so and so. The whole idea of coalition is to work with people with the same goals. The goal for now is to defeat ZANU. After that create an encironment that will ensure that there are the best leaders who are not beholden to some party.ZANU rules and that is feudalistic and archaic. Modern governance is made up of leaders for the national good. On reading the ZANU leader’s speech one gets a situation of a strongman mentality. A 92 year old who does not want to retire. He needs a push by votes and a coalition can be the force that will send him flying to retirement. Besides you guys did very well as a united MDC. More was achieved during those days. You gave Zimbabweans hope. You took it back when you split the vote in 2008.

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    this is the first essential step …. unity of those opposed to mugabe