Workers tired of stay-aways achieving nothing
Posted: Friday, December 13, 2002
By Tim Chigodo, www.herald.co.zw
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ZIMBABWEAN workers are tired of stay-aways and demonstrations called by organisations attempting to justify the receipt of funds they get from donors.
Their refusal to participate in work stoppages backed by the National Constitutional Assembly and the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, all appendages of the Movement for Democratic Change, has created sharp divisions between the opposition groups themselves and their supporters.
It is no longer a secret that opposition groups in the country are sponsoring violence and thuggery to cause mayhem in the country and in the process, further damage to the economy.
After failing in its attempts to remove President Mugabe and his Government from power, the West is now disenchanted with the work of the opposition groups.
Coffers of the MDC, NCA, ZCTU and other European-sponsored groups are drying up. This has broken the affinity among the organisations.
Now they are blaming each other for not doing a good job for their masters. They are seeing the demise of the MDC.
The failed stay-away and a protest march by the so called human rights lawyers is also a big disappointment to the organisers and the imperialist forces which finance them to create problems in their country in an effort to perpetuate colonialism.
Dr Lovemore Madhuku, the chairman of NCA has not hidden his anger at the deteriorating support his organisation is now getting from the West. He has accused his sponsors of making false promises.
With the venom of a cobra, the NCA boss this week castigated the international community for letting him and his colleagues down. Dr Madhuku said they had celebrated when the United States passed the Zimbabwe Democracy Bill which sought to punish Zimbabwe for acquiring land from the white commercial farmers for redistribution to landless peasants.
"Civil organisations have received nothing since that piece of paper became law," he said angrily when he addressed a meeting attended by less than 200 people.
The meeting had been organised by the Mass Opinion Public Institute (Mopi), another opposition group led by a critic of the Government and University of Zimbabwe lecturer, Professor Masipula Sithole.
The NCA leader said his organisation had not received any money since the enactment of the Zimbabwe Democracy Bill. He advised his followers not to expect anything from the Americans and Europeans.
Other critics of the Government, Mr Brian Kagoro of Crisis in Zimbabwe and Mr Charles Mangongera of Mopi, addressed the meeting. There was total confusion when most speakers attacked the opposition groups of being irrelevant.
They blamed the MDC had failed to achieve its intended purpose of removing President Mugabe from power and that the movement was collapsing.
Dr Madhuku said it was no longer necessary to talk about President Mugabeís legitimacy or illegitimacy. Cde Mugabe beat the MDC leader, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai by more than 400 000 votes during the Presidential election in March this year.
Observers say the opposition faces total disintegration that may force it into oblivion.
The recent expulsion of Highfield Member of Parliament, Mr Munyaradzi Gwisai, has added more confusion to the opposition. The intolerance of a diversity of views by the partyís leadership has without doubt, spelt out its demise.
Analysts say the dismissal of Mr Gwisai has ruffled feathers within the rank and file of the party and sent a clear message to all the people that the MDC and Mr Tsvangirai, do not accommodate views different from theirs. The democracy that they have talked about so much is non-existent in the party.
Zanu-PF secretary for information and publicity, Cde Nathan Shamuyarira, said the latest events in the MDC were interesting and pertinent.
"We are intrigued and happy that the MDC has now publicly shown that it is not a party for the workers and peasants," he said.
Cde Shamuyarira said the observation made by Mr Gwisai that the MDC has neglected the workers and students who supported the party by virtue of being members of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions was very pertinent.
"The MDC has no ideological direction," Cde Shamuyarira said.
Although the expelled legislator has supported the land reform programme, his party failed to come up with a policy on land.
"MDC leaders could not open their mouths because they were hamstrung by Britain and white commercial farmers who supported the party financially," the ruling partyís information and publicity chief said.
Any party that ignores the workers and peasants will not last long.
"They are important voices and not that of the Europeans and white commercial farmers," Cde Shamuyarira said.
Political commentator and publisher, Dr Ibbo Mandaza, said the events taking place in the MDC were symptoms of the collapse of the party. He said Mr Gwisaiís expulsion was inevitable considering the long standing rift between the legislator and his party leadership over ideology and policies.
"Unlike Zanu-PF, which has everyone in one camp, the MDC has elements in different camps. There are many young turks in the MDC who do not agree with the partyís policies," Dr Mandaza said.
The legislator and his superiors have, for a long time been at variance over ideology.
Mr Gwisai is a member of the International Socialist Organisation and pursues socialist ideology while the MDC, which sponsored him during elections, promotes capitalist policies.
Observers say the worst sin that the MP committed was to come out in full support of the Governmentís land reform programme. He also slated his party for ignoring the workers who formed the core of the ZCTU which was later turned into a political party by Mr Tsvangirai without consulting them.
The partyís reliance on foreign support and continued articulation of imperialist policies has hastened the MDCís downfall. The party destroyed itself by pursuing an anti-people programme, observers say.
Mr Tsvangirai, has never supported the land reform programme that seeks to empower Zimbabweans economically through equitable land redistribution. He has called Zimbabweans who have overwhelmingly endorsed the fast track land resettlement exercise "scavengers."
Most people took exception to Mr Tsvangiraiís utterances which they viewed as those of his white masters and not from a Zimbabwean.
Analysts derided the MDC leader for insulting the electorate.
The MDC is facing serious trouble that not even its foreign supporters who have in the past tried to clandestinely patch up differences within the movement can do anything about it now. It will be a tall order to put together the disintegrating British-sponsored party.
As things stand at the moment, the cracks in the MDC have widened and threaten its future as an opposition party in this country.
The failure of the MDC to attract local support was long foreseen when the party continued embracing foreign policies. The opposition made a mistake of thinking that because of the economic hardships in the country, people would abandon the ruling party and support it.
Mr Tsvangirai has been blaming the Government for the current problems some of which are the result of drought which has affected the entire Southern African region. He has, however, offered no solution to redress the economic hardships faced by the people.
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