• Simba Makoni Meets Citizens



    Dr Simba Makoni was in the city centre of Harare today, touring areas ranging from the Railways station on Kenneth Kaunda Avenue, First Street to Fourth Street.


    Why?

    He wanted to show the residents of Harare and others that it is not ALL their leaders who have forgotten their suffering. Although he is not party to that agreement signed on September 15, the requests that keep pouring into his offices at Old Mutual Centre in Harare clearly show a silent majority out there who have lost hope in the current scenario. Dr Makoni was especially concerned to meet the men and women who are bearing the brunt of the bickering currently going on between the negotiating parties. He saw people who had slept in queues. He saw mothers who had babies crying on their backs but who could do nothing about it because every scrap of food being sold in the country is now referenced to an exchange rate that makes eating a basic meal a luxury for 90% of our people.

    Makoni was clearly touched by this. All he could do was offer hope. Most people were of the opinion that the leaders in Zimbabwe today are completely out of touch with what is happening to the people. If they knew, so said those met on this tour, they would realise that this country can not stand much longer.

    "Taneta". "Zvichapera rini?" Zvichapera sei?" "Ko, chiiko chiri kunetsa?" "A-a-a zvanyanya izvi" - these were only some of comments encountered on this tour.

    Others wanted to know when the party is being formed, how they can join and what they can do to help the movement. Yet others wanted to know if Dr Makoni could not help this process and "end our suffering".

    Most people he met also sought the opportunity to find out what exactly was the reason for the malfunctioning of the banking system in Zimbabwe. They assumed that, since he was once Minister of Finance, he could explain to them why exactly they were suffering like this, since no one else seemed bothered to tell the people what the problem with the banking system was or how they plan to end it. They had pinned their hopes on the talks, but these have now floundered. People are confused and scared. Some actually said that the deaths we will see this year and early next year will be horrendous. HIV patients are not getting adequate funds to buy their medication and the healthy food that can help in fighting away the onset AIDS, children are not learning at the schools since teachers spend days on end in the queue trying withdraw the money that will not even pay for bus fare for two weeks.

    Dr Makoni did explain that he has repeatedly offered advice to both parties in the negotiations. Some was taken on board, but some of it was also ignored. He made it clear that he is watching the process carefully and will not let an opportunity to end all this suffering pass him by. For now, the best he can do is forge ahead with the forming of a political party, to stand ready to bring real change to Zimbabwe, because change is not change unless it ends the people's suffering. This appears unlikely for the foreseeable future, mostly because of the obstinacy of people like Robert Mugabe.

    In fact, as the sun baked the heads of babies in First Street in Harare, as grannies fainted in the queues at the banks, as cholera broke out across the towns and cities of Harare because they go for months without water, Robert Mugabe was in Uganda attending a meaningless meeting of COMESA, where he went straight from his flop in Swaziland, while the prime minister-designate is virtually a prisoner in Harare.

    All the money spent on going to New York for the UN General Assembly, to Swaziland, Uganda, could have helped towards lessening our people's suffering. But that appears to be the least of Mugabe's concerns. 

    The people, however, will prevail. Of that we can be certain.
    Dr Makoni is not a boardroom type of person. He enjoys being out and about, amongst the people. That is why he says he is not a politician. He insists that he is an activist and has been all his life. It is the reason he travelled the country by road during the campaign in March, visiting the most out-the-way places that never see a presidential candidate.


6 comments:

  1. Anonymous says:

    It's true that the leaders in Zimbabwe have no clue to the suffering of the masses and yet they claim they have our interests at heart. What really irks me is this kind of politics in Africa were political leaders take us for granted. Now I have realised that for us to end this suffering we have to be politically active and determine our own destiny.......I personally need to know when is Simba going to launch the party because I want to play my role to make Zimbabwe a better place for all.

  1. Glen says:

    Most of us out here who are fed up with Zanu PF and MDC's tug of war welcome the entrace of Dr Makoni into the political scene. I have always admired his stability from the time he was minister to the time when he announced his intention to contest in the last elections.
    I have hope that with him, Zimbabwe can go back to ethical, sacrificial politics that concerns itself with humanity as opposed to aggrandisement and personalities at the expense of the masses.
    I urge Dr Makoni to continue meeting the people till (and beyond) the formation of the party. By the way, I have keenly awaited the transformation of the Mavambo/Kusile movement into a party. And Denford, you promised that the party constitution will be posted on the website soon but I haven't seen it yet.

    Thanks for keeping us informed!

    Glen,
    UCT

  1. Glen says:

    Most of us out here who are fed up with Zanu PF and MDC's tug of war welcome the entrace of Dr Makoni into the political scene. I have always admired his stability from the time he was minister to the time when he announced his intention to contest in the last elections.
    I have hope that with him, Zimbabwe can go back to ethical, sacrificial politics that concerns itself with humanity as opposed to aggrandisement and personalities at the expense of the masses.
    I urge Dr Makoni to continue meeting the people till (and beyond) the formation of the party. By the way, I have keenly awaited the transformation of the Mavambo/Kusile movement into a party. And Denford, you promised that the party constitution will be posted on the website soon but I haven't seen it yet.

    Thanks for keeping us informed!

    Glen,
    UCT

  1. Leonard Makombe says:

    In search of an opposition

    What are the implications of the March elections and the subsequent events thereafter culminating in the signing of the power (loot) sharing deal to opposition politics in Zimbabwe?

    Can we safely say we have an opposition in Zimbabwe, opposing who?

    I find problems in saying we have an opposition political party (out party) in Zimbabwe for the simple reason that an opposition political party is usually one that is in the minority in parliament, playing the watchdog role.

    This watchdog role encompasses criticising policies of the party in power (in power) and also forcing the public officials to be more responsive to popular concerns.

    An opposition party also aims to become the ruling party thus comes up with alternative policies to those on offer and argue that they would implement these if they get into power. Such policies are usually contained in manifestos spell out what the electorate should expect if they voted them in power.

    In Zimbabwe since 1980, there has been a number of opposition parties playing this watchdog role and these incluse PF ZAPU, Zimbabwe Unity Movement, Forum Party and the Movement for Democratic Change. These parties played their part within a specific political, historical, economic and social context.

    There are times when conditions in a given country are ripe for an alternative ruling party and this usually gives a cue to civic organisations, interest groups, small parties and other interested parties to mobilise and form a formidable party.

    ZUM for example came at a time when there was a move towards one party state and some of its policies included a challenge against this move as well entrenching democracy which as the leader Edgar Tekere said was 'in intensive care'.

    It can be argued that the formation of ZUM was somehow an anachronism, as the conditions were not very ripe for an alternative political party as conditions then prevailing favoured ZANU (PF).

    This is not however to suggest that the formation did not achieve anything as it put a stop to attempts at declaring a one party state in Zimbabwe as well as show that ZANU (PF) can be challenged.

    Other political parties played specific roles and the MDC's role in the last nine years has largely been to reconfigure the economic structure of the country which has been fast deteriorating,

    History will have it that the MDC was formed at a time when conditions were very ripe for change. Winds of change had swept across parts of Southern Africa, in Zambia and Malawi, and the same was very imminent in Zimbabwe.

    It was only a matter of time before the opposition became the ruling party.

    However, fate decided otherwise and nine years later we are faced with a situation where MDC becomes a political amphibian, it may be in or out at the same time.

    What does this mean?

    As defined above, an opposition party is one that offers alternative policies, plays a watchdog role and critisises, constructively, the current government.

    If the current talks are successful, it will mean that the MDC cannot play any of the roles outlined above as it will be part of the ruling party whatever form or name it will give itself. It is in the same breath that ZANU (PF) will look over its shoulder before it says it is the ruling party because it knows it has problems in this definition.

    This means that there is a possibility of a vacuum, in terms of opposition parties playing the roles cited above.

    If as hypothesised above, there are conditions for an alternative opposition party, who will fill it?

    As it stands, there are at least three possible outcomes one can look at.

    One is the possibility of a the unification of civic organisations, interest groups, the churches and other organisations to form an opposition party to the Government of National Unity (GNU).

    As it stands at the moment, the civic society has tried to fill in the gap but this has not been very sufficient mainly because most still have to serve divorce papers to the MDC. It is still too early for them to start criticising the MDC and they only get a chance when there are problems on the part of ZANU (PF).

    This is understandable, in the context of the marriage in the last nine years but the fact remains they have been elbowed out or have to wean themselves from the mother of oppositions in the new century.

    Now what this means is that the vacuum can be filled by a well organised political party.

    One of the reasons, apart from the obvious conditions being ripe for a new political dispensation, why the MDC did quite well in elections was its organising capacity of the party especially at the top. This may be a result of the experience gained when the leaders were in the civic society.

    This means the new political party, in opposition, not opposing, the GNU has to have the administrative capacity so that it will show the alternative policies as well as how capable it is to run the affairs of the state.

    One other quality will be the credibility of the leaders of the political party. Would it be fair to co-opt all those who have been opposed to ZANU (PF) so that it will be credible. It is my humble opinion that the new opposition should mobilise all creative minds, with a cross generational, regional and sectional representation. And yes with gender representation well defined. This will be a completely new political party which means the creative minds will be responsible for policy formulation, strategising and resource mobilisation.

    We are waiting on the wings to see how Dr Simba Makoni will fit into the robes of the credible opposition party leader. His run for presidential election was rather late, a strategic blunder, but the number of votes, amounting to around 8 percent of the vote, shows that he definitely has something to build on.

    As it stands, the Makoni project remains the only alternative in terms of opposition politics in Zimbabwe though as of now the civic society which has been elbowed out of the ring also is a major factor in the political fights.

  1. Anonymous says:

    I agree with all of you guys.I firmly beleive that MDC has overplayed its hand,even if they are to be inagurated as leaders,what example have they shown to other regional leaders of africa.This is disrepect for African institutes.They should not be jealous when other parties like mavambo project are launched,for it is not fair to blame other people for one's incompetences,and lack of leadership consistency.It calls for a lot of maturity,patience as well as perseverence when one aspires to be a leader of a nation.It calls for diplomacy as well when dealing with presidents of other coutries.I apologise to the SADC troika leaders for their time wasted.As much as the winds of change are blowing over Zimbabwe,time is ripe for Mavambo project.lets not forget that Zimbabwe is our inheritance,for we can never enjoy these priviledges in any other country but our own.

  1. I liked what I have just read in The Independent on the state of Mavambo Kusile's transformation but I am worried that in my rural ara there is no activity. What has happened, we may fall into the trap of concentrating efforts in towns. there are a lot of volunteers, me included, waiting to spread the word. We need contact details of the interim leaders so that we work together for the betterment of Zimbabwe. Even those is the diaspora should also be part of the movement. By the way I come from Mutasa District, which is relatively very energised in terms of politics after ZUM then MDC and there is a vacuum at the moment which has to be filled

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