Zimbabwe's MDC Abandons It's Supporters In The United Kingdom

Morgan Tsvangirai is booed as he leaves the podium at Southwark Cathedral in London after he failed to finish his speech to Zimbabweans there on June 20 2009. The MDC leader and Zimbabwean Prime Minister had just called for Zimbabweans to return home because it was now safe despite all evidence to the contrary. Tsvangirai subsequently told a reporter in South Africa that he stands by the statement that Zimbabweans outside the country must return and that he would no longer support their claims for asylum since things had normalised back home. Tsvangirai supporters should have no problems following this instruction since they believe that he is never wrong

Harare, Zimbabwe, 23 January 2010

Although ZANU PF youths and even the military continue to run riot in the rural areas of Zimbabwe, threatening "a bullet to the head"for anyone voting for Morgan Tsvangirai in the next elections, most MDC supporters in the Diaspora (especially United Kingdom and America), continue to defend the unfounded statements by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai that Zimbabwe is now a safe and stable democracy to which Zimbabweans abroad must return in their droves.

Effectively, it means that the MDC no longer supports any claims by any asylum seeker in the United Kingdom, USA and other countries who says that their life would be in danger if they returned home.

Right on cue, the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has now announced: "The formation of the Inclusive Government (the coalition between Mugabe and Tsvangirai) has led to improvements in the economy, schools and the availability of basic commodities."

These are words straight from Prime Minister Tsvangirai's mouth. The MDC leader was booed at Southwark Cathedral in London for saying exactly this and urging Zimbabweans in the Diaspora to come back home.

Effectively, it means that the MDC and Morgan Tsvangirai no longer support any claims by anyone claiming to be their supporter that they face danger if they were to return or be returned Zimbabwe from foreign countries where they have sought refuge.

At the same time, it is quite clear that the Prime Minister has no power to protect any of his activists from persecution and even murder at the hands of ZANU PF.

Roy Bennett, the MDC-T Treasurer-General, is in the courts right now facing what are clearly very tenuous charges, perhaps even completely fabricated. Tsvangirai was unable to prevent the arrest of this very senior MDC figure.

He was unable even to influence ZANU PF, which controls the system, to grant Bennett bail. Instead, he spent endless nights in police cells (at one point sharing the cell with the body of a prisoner who had died in custody while the police took two days to remove it).

What more mere activists and foot-soldiers, ordinary members who face overzealous and murderous ZANU PF "cadres"in their home areas if they are to come back?

Still, the essence of the matter is that the Prime Minister is desperate to sell his capitulation to Mugabe and to show the world that he has made a difference. When he does this, MDC-T supporters are quick to support him, even those who face certain death were they to walk back into their neighbourhoods today from overseas.

They forget that by trying to whitewash the situation, to paper over the cracks and put a brave face on the capitulation, they are also shooting themselves in the foot.

Tsvangirai says MDC supporters are now safe back home in Zimbabwe. Britain says MDC supporters must then come back. So come back they will.

The situation is different, obviously, for those whose lives are endangered because they are with Simba Makoni's party or with Dumiso Dabengwa's party. People from these organisations, as far as I know, are aware that the situation back home is far from normal and can enumerate the instances when they have escaped with their lives, by a whisker. Their parties, aware of the danger that faces certain of its activists, are not hesitating to plead their cases with foreign governments. It is not yet Uhuru in Zimbabwe. That much is certain.

But for MDC-T supporters and according to their own president, it is now Uhuru (freedom) in Zimbabwe. Their president says they must come back. If they truly support him and his capitulation, they should come back and face the music, instead of trying to hoodwink the world from foreign shores that things are normal back in Zimbabwe, only to turn around and resist deportation when the British ask them to put their money where their mouths are.

Speaking of which: the British government says it will give each deported Zimbabwean 6 000 (six thousand) pound sterling with which to start a new life back home in Zimbabwe.

Some will be tempted, not knowing that this is chump change under the conditions prevailing in Zimbabwe today. Life in Zimbabwe is now expensive and unless they are prepared to come and live the life of a civil servant (civil servants are protesting slave wages and dismal living conditions at the moment), then they must have another plan for surviving in Zimbabwe.

So expensive is Zimbabwe now across the board that supplies for individuals and even for companies are being sourced from South Africa. For instance, as the reporting season for companies sets in now, almost all Zimbabwean companies are sending their annual reports to South Africa for printing, because Zimbabwean printers are charging them about four times what they would pay if they took their printing across the border in South Africa (that price includes the cost of transporting the annual reports back to Zimbabwe!).

But, since MDC-T supporters insist that their party is now in power and totally has Mugabe on the back foot and is gaining ground (an assertion now not supported by a single person within the border of Zimbabwe), they must come back home and help their newly-powerful party to rebuild Zimbabwe alongside a "repentant"and "reformed"Mugabe.



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