|Baby that retained its placenta|
|Tuesday, 06 March 2012 21:22|
The story that was titled, ‘‘MDC-T sucked into Twitter storm’’ and published on March 4 queries why MDC-T’s twitter account does not follow a single Zimbabwean but treks ‘‘only the updates of 32 individuals and media organisations — all of them American or British’’. The story quoted two Zimbabwean journalists expressing outrage at this development.
One of the journalists Ntungamili Nkomo quipped: “It beggars belief that the @mdczimbabwe wing of PM @MRTsvangirai is not following a single Zimbabwean on Twitter. Only white journalists.” With another journalist, Nqaba Matshazi, responding to Nkomo as follows: “Something sinister @mdczimbabwe does not follow any black person, just white foreign journalists.
“The MDC-T should feel ashamed of itself. Choosing to exclusively follow white Western journalists and their news organisations ahead of the Zimbabwean electorate, local journalists and homegrown institutions is inexcusable. No racial prejudice on my part, but failing to befriend a single Zimbabwean when you are a Zimbabwean political party is truly bizarre. I would love to hear how the MDC-T explains itself. But whatever the case, the omission is an insult to Zimbabweans.”
What more can I say? Save to say to these my fellow colleagues, welcome to the world of the MDC-T! Some of us have been privy to the party’s political ugliness since its launch on September 11, 1999.
Nkomo and Matshazi have just had their Damascene moment but British establishment journalists like Peta Thorncroft saw those warts way back in 2007 but have always glossed over them for selfish reasons.
In an interview she had with one Violet Gonda of the pirate radio station SW Radio Africa on November 13, 2007, Peta Thorncroft gave a precise analysis of why the MDC didn’t have the support Zanu-PF had, from its open linkage to the West, how its leaders campaign in Western capitals and not among Zimbabweans, how its pro-West stance had alienated it from the ordinary Zimbabwean in particular, and African in general.
Here goes, straight off Peta Thorncroft’s British-born lips: ‘‘When the MDC started in 2000, what a pity that they were addressing people in Sandton mostly white people in Sandton north of Johannesburg instead of being in Dar es Salaam or Ghana or Abuja. They failed to make contact with Africa for so long, they were in London, we’ve just seen it again, Morgan Tsvangirai’s just been in America. Why isn’t he in Cairo? Maybe he needs financial support and he can’t get it outside of America or the UK and the same would go for Mutambara. They have not done enough in Africa . . .”
And this: “Where are they (MDC) in Mashonaland West, Central, the three Mashonaland provinces? And I go on and on about this and I was there just a few weeks ago, driving there with a very good cover and nobody knew I was a journalist and I was able to speak to people and they were very open and chatty with me. I mean the MDC just hasn’t tried to go into most of those places. And will they ever or are they going to just remain an urban party you know an urban party in Harare, some in Manicaland . . .”
In short she accounted for why all the MDC’s attempts at mass actions and mass stayaways flopped over the years, and by extension why Zanu-PF survived the western onslaught. And in in response to a question on whether the MDC was the party people thought it was, Peta Thorncroft had this to say: ‘‘I wonder if we ever knew what it (the MDC) was? We just accepted it, didn’t we? I wasn’t there in 2000, I went to one of its rallies in 2000 and I came in July 2001 and I think I just accepted that the MDC had been cheated at the elections and that this was a party that had the majority support in the country. It was only long afterwards that I discovered that in fact of course Zanu-PF had enormous support in certain rural parts of the country.
‘‘I first saw that demonstrated to me in the March elections of 2005, I was actually astonished by that and it is in my copy. I then saw it again demonstrated in the Budiriro by-election when 4 000 people continued to vote for Zanu-PF and it was quite a peaceful by election.
‘‘They were just as short of fuel, water and electricity as all the other people in Budiriro. And I think that I realised that I hadn’t taken into consideration that Zanu-PF was an old established party which, despite its appalling lack of democracy and its top-down style of doing business, because of the liberation struggle and the propaganda it’s been able to feed everyone it does genuinely have support.
‘‘And that the MDC as the farm workers disappeared and as the farmers disappeared a great chunk of its support went with it. I think that was important and I think that we didn’t see it and we didn’t sort of realise it at the time, I didn’t realise it at the time . . .” Peta Thorncroft said.
There you have it, dear reader, straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. When you look at its track record, alliances and positions on all things Zimbabwean, its easy to see that the MDC-T has no real connection with Zimbabwe in particular or Africa in general. And all this has to do with its parentage. It was conceived in the West yes, but it has had numerous opportunities to sever that umbilical cord but didn’t. The party is like a baby that insisted on taking the placenta into the world. And the stench from that rotten appendage will always make it an untouchable to the discerning.
Be that as it may, where is Zanu-PF on Facebook, Twitter? Eh VaGumbo navaShamhu? This is the techno-age.