MDC-T under fire over US trip

Felex Share and Farirai Machivenyika
Opposition political parties and ordinary Zimbabweans yesterday castigated MDC-T for lobbying for the maintenance of illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe ahead of the 2018 harmonised elections. The MDC-T this week dispatched its vice president Mr Nelson Chamisa and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president Mr Tendai Biti under the banner Movement for Democratic Change Alliance to engage the US civil society and members of the Donald Trump administration.

The pair was accompanied by Human Rights Watch Southern Africa director Dewa Mavhinga. The delegation, which sources said was seeking funding, ended up calling for the maintenance of sanctions on Zimbabwe. In their recommendations, the MDC-T and the Human Rights Watch delegation urged the US Government not to “prematurely drop sanctions” and “maintain existing US policy towards Zimbabwe.”

The sanctions are credited for causing untold suffering among ordinary Zimbabweans. The overtures by the MDC-T delegation drew brickbats from several opposition political parties and Zimbabweans, who said the MDC-T wanted to remain relevant by betraying the masses.

Surprisingly, opposition parties said, the MDC-T had failed to give dialogue a chance as the new administration led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa promised to engage any willing Zimbabwean.

At a time the MDC-T emissaries were in the US, Washington representative in Harare Ambassador Harry Thomas met Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Major-General Sibusiso Moyo yesterday where they were busy “exchanging views on a constructive way forward.”

MDC-T spokesperson Mr Obert Gutu castigated calls for the maintenance of sanctions, saying they hindered economic development.

“As a patriotic and home-grown political party, the MDC doesn’t call for the imposition of sanctions against the Republic of Zimbabwe,” he said.

“We would like to participate in the socio-economic regeneration of our beloved motherland and as such, sanctions remain an anathema in our political discourse. The Government of Zimbabwe should allow all its citizens to enjoy their fundamental rights and liberties as fully provided for by the Constitution of Zimbabwe.”

MDC-T secretary general Mr Douglas Mwonzora yesterday had a torrid time defending the US trip.

He claimed the trip was meant to set terms for the re-engagement process.

“We wanted to tell the US that they can bring aid to Zimbabwe, but put conditions on that aid that favours the people of Zimbabwe,” he said in an interview on Capitalk FM last night.

“We want to see free and fair elections, an end to violence and intimidation as well as an end to the selective application of the law.”

Asked whether or not they had engaged President Mnangagwa before rushing to the US, he said: “We have not engaged President Mnangagwa, but we have engaged his administration.”

Pressed to precisely name officials the MDC-T had engaged, Mr Mwonzora became evasive.

“We have always engaged with Zanu-PF and African diplomats,” he said. “We have briefs with them.”

Mr Mwonzora said his party had not called for the maintenance of sanctions, shifting the blame on Mr Mavhinga.

“In the delegation was Dewa Mavhinga from the civil society and he does not speak for the MDC-T,” Mr Mwonzora said.

United Kingdom-based law lecturer and former MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai’s advisor Dr Alex Magaisa said if the MDC-T had issues, it should have approached the US Embassy in Harare before hurriedly dispatching emissaries to the Western country.

He said the US Embassy in Harare was “not there for decoration.”

“I think our circumstances suggest that we must be savvy in our strategies,” he wrote on his twitter handle, @Wamagaisa. “It can’’t be business as usual. Engage the new administration and if it’s intransigent then let’s engage region. If that fails too, we go abroad. We can’t start the other way round.”

United People’s Party (UPP) president Reverend Kuratidza Sandati said: “These brothers of us have lost the plot, why rush to the West without giving a chance of dialogue with the new Government on the reforms that they mention?

“For some of us the reason they rushed to the US is to look for funding because we know that most of us in the opposition are broke. The issues they discussed in the US are domestic issues and discussions on them should have started here without involving foreigners.”

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  • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

    No amount of damage control by MDC over the sanctions issue will launder the sellout party. It is clear that ZEDERA was triggered by the land issue not democratic issues in our country. When will our brothers and sisters in MDC learn to support national interests and differ on other issues democratically. MDC must learn to engage their brains positively before their dirty mouths. Povo yaramba zve ma sanctions . Nehanda forbid!

  • eliah

    Puppetry has moved to another Level, Rtd General .
    A paltry 2mln plus people registered to vote and some mature adults decide to go West and campaign to squeeze the little life left out of the citizens, what a shame.There is huge work back home to galvanise people to register to vote and even if the playing field is not even those who would want to fiddle with numbers would have no chance with a huge turn out at the polls , and that is what need focus on not these useless trips.

  • Yowe zvangu

    MDC inotiitereiko vanhuweee…kuda kutsvaga kut ED ashoorwe yet ndivo vave kutozvishooresa..ED has made it clear on the revival of this nation through the removal of masanctions and so on..but vana satan vatove busy kuzvivharisa kut ivo vazovhoterwa vachinzi ndivo vanozvigona..this is the reason why MDC refused to join the cabinet for a coalition gvt kut vanhu vashandire pamwe..izvo kuda kuitira Zimbabwe hutsinye…musadaro imi maMDC imi

  • Yowe zvangu

    zvamaita izvozvo kuitira vana veZimbabwe hutsinye muchifunga kut mokaurisa Garwe kut asahwine nxt ye ndizvo zvichatomuhwinisa…murikukaurisa isusu ruzhinji rweZim not Garwe..ur power hungry iz not gud at all vana chamisa nana biti imi

    • Zimbabweans

      Do not waist your time attacking MDC what ZIMBABWEANS wants is sound polices that brings bread and butter issues on the table.

      • Weston Mugocha

        Which can best be done working together at home not in some foreign lands surrounded by n’anga dzinobata mai.

  • jonso

    MDC must fall. Great Fools. I wonder why some are being divorced. very stupid indeed.

  • jonso

    Government should audit these guys and rot in jail. Judas Iscariots. I am very very angry. I have lost all the trust and respect i had in these great fools. You need a prayer from Mugadza.

  • Chihelele

    Herald made it sure that they emphasise the name MDC-T. It’s rather Mdc alliance and no one should dictate who the opposition meet. When this new regime were strategising to over throw mugabe they clandestinely went to China and who complained about that

  • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

    Yaa ,we expect all across the political divide to rally behind Ngwena`s positive trajectory on our economy. We want our economy to recover so that we can debate our national issues with full stomachs. Naiyewo Chamisa to oppose huchi wawira pachirebvu? Kkkkki. Nehanda forbid.

  • HERBERT RAMUSHU

    Guys maybe its my lack of Education, but listening to Biti talking in the United States i am still shocked because hapana pakumbirwa masanctions apa.
    if you listened to the clip please tell me what i am missing.

    DID THEY ASK FOR SANCTIONS OR THEY ASKED FOR REFORMS

    • Tateguru

      Herald at it again. watch the clip totally different from what is reported here

  • Democracy

    From the story here i have seen fools and fools and then fools what wrong has been committed by the so called MDC alliance. Point number one they were called to present the atmosphere prevailing in the country, they never castigated ED and his leadership they are calling for reforms. We have this guy US who is asking the wife in the house that should i give your husband money so that he can sustain the family but we have the Wife presenting a case, that my husband has many small houses and he is abusive, so that means an addition of the finance to him will not help the family in any way. Even US with its think tanks can never chlorinate evil to give money to an abusive man. Why are you putting MDC Alliance in the corner is it impossible to implement reforms. Don’t be used to oppression

  • Weston Mugocha

    Same with me. I looked at Chamisa as a promising young man for the highest office. Right now I am saying, ba-bye! Never will I consider you Mr Chamisa. I have actually put you where I had Mbiti and Welshman, where Morgan belongs.

  • Jose Mandi

    Kana Garwe akamedza Mugabe ko ka chamisa kamu youth naka biti kane confusion ye kutadza ku perfoma mu bedroom VANGAGO MUDIII << HAPANA ZVAMUNGAMBOMUITA MDC YOU ARE DEAD MEAT

  • Cecil of Mosi-oa-Tunya

    I have an issue with any political party travelling abroad and engaging foreign governments as if they are representing the Zimbabwean government. This is very wrong. Since this causes a lot of consternation to government and ordinary citizens like me, there is need for parliament to enact a law that criminalize this. These opposition parties cannot cause foreign governments to formulate policies punishing government officials for ends to achieve regime change. Whether these people go out there to lobby for the government, it should be outlawed. Only sanctioned trips by government officials should be undertaken. Fortunately there is no law that prohibits this kind of action, these morons will come back and think that they are doing he right things. Shame on them!

  • HM Harare

    varume ava kana vadzoka ngavamboendeswa kunoongororwa pfungwa vanogona kunge vakupenga,vamwe vavo vanoti vakadzidza chaizvo,vamwe ma lawyer but maitiro avo haaratidze kudaro. Kana vaongororwa pfungwa vakaonekwa vari right ngavaendeswe kuchikurubi vambonosakura minda

  • HM Harare

    say it again ,we are in the same boat

  • Chirimuhanzu

    I think the best way to deal with these MDC “whatever” baboons is to prosecute them for making the majority to suffer and violation of the majority rights…. Do they think the majority of Zimbabwe is mad for removing mugabe? Cde Mnangagwa is trying the best ever… Whilst these baboons are fighting against progress. Le them find another strategy of campaigning ey…. They should be put in the same brackets with the chomboz, for violation of human rights.