A new party name, a tradition of indiscriminate violence

the herald

Matching Noble Runyanga

On May 2, CCC official Job Sikhala shouted on his Twitter account claiming that police and some Zanu PF members allegedly violently disrupted the opposition party’s door-to-door campaign in

Ward 7 of Chitungwiza ahead of the by-election in the same ward to replace Lovemore Maiko, who was recalled by MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora in early March.

Sikhala claimed that “Police came ripped (sic) with crystal meth (Mutoriro) – Zanu PF drunk and attacked us while we were engaged in a peaceful door-to-door campaign for our candidate for the presidential by-election. Ward Council 7, Lovemore Maiko.

They attacked us with truncheons, rubber bullets, logs, stones and axes. Those familiar with Sikhala both on Twitter and in real life know the politician for his excessive drama and political attention-seeking behavior.

They were therefore not surprised by his alarmist and hyperbolic tweet. Nor were they surprised that any legislator supposed to be actively using the parliamentary platform to fight drug addiction didn’t know something as basic as the fact that crystal meth isn’t consumed by drinking, but smoking.

Fierce faction battles on display

Those familiar with what happened on the ground said that a group of CCC youths led by the party’s acting deputy spokesperson, Gift Siziba, arrived from Harare and attempted to join the Chitungwiza group in the door-to-door campaign, but Sikhala, who sees himself as the patron of the opposition party in Chitungwiza, would have none of that.

This resulted in intra-party fights. Even videos of the event that made the rounds on social media showed no Zanu PF members participating in the political melee.

Sikhala dragged the name Zanu PF just to smear it and distract the world from the simmering conflict in his “new” party.

The whole world knows that Siziba is an ally of Chamisa and Sikhala, who is one of the kingpins of the Tendai Biti faction of the party, felt that his faction territory had been invaded.

Zanu PF knows and has demonstrated over the years that political power at any level is won by the electorate.

The ruling party therefore does not have to physically fight the opposition for a seat of local power. He fights by meeting the needs of the electorate such as passable roads and access to drinking water. Like wine, it has matured in politics over the nearly 60 years it has existed.

Vanguard still active

The MDC in its various factions and formations has always been known for its violence. Violence has always been part of the DNA of the opposition group.

Even the late former MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai endorsed, espoused and used violence to fight ZANU PF, the government and internal adversaries.

The world still vividly remembers Tsvangirai’s shocking threat on September 30, 2000: “What we want to say today (to the late former president, Robert) Mugabe is to go in peace. If you don’t want to go, we will violently expel you.

When then-MDC-T General Secretary Tendai Biti and then-MDC-T Deputy General Treasurer Elton Mangoma lobbied for the renewal of the MDC-T leadership in 2014 at the Following the party’s debilitating defeat to Zanu PF in the 2013 harmonized general elections, Tsvangirai sought to silence them by using the party’s violent youth known as the Order of the Vanguard (Vanguard). guard).

On February 15, 2014, shortly after Tsvangirai had completed a day-long meeting with the 210 MDC-T district chairmen, Mangoma was assaulted by about 20 Vanguard members outside Harvest House, under the gaze of the party leader.

Tsvangirai did not even attempt to restrain the violent youths.

Promise Mkwananzi, then Secretary General of the MDC-T Youth Assembly, and Biti escaped by kicking and slapping.

Mangoma’s shirt was torn in the process.

Tsvangirai tolerated no dissenting voices and stood ready to resort to violence to deal with them.

When Tsvangirai’s deputy, Dr Thokozani Khupe, refused to back his idea of ​​a coalition of opposition political parties as a strategy to improve their chances of defeating Zanu PF in the 2018 elections, the former sent members of Vanguard and attacked her at her base in Bulawayo in August 2017.

Who would forget how, when Nelson Chamisa took control of the party with force

Tsvangirai and used the same Vanguard to prevent Dr. Khupe from claiming leadership of the party as she was Tsvangirai’s rightful heir since she was elected at the party congress in October 2014?

In March 2007, Tsvangirai, then Speaker of the National Constitutional Assembly (ANC), Professor Madhuku and others defied a three-month government ban on protests by organizing what they called a prayer rally in Highfield.

The event was stopped by the police and Tsvangirai, Professor Madhuku and others were arrested and detained.

In protest and retaliation for Tsvangirai’s arrest, a shadowy group of youths from his party, oddly named Democratic Resistance Committees (DRC), have unleashed petrol bomb police stations in Harare, Gweru and Mutare , among other cities.

All of this happened with Tsvangirai’s tacit approval.

In February 2018, Dr Khupe and then-Secretary General Douglas Mwonzora were rescued by police from Tsvangirai’s funeral at Tsvangirai’s home in Buhera when members of the Vanguard herded them into a rondavel and were about to set it on fire.

However, they weren’t done with Khupe. Like Tsvangirai before him, in early March 2018, Chamisa dispatched a group of violent youths to attack Dr Khupe in order to drive her out of the provincial party office in Bulawayo.

The incident injured more than 15 and damaged Dr. Khupe’s motor vehicle.

During an address when the MDC Alliance was renamed CCC on January 24, 2022, party leader Nelson Chamisa said the party was scrapping anything related to the MDC Alliance. Most people hoped this included the party’s tradition of violence. In November 2018, Lovemore Chinoputsa, then General Secretary of the MDC Alliance Youth Assembly, was quoted in the November 14, 2018 edition of nehandaradio.com as saying that the party’s violent youth group, the Vanguard “has since been dissolved by order of the national council, the supreme decision-making body of the party between congresses.

While the breakup of the violent group is laudable, it should be noted that the decision was not motivated by morality or an awareness of bad party manners.

The party’s rowdy and excitable youths were implicated by the Motlanthe Commission in the August 1, 2018 incidents for unnecessarily protesting in the streets of Harare against alleged delays in the announcement of the presidential election results by the Election Commission of Zimbabwe (ZEC) at the time the national election management body was still in the process of collating and announcing the results.

The decision to disband the violent group has only saved face for a political party whose members caused the unfortunate incidents of August 1, 2018, which resulted in the sad loss of six lives.

Although Chamisa and her party desperately want the world to believe they are a ‘new’ party, the behavior of their party members shows that nothing has changed in the political formation except its name, slogan and color. official.

The incident of May 2, 2022 in Ward 7 of Chitungwiza demonstrated that although the CCC stridently asserts that the MDC Alliance is dead, the tendency towards violence of the MDC remains very strong among the youth of the party.

Barbarians seeking civilized office

The incident in Chitungwiza on May 2, 2022 showed that the CCC is a barbaric organization that solves problems through violence.

Interestingly, the same barbaric fate seeks state power to govern civilized Zimbabweans.

Fortunately, not all Zimbabweans are stupid. Many have since seen the light.

This is why the opposition has failed to overthrow Zanu PF for the past 22 years and is unlikely ever to do so.

The barbaric fate of the MDC/CCC has overseen the country’s 28 urban local authorities over 32 cities and towns and their record is there for all to see.

Successive councils of the MDC/CCC have succeeded in not managing the country’s cities and reducing them to slums.

Councilors see nothing wrong with piles of uncollected rubbish strewn across residential areas and town centres.

As the harmonized general elections of 2023 approach, the electorate should use their vote to elect candidates and political parties with a clear track record.

Colors may be appealing to the eyes, but the electorate must assess political parties and candidates using their minds. They should separate the barbaric political parties and candidates from the civilized ones.

Joseph K. Bennett