There has been another incident in the Zimbabwean parliament involving discovery of more government corruption. The Minister of Finance is being summoned to answer questions from a parliamentary group. Many of my comrades on the progressive side of politics are salivating over this latest exposé of the vile maxim of this government, but not me. Here is why:
In a military dictatorship such as the one in Zimbabwe, parliament or parliamentary procedures are what the English call ‘vague and inconsequential prancing about’. In other words, it will lead to nothing. Even if corruption is exposed (something which is not hard to do in Zimbabwe), there is no way of enforcing the law because the law protects the dictatorship. How so? Well, the law enforcers and the judiciary are elements which work entirely work for the junta. So to then jump up and down as if we have made a devout discovery is an old song that’s getting tired. I mean, it’s as clear as day that Zanu are thieves. It’s evident that this government is illegitimate because Mnangagwa came into power via a coup and then rigged the election. The ghastly judiciary validated the coup and the rigged election – it would have been more honest of the judges if they wore Zanu t-shirts instead of the self important 17th century pageantry which they were trying to project during those hearings. Anyway, we know that law enforcement officers kill and torture people on behalf of Zanu. It’s obvious that Zanu ministers and their cronies steal money everyday. As I’m writing this there is a Zanu minister stealing money somewhere and using some of it as bait to plough young women. What I’m saying is this: finding a piece of paper which shows that money has been stolen by this regime is not a monumental discovery. It leads to nothing.
See, this is not a crisis of democracy – it’s a struggle, it’s a war between two sides, one side is led by a few old men who control the military, their cronies and the knuckle draggers who support Zanu and the other side has the hapless Zimbabwean general public. We should desist from celebrating and gushing over things which lead to nothing. It’s a ‘false consciousness’ to invest hope in parliament or any of the prancing about that occurs there. It leads to nothing. It will not lead to a cessation of corruption. It will not lead to the arrest of the criminals. This is why I’m absolutely against the notion of parliament in Zimbabwe while there is this dictatorship in place. By having MDC MPs in parliament, we are essentially contributing towards validating this dictatorship by giving a false impression that Zimbabwe is a democracy when it’s not. Of course, I know our party needs the money from the remunerations awarded to political parties by central government. But we need a much better economic model to avoid this conflict of interest. Another problem with having MPs in this farcical parliament is that it creates divisions within our party whereby our MPs become part of the ruler class and are subsequently disconnected from the general masses. Moreover, when MPs collect their salaries, and enjoy the opportunities for wealth which come with that position, the last thing they will want to do is to take an approach to this war which puts them out of business. They will want to pursue these ‘democratic procedures’, not because they believe in them, but because it’s their business – they make a living out of it.
I think the time has come for the MDC to withdraw all its MPs from parliament and really make this a proper struggle against the regime. This would be the ultimate ‘stay away’ demo. It’s a move that will take off the mask of democracy which has been protecting Zanu pf. It’s a move that would take this struggle exactly where it needs to be and that is in people’s hands, feet, hearts and minds. MPs, for far too long, have been giving people a false hope that keeps us going round in circles in one position, doing daft things like participating in an election that we know is already rigged. Look, I’m not saying we shouldn’t dilate over findings of corruption by this Zanu government. I mean, so long as we have our MPs in there, they might as well ask the government tough questions about what’s happening. All I’m saying is that even if Mthuli is given the third degree in parliament and caves in by admitting that the money was stolen, nothing is going to happen to him or the thief who nicked the money. This is a military junta not a democracy where government is held accountable. If we are having MPs in order to get funding from central government then its time to create a sustainable economic model. I have adumbrated what needs to be done on various platforms where I spoke about the three essential layers which are business capital, intellectual capital and activism. I said and I will keep saying that the party needs to have a 24 hour online radio and TV station (if that’s possible) but definitely a radio station. There also needs to be an aggressive crowd funding effort and the party needs Chamisa to front this because he is the ‘superstar and the big draw in many people’s eyes, no offence to the others. Having raised money, the party would need to invest some of it in profitable businesses (outside Zimbabwe). A weekly newsletter of the parties activities will also need to be published. Last but not least, the party needs to carry out ‘smart’ activism which should include doing things which people can actually point at not just talking and making promises. These things can include building bridges, boreholes, women’s health and education.
Some people have told me that it would be difficult to raise money, but I beg to differ. People will donate and fund an organisation if they like it’s products or service. Churches in Zimbabwe are raising millions every year because people like the ‘service’ and the sense of hope they get from the church leaders, in spite of the fact that a lot of these church leaders are magician spivs in funny costumes who use the Bible as part of their act. For the MDC the product and service would be the online TV + radio, the newsletter, the humanitarian activism and the hope of regime change. All this is achievable. I have been contacted by a few of the MDC big wigs who read my blog and they are in agreement about the need for a sustainable economic model, they are exploring ways of putting this into action, thank goodness.
The views expressed here are my own and not the official position of the MDC in UK and Ireland and the MDC in Zimbabwe.