Monday, November 14, 2005

Bulawayo; a storied city whose legacy lives on

In 1871 King Lobengula leader of the Ndebele established Bulawayo. Weary from their excruciating escape from the tyranny of Tshaka's kingdom, the Ndebele needed a place to rest. So they established Bulawayo as fortress settlement. Sadly, Bulawayo was never to become the place of rest they needed it to be. It fast became just another deathbed for hundreds of Ndebele only this time it was at the hands of imperial settlers. So the Ndebele named the place after it's own legacy. They called it the place of killing--Bulawayo.

Over a century later, Bulawayo is the site of many a killing. In yet another giant slaying, Bulawayo claimed Morgan Tsvangirai's political carrier, as its latest victim.

"How so," you ask. Tarry a while and I'll explain.

Both factions of the MDC were in Bulawayo pleading their cases to the party's grassroots base over the weekend. Tsvangirai emerged not as the benovelent savior Zimbabweans had begun to look to him as, but as just another victim of that dreadful pandemic that has claimed hindered the continent's prosperity and progress: a dictator, another tyrant in the making.

The MDC senate debacle has really been a battle of the wills; an ego contest between Tsvangirai and the people of his party. Tsvangirai's diction says it all;

"I find it sad that Gibson Sibanda, a close associate of mine for over 20 years, chose to rebel against me. But it is not surprising because we know that his faction was bribed to destabilise the MDC by ZANU PF."
This was Tsvangirai at a rally in the city.

What was he talking about? Trudy Stevenson, a founding member of the MDC explains,

"I was there at the Working People's Convention in February 1999 when we resolved to form a political party to contest power in order to meet the aspirations of the people, who had been badly let down by ZanuPF after independence. We agreed on the core values of our new party at that time, and drew up a constitution to enshrine those values and ensure that the party would always uphold the same values and principles which bound us together at our inception.

So now, 6 years down the road, when we find that at least part of the party is straying from those values and principles, it is not surprising that members start to blow the whistle. In my view this is healthy. This is what democracy is all about. The problem is that those "in the know" have watched the sad shift away from our values and principles over several years, so that this crisis is no surprise at all, whereas for most of our members and the general public, this is like a bolt out of the blue.

Most members and supporters cannot even begin to imagine that Morgan Tsvangirai or any other leader is not the god-like figure they have hero-worshipped for six years or more. "
Tsvangirai had started to build himself a kingdom, an untouchable kingdom just like Robert Mugabe has succeed in doing. And just like Mugabe, he has been trying albeit unsuccesfully to squash any dissent to his views. Fortunately for Zimbabweans, his closest associates saw this and denied him that opportunity.

Said Welshman Ncube a former Tsvangirai confidante turned senate elections backer,

"I think it is becoming clear to many people that Tsvangirai is not fit to lead this country, everybody is left with no doubt whatsoever that Zimbabwe is one country which should not be burdened with this man as its president.

The purported expulsion of those who stand as senators (candidates for the senate) is null and void, that is vintage Tsvangirai, breaking the constitution yet again, breaking the procedures within the MDC."
What they have done--save us from yet another dictator--must be celebrated.

  • << Home