Absolute Nonsense

Yesterday the local rag, the Chronicle, State owned and CIO managed, published a banner headline "Sibanda stages Coup in MDC". This is interesting because it follows a large article in the same group of newspapers covering Welshman Ncube. Both the fact that these State controlled papers publish such articles and their content is informative. They are having a field day over the so-called MDC split.

In the article and in other interviews, Gibson Sibanda is arguing that he has the support of the people and commands the support of a majority of Members of Parliament of the MDC. Quite frankly that is twaddle. Much is made by the Ncube group about the split decision on October the 12th in the MDC National Council. Since then the Council has met 3 times. On each occasion a two-thirds majority of the Council has voted unanimously to support the position of the President, Morgan Tsvangirai and to plan the way forward for the MDC. The situation in the National Executive has been the same - it has also met three times since the debacle on the 12th October and on each occasion the Executive has had a quorum and has also voted unanimously.

The Senate elections revealed in stark electoral terms that the MDC did not want to participate in what the great majority regarded as a total waste of time and resources. The people want change - real, fundamental change, and they know that this is never going to come out of the current electoral process, Parliament or any Senate election.

If the Ncube faction can only marshal a 2 per cent turn out in their stronghold - Bulawayo, in an election in which they spent Z$20 billion dollars, then they must understand they have missed the boat somewhere. They must stop this charade and decide if they are in politics or out of it. If they are in, then please go ahead and form a new Party with its own name and let the mainstream of the MDC get on with its own agenda. They have tried the legal route and got a pasting from even a Zanu PF bench. They lost the Court Case with costs and this should tell them something. The leadership of the MDC has been very careful since October, to ensure that its meetings are properly convened, attended by properly accredited individuals and conducted in the manner laid down in the Constitution. There can be no doubt as to who is in control of the Party, its branches, ward committees and provincial executives. After the Party Congress in March, we will then finish the task of cleaning up our structures and resume normal political activity.

In business we often allude to the "80:20" principle - 80 per cent of sales from 20 per cent of customers and so on. In Politics I think we should also judge our activity by the same criteria - do we spend 80 per cent of our energy, resources and time on the goals we set ourselves? That goal, set by the Congress in late 1999 was very simple - to take power and bring real change in the way this country is governed. The answer to the question is frankly no - we have been spending 20 per cent on this goal recently and wasting 80 per cent on this nonsense. It must stop, we have a job to do and if we do not get on with it, the people we are responsible to will hold us accountable.

At the last meeting of Council one member said "lets stop talking about how to react to what the Ncube faction are doing, lets get on with the task that lies ahead of us." I think that made a lot of sense and we are now doing just that. As far as the MDC is concerned, this spat is over, people have to decide where they stand and we are getting on with the business of securing change for a desperate and dying Zimbabwe.

Eddie Cross
Bulawayo, 11th January 2006