There is now little doubt that the present regime in Zimbabwe is
very anxious about the swelling tide of opposition and criticism that
facing. They have put the army on full alert, cancelled leave, they are
mobilizing their street gangs and thugs in the form of the youth
are rumored to be printing thousands of T shirts in the MDC colors in
effort to discredit the mass action that is now threatened by the MDC
As a taste of things to come the township of Budiriro in Harare where a
Election is programmed has already become a battleground. The CIO is in
there in strength (there are some 17 000 people working for the CIO in
Zimbabwe) and clashes between the restive and angry community and these
military security operatives are becoming more frequent.
Then there is the tirade of abuse by Zanu PF leaders and Ministers
at the MDC - not the break away faction which strangely attracts little
attention, but towards the MDC and its recently elected leadership. We
reports that they are finding it difficult to rebuild the contacts they
in the MDC when the breakaway took place last year. This seems to be
supported by some of the regimes actions, which show a lack of real
knowledge of what is really going on.
We had Mr. Mugabe threatening the leadership of the MDC with death if
dared to appose Zanu PF on the streets. Then came statements from
Chinamasa to the effect that 'what the MDC is planning is illegal,
to an unconstitutional threat to a democratically elected
They have even gone so far as to say that the MDC is planning a coup
the legitimate government of Zimbabwe.
Now aside from the fact that the present regime is neither
elected nor legitimate it maintains its grip on power with the use of
military force and organisation. There is a lot of evidence that since
2002 statement by the armed forces that they would not accept an MDC
as State President under any circumstances - in effect a military coup
its self, that we are in fact living no longer in a democratic state
under a form of a military junta. It astonishes how little real
authority is exercised by either the Cabinet or Parliament. The
focus of power seems to lie in a shadowy Security Council that seldom
the light of day.
But it must be made clear to all who have an interest in our affairs,
what the MDC and civil society in general want as an outcome from the
present campaign (because that is what we are now engaged in) is quite
simple. We want: -
1. The convening, with immediate effect, of an all stakeholders'
to thrash out, on a consensual basis, the way out of the mess we are in
form of a new constitution and a negotiated transition to democratic
elections under international and regional supervision.
2. We are demanding that during the transition, the government restores
rule of law, freedom of the press and freedom of association. We are
demanding that food be brought into free supply and be completely
depoliticised. We are demanding that the State controlled media be
under the control of an independent media commission and be forced to
operate professionally and impartially.
3. We are demanding that every Zimbabwean citizen and permanent
allowed to vote on the basis of a satisfactory identity document in a
national election for both Parliament and the Presidency. That these
elections be administered by a truly independent authority set up for
purpose and that the regional and the international community be
without restrictions of any kind, to observe the process.
4. Then finally, we are demanding that the administration that emerges
this process, be declared the legitimate government of Zimbabwe and
that this government then takes power to administer the country and to
control and direct the activities of all the security arms of the
I am no lawyer, but that does not look like an illegal operation to me.
does it amount to a coup in the traditional African sense of the word.
certainly would be a coup if the MDC could achieve such a transition
real democratic and legal values, but by no stretch of imagination
be termed 'an illegal and unconstitutional attempt to overthrow by
means the government of Zimbabwe'.
Therefore why the paranoia? The paranoia about what the MDC is
due to the simple fact the regime knows that if such a programme was to
followed, Zanu PF would be ousted from power as surely as the sun rose
over Zimbabwe. This would mean that the misdemeanors of the present
would be disclosed, the real story of what has gone on behind closed
would become public knowledge and the Courts would be available to
whose interests have been damaged during 25 years of bad and corrupt
The gravy train would be derailed and the massive transfers of wealth
the majority to a tiny political elite would be stopped and even
This is the real reason why the present regime is crying foul. It's got
nothing to do with the alleged illegality of the MDC proposals, nothing
do with a 'planned coup'. In any event, all the arms and armed capacity
the country is in the hands of the national army and the police as well
the Para military forces. The MDC has no such capacity, has never
such capacity and has no intention, under any circumstances, of
that route. The only men of violence here are in Zanu PF and its
We have tried the democracy route, it has been blocked off by this
administration and that leaves us with no other choice but the street
the power of ordinary people seeking redress and their universal
Despite what people might be thinking - MDC has never committed itself
such a programme since it was born in 1999. This is the first time we
backed direct action to force change. We have no alternative - the
community refuses to take action and we simply cannot go on accepting
destruction of our country and the rape of its assets.
Bulawayo, 7th April 2006