Looking Back on 2007
Its nearly the end of the year and perhaps its time to look back on
have achieved this past year and how those achievements are going to
influence events in 2008. Sometimes it is good to look back and see how
we have come, while we are climbing this mountain the stress and effort
blinds us to the fact that we are making progress.
At the March 2006 MDC Congress I was privileged to watch 22 000 people,
per cent of them poor and disadvantaged, arrive to participate in what
turned out to be a milestone event. They came from every corner of the
country and they had paid their own way. The Party had split in two the
previous October and the faction breaking away from the mainstream of
Party had taken most of the liquid and moveable assets. Morgan
and his remaining stalwarts did not even have a bank account. The State
grant to political parties had been hijacked by the other faction and
donors and supporters were withholding their support. No so the people!
After hours of scrutiny, the organisation we had asked to come is as an
independent body for this purpose, accepted 18 500 people as delegates
their Districts and Provinces and we got the Congress under way.
we elected leadership and then we resolved several major initiatives.
1. To launch a programme of no compromise with, and continued
Resistance to Zanu PF rule.
2. To force the date of the next elections back to March 2008 (Zanu PF
proposing to delay them to June 2010), and
3. To force negotiations with Zanu PF on the issue of the conditions
required for Free and Fair elections.
What we now call the 'DRC' or the Democratic Resistance Campaign
launched and became the target of near paranoia by the regime and its
security organs. Its leadership were arrested and detained, many were
and some were even killed and many had false charges laid against them.
Allegations were made that we were planning a coup and that we were
of violence against the State. None of these allegations stood up in
and the majority of our leadership was eventually released from
However some have fled and are now in exile, including Roy Bennett who
elected as Treasurer General at the Congress. Some are still recovering
the beatings they received whilst in custody.
The DRC did however put the MDC back on the map. The Congress started
process - it was a clear demonstration of the popular mandate we
it was the subsequent campaign that reasserted the place of the MDC as
principal in the process of change in Zimbabwe. Media coverage, even
all the constraints on the international media and the complicity of
SABC and local State controlled media, thrust the leadership of the MDC
into the limelight and highlighted the continued delinquency and human
rights violations of the Zanu PF regime.
Then came the decision by President Mbeki to have another go at
the Zimbabwe crisis. With the rise of Jacob Zuma in the ANC, the threat
split in the ANC was receding. The June 2010 agenda of Zanu PF was a
to the World Cup and international pressure on regional leadership to
Mugabe to heel was relentless. The massive assault launched by Zanu PF
its security agents against the MDC just made matters worse. One
was the decision of the SADC leadership to collectively resolve on the
March 2007, to recognise the MDC as a principal player, demand that the
elections be held in March 2008 and that negotiations take place with
MDC to determine what changes would be required to ensure that no one
question the outcome.
In fact the SADC decision was virtually the 'MDC Roadmap' adopted
before at the Congress. It was a massive victory for the MDC. But at
time we warned the South African leadership that they should not
underestimate the duplicity and cunning of the Zanu PF leadership.
Well now, as everyone knows, after a rocky start when Zanu PF refused
to negotiations with the MDC as demanded by SADC, the MDC and Zanu PF
been locked in negotiations for the past six months. Virtually every
demand made by the MDC for free and fair conditions has been agreed in
South African brokered talks. The breadth and extent of the decisions
will astonish people when they are finally made known. This is an
considerable achievement and one we should all be celebrating this
South Africa has come to appreciate what we knew from the start -
Mugabe is a wily devil, right now Zanu PF is disingenuously arguing
the talks have taken so long (entirely their fault), there was no time
to implement the agreements before the March elections! So, they
lets leave things as they are and the government elected in March will
implement the agreement! The audacity of these guys is just
We have said to the facilitators that could we not accept such a
The piecemeal implementation of this deal is just not on - we want
aspects implemented or no deal at all. What the MDC has demanded from
start is the full recognition and implementation f the SADC guidelines
protocols on free and fair elections, nothing less and nothing more.
Zanu PF the implications are clear and they are terrified.
Jacob Zuma is now leader of the ANC and this strengthens the pro change
position of South Africa. It is also clear that Mr. Mugabe has made
progress with his SADC colleagues who are demanding change and reform.
are not going to compromise and no progress is possible without us -
so I am
pretty sure we are about to see real change and an election where at
the views of the majority in Zimbabwe will be allowed to prevail.
Bulawayo, 19th December 2007