MDC Supporters in Wonderland

by Mapozho Saruchera

Some issues do not add up, but some people believe them anyway. Could it be escapism – creating a bubble enabling one to escape from his shortcomings in the real world, or such people strongly believe in the make-belief world?

MDC leader, Nelson Chamisa’s fairytale promises and declarations during the last electioneering period have resulted in his supporters being literally stuck in Wonderland. These people were made to believe that their leader had won the election even before the plebiscite was held. They were, therefore, not well equipped to deal with the defeat that followed. Even after their leader had failed to prove election rigging claims in court, MDC supporters still believe he won!

The resultant effect has been the further polarization of the country along political lines to the extent that some opposition supporters are willing to engage in mass demonstrations to sabotage the country’s economy, so as to prove, yet another of Chamisa’s myths, that he is key to Zimbabwe’s economic turn-around.  

Speaking of the economy let me debunk another myth created by Chamisa – MDC’s defeat in the July election does not have an effect on Zimbabwe’s economy. The only effect the opposition party has on the economy is that it called for the illegal sanctions that were imposed on Zimbabwe by America in 2001.

In December 2017, Chamisa, MDC Deputy National Chairperson, Tendai Biti, and anti-Government activists Dhewa Mavhinga and Peter Godwin appeared before the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations openly calling for continuation of US and Western sanctions on Zimbabwe. They literally directed that they would only advise the respective Western and US Governments on when to remove the sanctions after the holding of harmonized elections, then scheduled for July 30, 2018. This explains why during campaigns for the polls, Chamisa bragged that he held keys for the country’s economic resuscitation and that a ZANU PF victory would lead to economic disaster. Chamisa lost and the sanctions were renewed.

The MDC has never demonstrated against the said sanction. This is despite the fact that ZDERA allows the US to veto any lending to Zimbabwe from multilateral financial institutions, such as the IMF, the World Bank or the African Development Bank. US representatives on these institutions are obliged to vote against any application by Zimbabwe for credit facilities, loan rescheduling and debt cancellations.

The opposition argue that the sanctions are targeted on certain Zanu PF individuals hence have no effect on the generality of Zimbabwean – which of Couse is another lie. A University of Zimbabwe (UZ)-commissioned research revealed that the country lost billions of dollars in revenue, with the manufacturing sector deprived of at least $4,8 billion in 2010 owing to the illegal sanctions. The volume of production declined significantly, while Zimbabwe lost its traditional markets due to the sanctions that have ravaged the country for the past 18 years.

Zimbabweans trying to conduct business with US often get caught up in the sanctions net. US companies are reluctant to deal with Zimbabweans, even those who are not connected to any of those on the sanctions list.

It therefore boggles the mind why some Zimbabweans have opted to support a political party that does not represent their interests at the world stage. The MDC should use the world stage to declare that the land reform is a done deal and the sanctions must be removed.

The long and short of it, however, is that elections came and went and it is now time to unite and resuscitate the country’s economy. President Emmerson Mnangagwa is the legitimate leader of the country having been elected in the July plebiscite and has the mandate to chart the country’s course.

In the event that the opposition does not want to contribute in re-building Zimbabwe under the ruling ZANU PF, they should also not throw spanners in the work of patriotic Zimbabweans who are striving to ensure their country thrive.