By Elijah Chihota

When the then MDC failed to defeat Zanu PF at the polls in 2000, they hatched a plan to ask for imposition of sanctions on the country in a bid to force the revolutionary party into surrendering power.

This resulted in MDC members including Professor Welshman Ncube and Tendai Biti gathering in the Eastern Highlands, in Nyanga to be precise and coined the draft document that culminated into the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZIDERA) which was later passed in the United States of America (USA).

Following the transfer of power in Zimbabwe on 24 November 2017, which saw His Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa being sworn in as the country’s leader, the MDC-T and its likeminded parties thought the incumbent was going to appoint them into the new Cabinet, hence their attendance of the inauguration ceremony enmasse. When the new Cabinet was announced on 30 November 2017, they found themselves out in the cold.

The country then  woke up to a surprise when they heard that MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai had dispatched his colleagues in the MDC Alliance, Biti and MDC-T co-Vice President, Nelson Chamisa to meet United States (US) President, Donald Trump’s administration. The young and overzealous Chamisa, as usual, was signposting people on social media on their whereabouts feeling pompous like a peacock.

Their sellout true colours came out on Tuesday 12 December 2017 when Biti addressed or rather gave a testimony before the US Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy. Biti unashamedly pleaded for American intervention stating their call for “Implementation of genuine electoral reforms to ensure that the election in July-August 2018 is free, fair, credible and legitimate. Those electoral reforms, including: the preparation of a brand new biometric voters’ roll to which all political parties sign onto; agreement on an independent electoral management body; the introduction of a diaspora vote; international observation and poll monitors; defined role of the UN and its agencies; full access to media; and a safe environment for campaigning and voting free from intimidation”.

Despite being a learned fellow, Biti has displayed a level of shallowness by calling for a fresh Biometric Voters Registration (BVR) yet the process which started in September 2017 had not yet come to an end. To this end, the exercise has registered 4 727 376 voters as of 19 December 2017 with ZEC having extended the voter registration period to February 2018.

Baffled by the above thinking, the majority of Zimbabweans are questioning why the MDC Alliance did not first engage President Mnangagwa before embarking on their so called diplomatic offensive. The public cited that the dust had not yet settled for the new administration to be accused of failing to deliver.

Social media socialite, Kerina Mujati, was shocked by Biti’s sentiments and commented that “sanctions don’t hurt rich politicians like Biti, they hurt the poor who elected kaput politicians. Why Biti not wish the poor good?”

Outspoken Norton Independent legislator, Temba Mliswa‏ tweeted that “MDC have kissed the 2018 election goodbye. Instead of asking for sanctions, they should be asking for help to accelerate the economic recovery. They do not have anything to offer, no wonder why youths are running away to rejoin Zanu PF!”

Meanwhile, MDC-T National Spokesperson, Obert Gutu‏ was surprised by what Biti said during the US trip and could not help the situation and decided to differ. He tweeted, “All forms of sanctions against Zimbabwe should be immediately removed.”

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Lieutenant General (Rtd), Sibusiso Moyo had no kind words for the MDC Alliance trip of shame. He had this to say, “Zimbabwe’s new Government has been in office for shorter than two weeks. It is staggering that the gentlemen should have expected the deeds of 37 years to be corrected and livelihoods improved in that short time. As if that myopia is not enough, the trio and others requested their American hosts for more of the same policies which have inflicted so much suffering on our people. How could any serious putative future leader of our country ask that ZIDERA remains in place?”

Traditional leaders were equally pissed off and Chief Musarurwa lamented, “If they had any grievances, they should have engaged the new administration and not go to a foreign land. Of what help is that to the cause of the people? Who are they purporting to be representing”.

Judging by the general utterances of the public, the MDC Alliance has failed the electoral acid test, therefore, the 2018 elections will be a tough road for them as their treachery is their major undoing. They showed that they do not have the nation at heart.  

 Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation.