Wednesday, 11 October 2017


By Eddie Cross
When we started the Movement for Democratic Change in 1999, it was in great hope that we would sweep the board and take power in a matter of a few years. We nearly did, beating the sitting Government in the referendum in 2000 and then nearly unseating them in the elections. The man who made it all possible was the Secretary General of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, Morgan Tsvangirai. Dynamic and charismatic he caught the imagination of the people of this country in a way that we had not seen since the era of Joshua Nkomo and Ndabaningi Sithole. As we followed him into battle he earned our respect and loyalty.

I am certain he won the 2002 Presidential election – beating the incumbent, Robert Mugabe by a wide margin but the regime simply falsified the results and stopped the voting after two days when it was clear he was heading for a landslide. Three years later, in another heavily manipulated election MDC was beaten soundly and found itself facing a regime with a clear two thirds majority. Then came the near total collapse of the economy and South Africa stepped into the ring and facilitated a reasonable election – MDC won most seats and Morgan won the Presidency gaining 54 per cent of the vote – Mugabe 27 per cent.

Again, he was denied the Presidency by the security services who simply falsified the results and this led to a Government of National Unity in 2009. Then 2013 when, MDC was undermined by the failure of Regional States to keep their side of the 2008/9 bargain, Zanu PF were again able to crush the Party and retake a two thirds majority. Once again, the country slid into an economic and political crisis which now threatens the stability of the State and the welfare of all its citizens.

During all this, Morgan Tsvangirai stuck to his principles, refusing to allow violence or retribution, when abandoned by his closest colleagues he carried on, he has suffered constant propaganda attacks and worse. His wife, the light of his life, was killed in what many of us believe was a hit in the form of a staged accident caused by a State controlled truck driven by an army officer. Without financial support he has often gone without and has been unable to pay his essential staff who have simply gone on working without pay.

Now, just as we expect a wave of support for our 2018 Chakachia programme, he is suffering from an aggressive form of colon cancer. He has been struggling with his treatment and the family is concerned that he might not handle the election and subsequently the responsibility of being President of a country in a deep crisis. After a life time of principled struggle, to have it all threatened by a disease in your body. Life can be a bastard at times.

And if you think that is a tough situation – just think about Emmerson Mnangagwa who in the past two weeks has just recovered from being poisoned at a Zanu PF Rally, been lambasted publicly on several occasions by the so called “First Lady” and now humiliated in public by the President – someone whom he has loyally supported all his life.

So often in the past 50 years, Emmerson Mnangagwa has taken the heat for Mr. Mugabe, it was the Vice President as Chairman of the Joint Operations Command who gave Zanu PF their two thirds majority in 2013 and returned Mr. Mugabe to State House for another 5-year term. An effective, even brilliant organizer he has held the State captive for Zanu PF. One of the very few Zanu PF Ministers whose hands are relatively clean of corruption he has survived in the Shark Tank – but now is under sustained and coordinated attack.

Many will argue that those who live by the sword will die in the same way, but still it’s a tough call for a man whose whole life has been dedicated to his Party and the State President, even though he knows full well, that the President, more than any other person, is at the very center of our problems and must go or the country runs the risk of either armed conflict, a coup or simply becoming a failed State.

And if you think that these two gentlemen have been given a tough ride by life, just think about the rest of us. We have had our entire life savings wiped out and it looks like it’s happening again, we have suffered under a Military Junta of sorts and the ravages of life under a totally corrupt regime for 37 years and it shows no signs of going unless forced. Where does that leave us – just depending on God for our survival and for some sense that the struggle is worth it and that we must carry on. via eddiecross website

My own experience is that despite all that life throws at us, if we have the right attitude and real faith in God, we will discover the wonderful truth that the rest does not matter and that God does not owe us a dime. In the end we are “more than conquerors”.


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