Dreaming of Nepal: A Criticism Zimbabwe’s Democratization Mechanism (Part 1)

As I sit here looking at my computer screen I’m dreaming of Nepal. I so badly want the reality they are experiencing to be mine . I want to be able cower my despot into democracy too!

Right on cue, Paramendra Bhagat a native of Nepal pointed me to his blog where he has discussed the “Democracy Spreading Mechanism.” You can see where this leading right? This got me thinking; just how well are we doing according to the 21st century democracy revolution standards set by our Nepali brotherhood?

This post is the first in an eight part series where I’m going to present a criticism of Zimbabwe”s democracy movement according to the principles set out by Paramendra in the aforementioned post. If you haven’t already done so, you’ll need to read the post. Paramendra arranges key components of the democratization mechanism into three categories; domestic, diaspora, and international community. Since this is a “A Criticism Zimbabwe’s Democratization Mechanisms,” this series will evaluate Zimbabwe by points in the first two categories only. Besides, we all know how “well” the internation community is doing at keeping up their end of the bargain–no need to beat down the dead donkey we call that muchekadzafa–cutting the dead.

The first value is,

“Organize one or more political parties locally. Keep its components open as well as clandestine to maximize the safety of the members.”

Our grade: “C” at best. While the MDC is the main the opposition party and they’ve gotten off to an amazing start, they’ve failed dismally at becoming the galvanizing agent of the opposition movement. For starters, the world is no stranger to the MDC Senate Debacle which has resulted in a discombulating existence of two MDC’s in Zimbabwe. Zimbabweans had a hard enough time determining if Tsvangirai alone was the real McCoy, now they have to decipher between him and Mutambara, give me a break.

But the senate debacle is only a recent wrinkle on the MDC’s rap sheet. Their biggest shortcoming is an astounding inability to connect to and articulate the lay man’s perspective in their struggle for relevance on the Zimbabwe’s political agenda. I along with many others called them out on this a long time ago. Read this;

Somehow, after the MDC debuted as a political party, Tsvangirai’s leadership began to distance itself from the realities and hardships faced by the proletariat. Change became his party’s clarion call. As early as the run up to the 2002 presidential elections, MDC began to emphasize the need for regime change louder than they articulated wishes of the masses.

As long as ordinary Zimbabweans don’t hear the MDC championing their cause, for food security, employment and sustained economic growth, MDC can rest assured all the sympathies for them will come from a small minority. And that spells doom for them unless they change the mainstay of their platform and it’s not too late to do that yet.

The MDC has failed to become a “local” party. To my grandma in rural Chivi, my friend James in rural Mt. Darwin, and all other Zimbabweans outside the nation’s elite urban experience MDC is just struggling for relevance over “there”; in the excecutive and legislative branches of government, in short, in Harare and no further. To become “locally relevant” MDC must adapt their mandate so that it derives its impetus and fulfillment beyond the esoteric confines of the nations established political framerwork. MDC must become a people’s party, they must bring politics and power to the people. Zimbabweans from Chisumbanje to Binga should resonate with what the MDC is saying. All Zimbabweans must be invited to the struggle for legitimate leadership. That’s what democracy is about.

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