Can anyone make sense of the utterings from Arthur Mutambara’s two forked tongue? I mean the guy has been on a two week offensive in Europe, but I’m not sure I can distinguish what his platform is. If you followed last week’s London fiasco and listened to his remarks you hear a lot of rhetorical questions:
“What is your plan? What is your plan for taking power? Unoitei kanawapinda? (What are you going to do when you assume power?)
What we didin’t get from the acclaimed academic are his answers to those question. This boggling trend of his continued in his two part interview with SW Radio’s Violet Gonda
“Does Mutambara, – does the MDC that I represent – have a vision? Do they have a strategy from the crisis to the promised land. We should concentrate on the substance of the change that we want to bring about in our country. Sometimes we get caught up in the form of change. We want change, Mugabe must go, ZANU PF must go – but what are you going to do when you get into power? What’s your capacity as a party? What’s your vision for the country? What’s your strategy? What is it that makes you relevant to Zimbabwe, also, what are your principles and values? Do you believe in non violence, are you tolerant, do you believe in democracy, do you believe in collective decision making processes. Are you a democrat? Not only do you believe in these things, but do you walk the talk?”
While good at posing them, Mutambara offers no answers to these questions for himself. So I wonder, does he have a plan? If so when will he present it and will he be able to execute it?
If he has a plan are we supposed to pick it up from conflicting sentiments? On the one hand he claims he is more opposed to Mugabe than the Tsvangirai camp, yet on the other hand he claims he will work them towards toppling Mugabe. In one breathe he’ll refute claims that Tsvangirai’s congress was attended by 15,000 people (he calls it a rally claiming congresses can only be attended by 5,000 delegates), but in the next claim he was elected by 15,000 at the Bulawayo congress of his party. One moment he speaks about being committed to non-violence but the next he boldly claims he is for jambanja (slang for violence). He speaks out against Tsvangirai’s involvement in this weekend’s election in Budiriro yet his group is fielding a candidate in same election. And wasn’t his faction that forced the MDC to contest in 2005 senate elections?
So what alternative is he for the people of Zimbabwe if he espouses the principles and values from both sides of Zimbabwe’s political divide? What new message does he bring to the agenda that hasn’t already been said? What breaking of barriers to political involvement in Zimbabwe can he speak to from London while Tsvangirai is visiting lay people in Budiriro? If defeat is not his agenda as his motto boisterously claims, what is Mutambara doing to guarantee his party’s succes if he can’t campaign for their candidate?
And while I applaud him for making concerted efforts to reach out to the diaspora, there’s an election in Budiriro this weekend. His party/faction is contesting in that election. But he’d rather be in Europe addressing the Zimbabweans he wants to work with. This guy isn’t in this thing with Zimbabweans, at least not those of us who live in Budiriro. He’s more interested in the diaspora’s plight and not what the povo has to say about this weekend.
If he really wanted to engender support from all Zimbabweans, London and Europe could have waited till after the election. From this episode it is clear what kind of revolution Mutambara wants for Zimbabwe; he wants a trickle down revolution. A revolution that will be led by a select few and then spread to the crowds.
That’s not a revolution at all, it is exactly what has been going on in Zimbabwean politics for the past 30 years.
So be it then. People will decide their fate in Budiriro this weekend. People will speak out about their predicaments on the highways and by ways of Zimbabwe. If Mutambara is not going to join them there, they still will do it. It’s up to him what revolution he is going to be a part of.