Tsvangirai said Zimbabweans 'should be starved' into supporting him

R.M. Mpetiwa - in Harare

I would like to know, from anyone who can answer me, what is so special about opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change as a political party in Zimbabwe? Perhaps, it is that our old colonial masters in the West support them.

We have had several political parties, the likes of PF-Zapu, Zanu Ndonga, ZUM, Forum, NDU and so on before, and some that are still surviving to date apart from the MDC, especially the Tsvangirai-led faction.

I have never heard anyone from any of these parties calling for sanctions to be imposed on Zimbabwe so as to induce people to vote for the party's leader. I only came across this when the MDC came into being in September 1999. By the way, when it was launched, the MDC was touted as a party for workers, disgruntled white farmers (as they are usually referred to) and university and college students.

I was a student at Harare Polytechnic the same year in the same Division of Business Studies with Nelson Chamisa, and it was us who voted them into power; only to realise the mistake after Tsvangirai called for economic sanctions to be imposed on us.

I still remember very clearly Tsvangirai urging South Africa to cut fuel and electricity supplies to Zimbabwe. South Africa did not heed the call. I can just imagine how much load-sheddings we would be experiencing right now had our friendly neighbour listened to Tsvangirai's retrogressive call.

The next morning, The Herald had a cartoon of Tsvangirai hanging from an electricity pylon connecting South Africa and Zimbabwe, attempting to cut the power lines with a hacksaw blade.

All Tsvangirai wanted was to make us, the voters, along with his own supporters suffer a big deal. So, what kind of a father or leader would want to starve his children or people for the simple reason that he wants his children to acknowledge that he is the father? What if they starve to death before they can be induced to acknowledge, love and support their father?

Tsvangirai always complains about an alleged uneven playing field in the run-up to any election yet he does not want to acknowledge the unfair and uneven social playing field, which has a big impact on the electorate, wrought by the very sanctions he to the West grovelled for.

Those who voted for the MDC on March 29 did so because their stomachs believed his rhetoric about full shelves if he wins. Not surprisingly, right-wing pundits were predicting that if Tsvangirai loses again, the socio-economic situation would worsen.

This is exactly what Tsvangirai told voters and has been telling his supporters over the years. Now some people voted for him not because they like or love him and his leadership, but simply because they are afraid of starving to death.

If Tsvangirai really cared for the people, he would have long called for the removal of the illegal sanctions. Now what is so special about the MDC that out of all other opposition parties, past and present, the MDC is the one that had to call for illegal sanctions to squeeze the people simply because it wanted to be in power and its leader wants to "rule" Zimbabwe?

Anyway, even the Bible, which he claims to follow, says: "Man shall not live by bread alone." In other words, there are other very important factors to be considered besides the bread and butter issues.

* See also, 'Official: Mugabe lose his grip on power', The-Latest, World News section.