Saturday, March 31, 2007


I told you from the beginning that in this column there will be no sacred cows. In that regard, this week I would like to talk a little bit of politics.

Like all other Zimbabweans elsewhere in the Diaspora, we, Zim-Canucks have two forms of political representation.

One is, obviously, the government, via the Zimbabwe embassy in Ottawa. Well, I have nothing much to say about Mrs. Chideya and her team except, of course, that they represent President Robert Mugabe and his ruling Zanu PF and we all know what they stand for.

My focus today is on the executive of the Toronto branch of our main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change. These guys’ style of leadership leaves a lot to be desired. They will not tolerate criticism whatsoever, and I should know because I have been vilified many times for calling a spade exactly what it is.

Some members of the leadership asked me to expose some of the things that are done by the executive of the branch and before I tell you some of these “vices” I need to say that I asked the chairman, Mr. Andrew Manyevere, not once, but twice. On both occasions I also told him I was asking in my capacity as a journalist and that I intended to write about it.

His response: “Some of the things you are saying are known only to my executive and the fact that you know them makes me believe you when you say members of my executive told you.

“We have problems, but like in any organization, we have channels to deal with those problems and that is what we are doing.”

Now, here are the problems that members complain about:

The first thing is that MDC-Toronto draws most of its membership from Zimbabweans seeking political asylum. Now, when any of them complain about one thing or another, they are quickly reminded that they can always leave the party but bearing in mind that if they do, they might not have a chance at the refugee board. I know that is very far from the truth.

Then there is the issue of officials who “misplace” or “borrow” party funds for personal use with the complicity of the executive. One wonders whether the MDC code of conduct allows this and if paying members are aware that their contributions are used as “soft” loans for executive members.

There are also squabbles about who should give out statements, when and how. In fact, one executive member said meetings called to discuss strategy to lobby for support in the fight against Zanu PF always end up discussing “mundane administration” issues.

In fact, the current executive was appointed in an interim capacity to prepare for the election of a substantive executive but my sources said some officials are strongly against relinquishing power. Curiously, the ones refusing to leave their posts are those who have either gone for refugee hearings and were denied or are still to appear before the refugee board.

Then there are some who are said to have earmarked themselves (or might have been promised by somebody in Harare) for ministerial posts when MDC takes power “soon” but they know that if new elections are held for the branch, they will be voted out and so they are refusing to let the elections be held.

Now, having said all that, I believe it is a very good thing to have MDC represented in the Diaspora, but the party may want to be certain of the people who lead this representation.

Nuff said. Right now I will just chill and wait for what I know is coming - more vilification from MDC-Toronto.

I wonder what they are going to call me this time around. Want to know too?

Watch this space.


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