I attended a National Youth Development Trust (NYDT) organized Youth Peace Convention on the 29th and 30th of September at the Zimbabwe Academy of Music, Bulawayo at which the only visible minister of the very toothless and useless organ on ‘National Healing’ spoke. But that’s not what I want to talk about.
On the second day we had representatives from ZAPU, MDC, MDC Tsvangirai and ZANU PF. The ZAPU and MDC guys were eloquent, but I have forgotten what they talked about; which means it was useless. The MDC Tsvangirai guy made a total fool of himself: He kept saying ‘the smaller MDC’ and referred to ZANU PF as the opposition party; implying that his party was the ruling party. Really? We must be the only country in the world where the ‘ruling party’ does not actually rule. I sat there getting very confused; if MDC Tsvangirai is the ruling party, why don’t they control the army and the police and everything else actually. He rudely dismissed the MDC and ZAPU and said their agenda as a party was ZANU PF, not the insignificant small parties. And I thought their agenda like all of us was Zimbabwe!
When it was the turn of the ZANU PF guy, Fundisani Dewa (youth secretary for economic affairs) to speak, he spoke eloquently about how he had spend the last two weeks in a ZANU PF prison. I happen to have remembered this guy’s name because I have known him for years and I didn’t know he was ZANU PF: But I should have suspected that his success was not hard-earned. I guess by mentioning that he was in prison, he was angling for our sympathy. He conveniently forgot that his arrest was totally different to the arrest we always cry about. Him and other youths have been taking over buildings in Bulawayo and that’s surely illegal and he deserved to be arrested. I guess he is bitter because ZANU PF does not arrest its own over something as ‘commendable’ as taking over white men’s property: Fundisani and others must be victims of the infighting that has rocked ZANU PF of late.
The question that we were left asking was that if ZANU PF can do that to its own, what’s in store for those who belong to the opposition parties. When the question of Gukurahundi was raised, he said we should let bygones be bygones. He hastened to add that he had been born in Khami prison during Gukurahundi and that he didn’t know his father. I guess his reasoning for being part of ZANU PF is that it can make him rich. Does it make sense? I am a victim of Gukurahundi myself and what I would want is Affirmative Action; we need to catch up to our Shona brothers who have had an undisturbed path to success. Fundisani is taking his Affirmative Action now and who are we to judge him.
I left the convention wondering if the people knew what their parties were all about and felt it was of urgent necessity to organize meetings between parties and the people. Not rallies, but meetings were people can engage their ‘leaders’ and bring them to account.