Zimbabwe Review

Reflections on Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe needs far more than political change

Posted by CM on November 11, 2007

The more bitter the disagreements there are between the ruling ZANU-PF and the two factions of the MDC, the more they all begin to look the same.

Within the parties and between them, there increasingly seems little difference in the way they operate. The main dividing line between them seems less to do with the best ways of running our country for success in the 21st century, than with who wields power and how its spoils are shared.

The acrimonious infighting within the Tsvangirai faction of the MDC over the last few weeks is a timely reminder that the change we seek goes far beyond the kind of change that can be brought about by elections.

Listening to the counter-charges flying between the two MDC factions, and more recently, between personalities within the Tsvangirai MDC group, it is hard to tell the good guys from the bad, or even if there are any good guys at all. The strongest impression one remains with is not of the details of whatever it is exactly they are fighting about, but the  shameless messiness of it all.

As Kenya has found it in recent years, it is possible to finally electorally oust a long-entrenched, corrupt and much despise government, but have politics continue in a “business as usual” way under the supposed reformers. The Kenyans are much further along on that learning curve than we are, but the MDC factionalism is useful to alert us to how genuine change to a working version of democracy will be a long process.

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