Over the past year, we have seen a sustained and determined effort by the people’s oppressors to undermine and destroy the movement.
This is because the oppressor despises a strong alternative. The oppressor prefers the outdated politics of the one-party State. The oppressor has used surrogates masquerading as opposition to impersonate us, usurp the people’s assets and to expel people’s lawfully-elected political representatives from elected bodies.
They have even diverted public funds that we rightfully earned based on our performance in the 2018 elections. This money is dished out to their preferred opposition. The idea is to suffocate us politically and financially and drive us into extinction.
But they are suffering a fundamental delusion. They mistake buildings for institutions. They confuse money for votes.
They erringly believe that a name and an idea are the same thing. They focus on materials, not ideas. They do not realise that the idea that holds us together transcends buildings, titles, labels, entitlements, emoluments or money.
The painful reality, which they discover each time they stamp their hard boot upon us is that the movement that was established in 1999 is etched in the hearts and minds of the citizens. It does not die because a judicial officer has made a controversial pronouncement.
It is not erased from the hearts and minds of citizens because a partisan officer of Parliament has made an unfair decision to expel a duly elected MP.
It does not become redundant because a corrupted or partisan minister has decided to divert resources to their favoured ones. It does not wither because some excitable “willing tools” of the ruling party are wearing stolen robes.
It is a way of life that cannot be changed on the whim of a politician whose primary mission is to expunge a genuine opposition from the political landscape, replacing it with a government “created opposition.”
We are not the first in post-independent Zimbabwe. Indeed, we are not the first political party to have suffered an onslaught designed to cause extinction.
There was ZAPU led by the iconic Joshua Nkomo before us. Veteran nationalist Edgar Tekere formed the ZUM which challenged the attempt to establish a one-party State. Former Chief Justice Enoch Dumbutshena and his colleagues tried their hand at politics with the Forum party in the 1990s.
These parties were terrorised and ultimately swallowed or pummelled into submission by ZANU-PF. We have stayed the course although much has been thrown at us. It is a mark of our resilience and collective belief that we have remained afloat. But we have not only survived.
We continue to challenge repression. The reason why the regime and its enablers continue their onslaught long after everything they have done to date, is a mark of recognition of the political force that we are. Each time they knock us down using underhand blows, we rise and stand strong.
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