Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter
President Mnangagwa yesterday passed good wishes to MDC-ALLIANCE on its 20th anniversary, adding that disagreements between his party and the opposition outfit bore testimony to the existence of democracy in Zimbabwe.
MDC was formed in September 1999 with former Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) secretary-general, the late Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, as founding president.
Writing on his Twitter handle yesterday, President Mnangagwa said; “Congratulations to @mdczimbabwe on your 20th anniversary this week. Though we have our differences, this is what democracy is all about. I look forward to many more years of debate and dialogue. Makorokoto! Amhlophe!
“Wishing all the people of Zimbabwe a blessed Sunday.”
President Mnangagwa’s gesture was well received by many people who felt the Head of State had displayed a great sense of unity and tolerance.
South Africa-based analyst Mr Tendai Toto said the nation must draw lessons from President Mnangagwa for something that was previously unknown in Zimbabwe.
“President Emmerson Mnangagwa turns out as a political realist appreciating that no matter how much the political space is contested, the contestants are first and foremost Zimbabweans with diverse obligations and responsibilities to respective constituencies of Zimbabweans,” he said.
“If such a gesture is not appreciated and reciprocated; it would mean that the President is making unappreciated efforts to bring the nation together to a matured democracy.
“I must state with a louder voice that it will take less effort to unite Zimbabweans if the opposition MDC-Alliance abandons the legitimacy rhetoric.”
Mr Toto added that Zimbabwe should speedily move into a nation building direction and not perpetually remain in election mode simply because someone lost a presidential poll.
He said there are many years ahead that can “still present political opportunities for the losers”.
Bulawayo-based political analyst Mr Michael Mhlanga said the gesture proves that President Mnangagwa, as a political actor, is re-inventing Zimbabwe’s political culture, at the same time fostering political reconciliation.
“His celebration gestures a departure from punitive politics towards the inclusive democratisation of the Zimbabwean body politic.
“It’s political maturity to celebrate the progress of MDC. His celebration of MDC’s bi-decade possibly presents a shift from political tolerance to tolerant politics. This is essential to effective democratic politics. Tolerant politics is the lubricant for the machinery of democratic politics, without it, democracy grinds to a halt.”
MDC-Alliance spokesperson Mr Daniel Molokele could not be reached for comment as he was not picking his mobile.
However, Harare–based lawyer Mr Rogers Matsikidze also said; “Leaders should show tolerance; they should show that above political parties we are all Zimbabweans, brothers and sisters, (and) differences in political opinions and political parties should not create barriers, and hatred.
“Whatever political party, whatever opinion, whatever belief, whatever aspirations we have one Zimbabwe and that is our country which all of us should put first as a priority for the good of every citizen.”
Mr Matsikidze said even the Americans know they can differ politically “big time”, but unite when their collective interests are threatened.
“They know they have one America. One country. We wish to see that interaction between political parties and maybe public political debates soon.”
Another analyst Mr Wellington Pasi said the spirit of tolerance and universal inclusivity is Zimbabwe wants at the moment. “Zimbabwe is for everyone and having a different political view does not mean that we should not acknowledge each other. The gesture is a good thing,” he said.
Many social media users including Permanent Secretary for Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Mr Nick Mangwana commended the President’s gesture.
“Thank you Your Excellency for setting a good tone for this nation. Let the nation note that your administration is about unity, reform and engagement both at home and abroad. The job to attain our national aspirations is made easier when we reach out and find each other.”
Another Twitter user, Baron McDonald Mukundi said: “Keep it up mdala! Together we are an ocean.”
Alfred Mahlavira said President Mnangagwa had shown great maturity, adding that such positive think could “make Zimbabwe great again”.
“I like this, embracing the diversity is a critical element as a society and beyond!” said @Wutang29.