Opinionparliament

Open letter to Vincent Tsvangirai

Dear Vincent

I meant to write to you earlier but I was attending Robert Mugabe’s funeral so I had to defer my letter a bit, apologies.

I come in peace and congratulations on winning the Glen View South by-election, that seat was yours to lose.

MDC runs the city and you may want to suggest that the party renames the area to Tsvangirai Park.

It is a befitting way of immortalising the late former Prime Minister, your father and at the same time a way of clearly describing chinhu chenyu. Your family runs things that side of town.

Apologies, that was just me being silly. I thought I should tickle you with an attempted joke, hope it makes you smile for a bit.

I would like to imagine what kind of year you have had. Losing a sister is not easy, especially with the death coming a few months after a memorial held in honour of your late father, the icon, Morgan Tsvangirai.

When I heard you say you want to run, I laughed. The idea was funny to me, but after further digestion of the idea, I realised you may be onto something.

You carry your father’s genes, after all, if you are anything like him, running for office should not shock anyone.

Again, as I said, it was as clear as day that you were going to emerge victoriously. The factors are known by anyone who is politically nuanced.

Vincent, or should I say Honourable, I am happy you won.

It means a lot to us seeing young people getting actively involved in the law-making process.

I am sure they must have added you to their WhatsApp Groups by now and I thought I should lay out my expectations from you.

Not that you are obliged to deliver on them but it would be nice if you listened (that’s if the message resonates with you.)

You see Vince; it is not a secret that you are not from Glen View. I dare you to name the most popular jazzmen in that neighbourhood, but that’s beside the point.

The people chose you and who are we to question their choice?

I implore you to take time, now that campaigns are over, to understand the people of Glen View. What they need and their collective aspirations.

Be their voice in the National Assembly; speak on issues that are salient to them. That way you will remain in their hearts until you decide not to run.

See Vince, our politics is polarised. It is made up of two conflicting poles, one strengthened by the late Save while the other was given spine by Robert Mugabe whose body was finally buried in Zvimba.

I hope you will be able to be more loyal to reasonability; this country needs more people who can speak for the people more than the party. It won’t be an easy road to walk but if you dare to tread on it, you will make history. Not every politician is a leader; your relationship with principles will define which space you occupy.

Do not be blackmailed to agree with MDC simply because it is the party your father started. Your truth is not your father’s, neither is it your party’s. We hope you will be a break from the usual that we are subjected in the not so August house.

In your interview with Open Parly the other time you said you were an artist. I loved that bit because arts have been underrepresented in our politics. This could be a result of a lack of nuance. It is hard for non-artists to speak on policy matters whose impact they do not understand. As you were sworn in, a lot of artists pinned their hopes on you. Articulate arts issues, be lucid in arguments. Convince the old men and women who make the majority in Parliament on the importance of issues you feel are key.

Please don’t forget the youth. We sent in Joanah (Mamombe) with high hopes and to be honest there has not been a louder political anti-climax in Zimbabwe. Maybe she is out-numbered; this is why you have to strongly push the youth agenda. Our stories need to be heard, we need spaces in all the high places and we need equitable access to resources.

The rest you will figure it out, you are a smart dude but I just thought I should send a few whispers your way. Hope they help.

Oh, one more thing. Parliament will go below the belt, inevitably. There is a lot of jeering that happens, a lot of name-callings. We urge you not to become part of the circus; we want you to be a voice of reason. We are tired of Parliamentarians who act like they are having nostalgic convulsions from their kindergarten days. Remember, that institution is funded by taxpayers.

Also, there are cars that other MPs are getting. The ideal thing was that they should have said no to the automobiles because of the current economic situation. They should have opted for cheaper ones, but I guess we expected too much from your colleagues in Parliament.

Also, you are getting in on that Red Passport, you deserve it champ. Just don’t forget the people of Glen View.

Much love

Yours hopeful

Anonymous

 

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Daniel Chigundu

Daniel Chigundu is a male journalist in Zimbabwe and has been practising since September 2009. He used to the editor for The Business Connect (newspaper) in Harare, has his own news website Tourism Focus which is biased towards the tourism sector. Daniel is also working with Magamba Network on their project called Open Parliament where they do live coverage of Parliamentary activities on Twitter and Facebook. He is currently the secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Journalists Forum, is a member of Zimbabwe Small Broadcasters Association and a board member of Digital Communication Network. He holds a Diploma in Communication and Journalism from the Christian College of Southern Africa (CCOSA), a certificate in Youth leadership training from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), a certificate in Citizen Journalism from Magamba Network and is currently a first-year student at Zimbabwe Open University studying for a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Ethics and Organisational Leadership.

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