A 'necessary compromise' too far Print
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Saturday, 16 February 2013 22:13

A 'necessary compromise' too far – Dore / Freeth / Cross Correspondence

From: Eddie Cross

Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 1:05 PM

To: Ben Freeth

Subject: RE: A 'necessary compromise' too far


Once again I find myself defending the MDC under conditions where people who criticize us simply fail to take any account of the circumstances in which we find ourselves. That is not good enough.


It's clear to me that no matter what we say you will not accept our explanation or strategies. Be that as it may, I can do nothing about that but to fight on doing what I have been doing since 1999 and that is working for peaceful democratic change.


By all means vote no - together with Chief Charumbira and Mnangagwa. Join forces with Chihuri and Chewengwa and try to block change. I just hope that the ordinary man and women know what to do and will vote for change.


From: Ben Freeth

Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 8:33 AM

To: 'EG Cross'; 'Dale Dore'

Subject: RE: A 'necessary compromise' too far


Dear Eddie,


I think that if the real truth be known, the problem lies in the fact that people are becoming less sure of the MDC’s commitment to the rule of law, human rights generally and the restoring and expanding of property rights for all – so that everyone can develop and fulfill their God given potential secure in the knowledge that the state is not going to just nationalize their property as it continues to do.  If the MDC really believed in such things they would be making a lot more noise and doing a lot more about them in the national and international arenas – rather than globe trotting to foreign countries to tell the world that everything is fine in Zimbabwe now… 


You tell us that this is all about wrestling power away from ZANU.  I think we all have to be concerned though:

Why has MDC allowed the whole diaspora to remain without a vote in the new constitution?

Why has the MDC allowed the President’s powers to remain so strong in the new constitution?

Why does the MDC not just stand for what the international human rights charters, international treaties and international court judgments say - like the people in Eastern Europe who wrestled power from the totalitarian yoke there by so doing?

Why is the MDC not publicly campaigning around the world for international monitors to protect the people and protect their vote in the election? 


Patrick Chinamassa calls this a “beautiful document.”  The MDC are campaigning for this “beautiful document” too – and yet neither of the apartheid constitutions had discrimination so flagrantly entrenched!  Is it any wonder that there is some very serious concern about where we are all going to end up at the end of it all.  We must not fall onto the slippery slope of compromising on fundamental principles and allowing unfair, discriminatory laws to continue to destroy Zimbabwe.  It can never be an option for any of us who believe in what is right.    


From: EG Cross

Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 9:07 AM

To: 'Dale Dore

Subject: RE: A 'necessary compromise' too far


Dear Dale et al


For an otherwise clever bunch of guys you are myopic on this issue. The constitution is a COMPROMISE between two totally disparate groups. This is and was a situation where there was no shared vision or agreement on many issues, it was a question of what was each side prepared to give in order to get what they really wanted. For Zanu PF the land issue was one of those irreducible issues. We have never confronted them on that issue – we could do nothing about it, it meant very little to the great majority of people and was not connected to the fundamental issue – that of political power. We simply stood aside and said you daft the land issues and we will accept – but on human rights, the rule of law, the structure of the State, devolution, citizenship (including dual citizenship) we brooked no compromise and on these critical matters we got more or less what we wanted.


Our negotiators did a phenomenal job over the 3 years that they battled with Zanu PF. The land issue must be sorted out and must be corrected – we all agree, but its an issue for another day. Right now we have to get a change of government or we are all screwed.


From: Dale Dore

Sent: Monday, February 11, 2013 11:17 AM

To: 'E G Cross'

Subject: A 'necessary compromise' too far


Dear Eddie,


You write convincingly, with excellent turns of phrase. Yet it is pitiful to see someone deluded by their own propaganda. And worse, to witness the betrayal by those once trusted to defend fundamental human rights and protect property rights.  Not once did you mention the single deepest flaw in the constitution: Article 72 that entrenches the land seizures and which allows farms to be confiscated at the stroke of pen.


Yes, you can congratulate yourself that the constitution will be passed, but only because you sing from the same hymn-sheet as ZANU(PF). Patrick Chinamasa called it a “beautiful document”. He was not so reticent about expressing his views on the final draft that “ZANU(PF) was forced to accept”. In case you missed it, this is how he put it:


“We have managed to protect those issues that are dear to us. The land issue is a foregone conclusion. We agreed that it is irreversible. The issues which were in contention are now history. We have made sure that our revolution has been consolidated.”


You are sufficiently cynical to not even expect people to read the draft constitution. Rather you want the people to take your word for it and to trust the MDC to correct the constitution’s shortcoming once you are in power. But you would need a landslide election victory to give you the two-thirds majority to make constitutional changes. In reality, it will be a major achievement for the MDC to win a simple majority and engineer a peaceful transfer of power. Even so, your own leaders have accepted that the land seizures are ‘irreversible’. Tendai Biti, who negotiated the GPA with Patrick Chinamasa, said as much. He now wants a land audit to ‘legitimise’ this unlawful process.


In truth, you have compromised so much that you have given away the very principles of human rights and the rule of law on which your party was originally founded. With every “necessary compromise” it becomes more difficult to distinguish MDC from ZANU(PF). As for ‘trust’: that, sadly, you lost long ago.