MDC was created by the CFU (Commercial Farmers Union), the Westminister Democracy Foundation and the west to take power from ZANU PF, reverse land reform and indigenization and pull the Zimbabwe National Army out of Congo to ensure the successful overthrow of Kabila so that the UN could split the country into five easy to loot nations for the west.
The creation of the party was very deceptively orchestrated, as we saw trade unionists who had opposed white farmers and exploitative capitalists for years, join hands with the same capitalists, white farmers and social activists like Brian Kagoro to form a western sponsored “broad-based civil alliance" to reverse the black revolution in Zimbabwe.
From 1999, the broad-based civil alliance
[which later became MDC] hit the ground running, campaigning freely to convince Zimbabweans to vote “NO” in the following year’s Constitutional Amendment Referendum.
The sponsors’ mandate for the campaign was to halt land appropriation without compensation, the whole reason ZANU PF wanted to change the constitution in the first place.
The NO vote was cleverly packaged by the alliance as necessary to stop Robert Mugabe from assuming excessive, dictatorial, executive powers. Meanwhile, the pitch hid the fact that such a vote would block ZANU PF’s clauses that openEd the way for the appropriation of [9mil hectares of] prime land from white settler farmers, without compensation.
The ZANU PF amendment also went on to stipulate that compensation of the white farmers [for both land and developments], would fall to the British government as remuneration to their colonial settlers.
The alliance, led in part by white settlers like David Coltart and Roy Bennett, fought to ensure that this ZANU PF constitutional amendment proposal would never see light of day. A lackluster ZANU PF counter-campaign to sell the amendment, led to a successful NO vote in the 13th February 2000 referendum.
With all their campaign effort and donor resources exhausted on an unimpeded push for the NO vote, MDC fell short of convincing enough people to vote for them [four months later] in the June parliamentary elections. The result was MDC losing the elections with 56 seats to ZANU PF's 60.
It’s noteworthy that today, Zimbabweans are compensating white farmers in excess of $3.5 billion because of MDC successfully blocking a constitutional amendment that would have put the onus of compensating white farmers -for both land and improvements- on the former governing colonial power (Britain).
Both MDC and the west would take the referendum win, but reject defeat in the election. Desperate to get MDC into power and to reverse decolonialization in Zimbabwe, the west thus imposed ZDERA and EU sanctions upon Zimbabwe.
These sanctions were designed to help MDC achieve “democratic change of power”(or forced regime change) through the collective punishment of Zimbabwean civilians by economic weapons that deprive people of food, clean water, sanitation, healthcare, education, social welfare, economic development, social rights, cultural rights and political rights, to force them to vote against Mugabe in the 2002 Presidential elections, if they wanted to end the punishment by sanctions.
MDC would lose those 2002 Presidential elections too, and George Bush responded by adding new sanctions known as executive order sanctions that would target the economic engine of the country in 2003.
He would amend those in 2005, three years before the 2008 harmonized elections, to ensure that Zimbabweans would be adequately tortured by sanctions to vote out ZANU PF to effect "democratic change" or regime change.
This was a clear conspiracy by MDC and its enforcer step parents to torture the Zimbabwean people by hunger, thirst, sickness, joblessness and unfree-and-unfair elections until people voted them into power.
In the following years, people died in their thousands due to sanctions, more than 3 million were externally displaced, women became prostitutes in foreign lands, many died from xenophobia in neighboring countries while others begrudgingly voted for the MDC and a return to neo-colonialism, to end the pain.
To put this into perspective, the number of people externally displaced from Zimbabwe by sanctions, are almost the same as the 5 million people externally displaced from Congo by two brutal wars.
This means the impact of these crimes against humanity (US and EU sanctions on Zimbabwe), in many ways mirror the impact of the most brutal war in the world since WW2.
Similar results were witnessed in British genocides like the Bangal famine, which killed 4 million Indians and displaced millions more to other states. Then there were over 1 million deaths in the British induced Irish famine, which resulted in over 50% of Irish descendants living outside Ireland today.
All these genocides and subsequent displacements were mainly as a result of natives being deprived of food, land, water, healthcare, economic development and humanitarian assistence, as we see happening in Zimbabwe.
So, by MDC calling for the entire western world [the same that brought slavery, colonialism, wars for resources and the above genocides upon natives] to impose sanctions on a Zimbabwe which just came out of 90yrs of colonialism, 17yrs of liberation war, 13yrs of UN sanctions, 10yrs of apartheid South African sanctions, 8yrs of apartheid wars in Mozambique and Matelebeland, inheriting colonial debt, incurring colonial reconstruction debt, assuming Rhodesian sanctions reconstruction debt, ESAP and paying for land. They brutalized innocent Zimbabweans in ways similar to any military war, pogrom or terrorist insurgency that destroys life, infrastructure, culture, unity and the economy by bombs.
As a natural response, the people who are losing their relatives, savings, property and wealth [to this unseen war that MDC imposed on its people but keeps denying, while benefiting political mileage from it], were forced to fight back against their attackers (MDC leaders and supporters who support the gross crimes against humanity brought upon Zimbabweans by economic coercive warfare) in the same way the US and Brits bombed cities of civilians who assisted NAZI and Japanese hegemony.
In my view, MDC chose to ignore human rights laws, domestic laws, international legal customs, cultural norms and national interest, to terrorize their citizens for power. As a consequence, their victims were pushed into taking the law into their own hands too to fight back against the unrelenting torture of sanctions, in an attempt to stop the pain.
More importantly, these people sought to assert their right to choose a political party of their choice and not one imposed on them by force of economic coersion.
This is a perfect example of a spontaneous civil war, where others decided to kill and displace fellow citizens by sophisticated, hidden economic terrorism that denies the victims the right to life and basic human rights
While the other side, lacking in powerful allies and sophistication, chose to retaliate with down right brute force against insurgents who were torturing them by deprivation. They used the same bloodletting brute force MDC leaders like Chamisa and Tsvangirai, according to Wikileaks, were campaigning for NATO and US Special forces to visit upon Zimbabweans when sanctions were failing to deliver regime change.
Mao said "war is politics with blood, while politics is war without blood". MDC chose to impose war with blood on their people and they got the same equal and opposite reaction.
This is why we now need war without blood i.e. arrests of citizens who use terrorism, deprivation and torture (seen or unseen, domestic or foreign) against fellow citizens, to gain power. We must also unite as a nation to farm, mine, process our resources, export, import substitute, pay taxes and grow the economy to avoid future politics with blood.
By Rutendo Bereza Matinyarare Brand Strategist for Frontline Strat Marketing and Founder of ZASM and ZUAUWS anti-sanctions movements.