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MDC-T weakness is in governing, not campaigning: Bennett

by Nare Msupatsila
12 September 2011 | 1770 Views
MDC-T Finance Chairman Roy Bennett told the US Ambassador that while the MDC-T is good at campaigning, it lacks a cadre of people who know how to run a government.  While much of U.S. and other Western support has focused on the party, there is a compelling need for institution building.
"Hardly any of the MDC-T ministers had any previous experience in administration, and the few with any capability were overstretched," said Bennett.

Apart from the MDC-T, Bennett acknowledged that Zanu-PF will be involved in a future Zimbabwe; the challenge is to identify those in Zanu-PF who can play constructive roles, and to find ways to bolster them against extremists.

In a separate conversation with the American embassy chief, Bennett focused on MDC-T strategy.  MDC-T has concluded that the Global Political Agreement (GPA) is deadlocked.  The MDC-T Standing Committee has resolved to make a last effort to negotiate with Zanu-PF, and then appeal to SADC.  But it expects little assistance in that forum and will focus on elections which it would like to see occur next year. Bennett also discussed perceptions of MDC-T corruption. 

The Ambassador discussed MDC-T with Bennett at a dinner hosted by the British ambassador for visiting UK parliamentarians on February 1. Attending the dinner, in addition to the usual cast of Western diplomats, were representatives of the coalition government, including the deputy foreign minister, and Bennett, the MDC-T Finance Chairman.  Another meeting was conducted on February 2.
Bennett told the US chief that MDC-T had been unfocused. The Office of the Prime Minister was weak and the party had been left largely unattended as party stalwarts such as Tendai Biti were occupied with government.

In a rare statement, Bennett said that Mugabe and Zanu-PF did not actually create this culture of a privileged few lording it over the masses (this was done by British colonial masters and the Ian Smith regime), but they have adopted it lock, stock, and barrel.

The cable concludes by saying that Bennett is an MDC "hardliner" who has been frustrated with the MDC's progress in the coalition government and in party building. While he was encouraged by the determination of the Standing Committee to take a more assertive approach vis-C -vis Zanu-PF. Hardliners in the party convince Tsvangirai to be more assertive. He agrees, there is a flurry of activity, and then MDC-T falls back into the same dance with Zanu-PF. 

MDC-T Wikileaks Bennett

Source: Byo24News


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