Deep and abiding mutual distrust threatens to decimate the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD).
Pervasive distrust in this once inspiring, vibrant and truly path-breaking movement has bred intolerance, recklessness and anarchy.
The four or more factions in the party have made no genuine effort to reach out, thereby deepening the real threat of fragmentation and definite extinction. This has disappointed many Zambians who expected selfless and more meaningful dialogue among the leaders to rejuvenate, resuscitate and empower the party to create the third force with tremendous potential of being the king maker, if not contender in the forthcoming elections, which unless circumstances change may serve as the proverbial graveyard of the party.
The distrust has arisen from the taste of failure, disappointment and betrayal that has characterized the party from the year 2001 when 3rd Republican President Levy Mwanawasa pandered to the dictates of an illusory alliance in the name of an anti-corruption crusade.
Since then the MMD has never been the same and the slightest of differences has resulted in gigantic quakes that have threatened it to the very core.
There is no doubt that the factions distrust each other intensely. The legitimacy of current office holders has been questioned with most officers being accused of being “handpicked” with everything to lose if peace and stability were to break out.
On the other hand those with the ability to help are caught helplessly on the fringes because they are not beyond suspicion. The result is a stalemate from which none will benefit and all are ultimately likely to lose. It is a zero sum game.
It has been said that …. “We doubt in others, what is in fact in ourselves. The skeletons in our own closets are the things that scare us the most about others; people who come from a background of lying are suspicious of lying in others and so on. The most trusting of people, are not people who have never been betrayed or who have never felt pain, but the most trusting of people are those who in themselves do not find those things worthy of that blame. We see the world through the eyes of the condition of our own souls.”
Seen from the Bible and treated simplistically all have sinned and fallen short so none can claim to be holier than thou. Politics is not any different from all day to day community interactions which require renewal and recalibration to ascertain positions and adjust where the need arises. These are immutable political positions.
It is unrealistic therefore to hold an immutable position impervious to reason and dialogue because this is a recipe for failure, doom and collapse.
Every war, as we have said before, ends on a round table of dialogue rather than on pedestals of self-righteousness. It follows therefore that for as long as the active players in the MMD continue to exhibit selfishness, bigotry and egocentrism, believing that they and they alone hold the truth, the party will disintegrate at the altar of obduracy.
With less than five months to go before the August 11 elections the die is cast and the worst fears of MMD sinking into oblivion may come to pass and those responsible will be held accountable by posterity.