Respect sanctity of funerals

HARARE - I note with great sadness that we, in Zimbabwe, have developed a  tendency of always turning funerals into platforms to spout our nonsensical political filth.

A few days ago, it was amusing to listen to MDC secretary-general Tendai Biti, giving a lecture on contemporary Zimbabwean politics while addressing mourners during a supposed church service at the funeral of the late John Makumbe.

A couple of months ago, these same people used grave-side eulogies to denounce the police and government over violence at the funeral of the daughter of co-Home Affairs minister Theresa Makone.

And on Wednesday, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai chose Makumbe’s burial to announce the end of what he termed one-man rule, something he could have done with greater impact at an appropriate platform elsewhere.

I remember many times when the MDC complained about how Mugabe used funerals to hurl insults at people, particularly Tsvangirai and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair during grave side speeches.

The sanctity of funerals is being violated by politicians who take to the podium to talk about themselves and their inadequacies, neglecting those who gather in anguish to painfully bid reluctant farewells to their loved ones.

I did not expect this from MDC leaders.

Funerals, like churches and soccer matches, always attract hoards of voluntary participants. Politicians, who struggle to draw people to listen to their hogwash, never hesitate to commandeer such gatherings to abuse mourners as they disgustingly turn other people’s funerals into their own political rallies.

Politicians no longer allow us to reminisce or talk about our loved ones as they lie dead among us while awaiting burial as they shamelessly seize the opportunity to talk about themselves and what they believe to be their visions at the expense of the deceased.

Did friends and relatives of Makumbe really want to be lectured by Biti on how tough and important the forthcoming elections would be?

Come on now, please!

Biti went to Makumbe’s funeral to tell grief-stricken mourners that, as MDC, they were looking for change and this coming election ‘‘is as important as the 1980 general elections’’.

It appears as if the MDC is mimicking Zanu PF in just about everything.

What a shame!

There is so much noise being made over the forthcoming elections.

The MDC has seemingly all but forgotten about the welfare of the people.

“The coming election is about who is going to provide a clear vision for the future,” said Tsvangirai.
“It is about the electorate analysing the policies and programmes of parties and evaluating on who could take this country forward.”

How does the electorate analyse anything when State media does not cover MDC and when Tsvangirai himself constantly seeks courts’ intervention to address rallies across the country, when the army has been deployed to beat up people and make sure these rallies are disrupted?

They are campaigning at funerals and wherever they can while MDC supporters are being terrorised by the notorious Jabulani Sibanda, something that has been going on for a long time and yet the MDC has no answer on how to protect their own supporters.

Tsvangirai could have shown us a clear vision for the future by doing things that give people some morale and he and his party could have tried to tackle those issues that are of concern to the people.

“In the past three days the MDC National Executive Committee has...been reviewing our economic, social, education, industrial and all other party policies to make sure they are responsive to our situation and the wishes of Zimbabweans,” said MDC’s Douglas Mwonzora.

Because elections are looming, they are reviewing their policies which they failed to implement in the four years they have been in government.

He had the gall to talk about “the wishes of Zimbabweans” when they opted to negotiate a constitution instead of incorporating into it “the wishes of Zimbabweans”.

After crafting a silly draft constitution that was not “people driven” but negotiated, all of them want a ‘‘yes’’ vote during the referendum.

Are we supposed to believe that having refused to heed the people’s ideas for the constitution, these people will listen if we say ‘‘no;’ to a constitution they wrote for themselves?

It is now the people of Zimbabwe versus the conniving so-called principals.

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