Reports that the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC-T party is pushing for the ouster of Kuwadzana East MP Nelson Chamisa are not only surprising, but regrettable given the opposition must be dealing with issues of nation building and taking over from the factitious Zanu PF party.
Given the state of the country’s economy and a myriad of challenges Zimbabweans are facing, the majority would not expect the opposition to be mired in petty politics at their expense.
Our economy is hurtling towards the abyss while ructions in President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF have become a national threat requiring the coming-together of level heads to deal with the emergency.
The reflex reaction at any time of any major emergency or grave threat to national security in an enlightened and normal country is for all to put aside minor differences and egocentric pursuits to stand together as one against a common enemy.
However, Zimbabwean politics is not normal, civilised, progressive, forward-looking, rational. Right from political leadership downwards, rivals descend into blame games, primitive insults, denials and refusal to take responsibility, hate speech, and behaviour that demonstrates that they have learnt nothing from the decade-long economic meltdown and the June 2008 bouts of political violence that nearly saw the country plunge headlong into the cauldron.
It appears the power struggles that have torched the storm in Zanu PF are also threatening to pull the rug off the opposition MDC-T’s feet. Is it not unfortunate that Tsvangirai, who for many years has been portrayed as a fighter for democracy, now appears to be undoing his legacy?
How on earth could young Chamisa pose a serious threat on his hold on power when he recently plucked him from obscurity after losing the secretary-general’s post to Douglas Mwonzora? Why should Tsvangirai feel threatened when he should create opportunity for others to take over the reins of power from him if he is a bona-fide democrat?
If the chaos obtaining in the opposition is anything to go by, it becomes increasingly doubtful that the party will remain united and topple Zanu PF from power at the 2018 elections.
It is sad that political violence has blighted MDC-T rallies lately due to insecurity by some top officials.
Tsvangirai should understand that the biggest blow to Zimbabwe’s political and economic problems has been the split in his party over the years. The split was neither necessary nor strategic hence the building of a grand political coalition should begin with the urgent re-unification of the MDC-T forces.
The goings-on in the MDC-T are not a good sign at all as they cast Tsvangirai as narrow-minded and obsessed with power.
Tsvangirai must be warned that expelling Chamisa from the party is not the solution. The party must inculcate a culture of internal democracy. It is time the opposition must be busy consolidating their forces and take advantage of the chaos in Zanu PF ahead of the 2018 polls.
It is noteworthy that the factionalism threatening to spiral the party out of control is feeding on long-running suspicions and violence.
There is no doubt that in so many ways the MDC-T is increasingly becoming a mirror image of Zanu PF and unless they act with speed, they will lose much of the support they have built over the years.
Clearly, opposition parties in Zimbabwe may continue to play second fiddle to Zanu PF for as long as they fight amongst themselves and do not forge a coalition to take Zanu PF head-on at the polls. The ugly face of violence rearing its head in MDC-T is clear testimony that the party executive is working at cross purposes instead of fighting together to challenge the status quo that has caused untold suffering among Zimbabweans.