OPPOSITION political parties yesterday dismissed reports that they were pushing for the postponement of next year’s elections to a later date to allow for the cleaning of the voters’ roll, as they mend their divisions.
BY PAIDAMOYO MUZULU
The parties were reacting to MDC-T spokesperson, Obert Gutu’s opinion piece published by an online news agency, where he suggested that that the opposition was not ready for the polls, as evidenced by sharp divisions within its ranks.
MDC-T secretary-general, Douglas Mwonzora said Gutu’s piece was his opinion and was not shared by the party, as it was focused on having citizens registered on the new biometric voters’ roll and to participate in the polls when they are constitutionally due.
“The MDC has not yet made the decision that elections must be deferred. However, the position is that elections must be held after all eligible voters have been registered. We hope that by the time the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission calls for the elections, the voters’ roll will be ready,” he said.
Mwonzora said it was a fact that some opposition parties were splitting, but generally his party has remained intact and geared to contest the polls.
“The disorganisation relates to the infighting taking place within the opposition, for example, MDC Alliance partners disintegrating like the National People’s Party, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and ZimPF that have split and it’s a manifestation of disorganisation, but the MDC-T has remained largely unscathed,” he said.
PDP spokesman, Jacob Mafume said his party was geared for the elections.
“At this moment, it is voter registration that we should be preoccupied with and all our efforts should be based on that endeavour. We should leave analysis to those who went to school to study that and us as players should roll our sleeves and put all hands on the deck,” he said.
Political commentators said Gutu’s opinion piece was naïve and had an effect of dampening the spirits of opposition supporters and activists.
University of Johannesburg lecturer, Tamuka Chirimambowa said: “It’s unfortunate the opposition can have such daft people in its ranks. Which general goes to war telling his soldiers that they will lose? His opinion borders on naivety and juvenile wannabe intellectual that reasons on high school debate logics of objectivity being defined in the narrow sense of against and for.
“He (Gutu) is simply reckless and politically incompetent. I am surprised that the MDC has not yet censured him.”
Another analyst, Malvern Mkudu, concurred, saying Gutu’s remarks were likely to cause voter apathy.