THE Morgan Tsvangirai-led opposition MDC-T could be on the verge of collapse unless appropriate measures are taken to rescue it, with the party leadership closing ranks and working together.
At a time Zimbabweans are yearning for a strong opposition to fight it out with a resurgent Zanu PF led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, it is unfortunate that this is happening when the official opposition should be playing a crucial role to hold the ruling party to account.
Clearly, all odds are against the opposition going into this year’s election, but they can give Zanu PF a run for its money, and claim a good chunk of the votes to keep the ruling party in check.
It is regrettable that the vanguard of the opposition has weakened due to personal and selfish interests as a result of the absence of Tsvangirai, who is nursing colon cancer.
But Zimbabweans would expect that all MDC-T founding members and other supporters would know that unity is what is needed for the good and future of the party.
This year’s elections are not a stroll in the park, as the
MDC-T or MDC Alliance will face a rejuvenated Zanu PF currently seeking to attract millions of Zimbabweans through revised policies, including on land and indigenisation, among others.
No doubt, this is the most awful time for the MDC-T to be divided, and if the spat between deputy presidents Nelson Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri during an MDC Alliance rally at Huruyadzo shopping centre in Chitungwiza on Sunday is anything to go by, then we can only anticipate the worst.
Ancient wisdom says a house divided against itself cannot stand. Therefore, the MDC-T needs to take heed of this and act accordingly.
It appears that Tsvangirai’s absence has created a dangerous vacuum that could swallow the party whole if it is not careful.
In the “new” Zanu PF, they already have a formidable foe, and the last thing they want right now is to allow factions to rip them apart, as individuals pursue egocentric agendas at the expense of the party and its supporters.
If this crisis is not resolved as a matter of urgency, it means the party will limp into the election already handicapped and that will be a disaster.
The power struggle pitting Mudzuri against Chamisa can only serve to sink the party, which could have benefited from the support of the other parties that are part of the grand coalition.
The MDC Alliance, which has pinned its hopes on Tsvangirai, could grow weary and disillusioned by the tension between his deputies. A word to Mudzuri is that he should show some wisdom.
Tsvangirai entrusted him with the party affairs, while Chamisa was given the task of alliance leader, so why is Mudzuri poking his nose into MDC Alliance issues? Mudzuri should not act as a misguided missile at the expense of the party.
In any case, when the MDC-T leadership contest is decided, it will be the party members’ choice. If Mudzuri is more popular than Chamisa, he will win, but if he’s not, with these fights, that will be the end of his political career. Now is that what he wants?
If the coalition is aware of what is good for it, then it must demand that the MDC-T resolves its internal squabbles rather than drag them to the alliance’s public fora. Mudzuri is not Tsvangirai, and should not behave as one.