MDC Alliance should change tact

IF we had an opposition that had seriously wanted former President Robert Mugabe out of office, he would have gone that way before 2008. Unfortunately, we have fly-by-night opportunists who have found a simple and lucrative way of taking care of their families. The MDC-T vice-president Thokozani Khupe last year admitted that she was in politics for the money, but it is not only her.

By Chikuni Gaba

Zimbabwe’s current politicians are a set-up of entrepreneurs targeting donor fame and ill-gotten wealth. When history is written, I would not be surprised to learn that the so-called main opposition party is benefiting more from supporting the ancient regime than it would from defeating it.

Over the years, the MDC-T has made a series of blunders to ensure that Zanu PF remains in power and are we now going to witness another silly excuse that it was Khupe or Nelson Chamisa who caused another split at this crucial moment. I can assure you none of these blunders are genuine, but are all part of a calculating chess game being played by our politicians at the expense of the suffering masses.

Let me bring to your attention the double dealings that took place in the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) and led to its collapse — even though Mugabe once alluded to it, as the only way to win an election in Zimbabwe.

It was in 2004 when we all thought the MDC-T had discovered the winning formula, when they announced that they would not participate in Senate elections because of the uneven playing ground.

However, the then secretary-general Welshman Ncube, thought otherwise leading to their first split in 2005. Even though the now MDC-T could be seen indicating left, they could unexpectedly turn right.

In 2005 and 2008 they got into the elections playing field even though it was still uneven. They won! But they deliberately failed to push for the declaration of results within the stipulated time, giving Zanu PF all the time they wanted to play around with the figures.

Change comes at a cost; it is hard and we should not expect it to come easily. It entails sacrifice, courage and commitment. Our leaders seem not to know that. The Sadc then intervened after noticing how elections were being rigged by Zanu PF.

They drafted a number of electoral reforms which were supposed to be implemented within 18 months but, for reasons best known to MDC, especially to Tendai Biti the then secretary-general and Elton Mangoma who were representing the MDC at the negotiating table, not even a single reform was implemented during the five years they were in the unity government.

In June 2013, Sadc reminded MDC of the need for reforms, but surprisingly another split was looming and, amid all that confusion, they were trounced by Zanu PF in the July election. They then reverted to the 2004 stance of not participating in elections unless there were electoral reforms and together with 13 other parties formed Nera.
Still this formation had its loopholes as some members continued to participate in all by-elections that came their way.

Transform Zimbabwe used to call it “testing the waters”, but one wonders why test the waters by legitimatising a flawed election. Nera became more compromised with the coming on board of those who for the past 34 years had been enjoying the fruits of rigging – Joice Mujuru and her party.

Subsequently, Farai Mbira took advantage of the confusion and quickly closed the Nera offices without even consulting fellow members.

To a layman, this might seem to be just a tactical error, but an analytical eye might notice the trend of constantly making errors that somehow benefit the ruling party.
Now, once again, instead of taking advantage of the various weakness Zanu PF has displayed ever since its formation in 1963, MDC-T is busy with intra-party squabbles and another split is on the cards.

There are questions that need our attention as we try to understand what is happening in MDC-T: Why did the late Morgan Tsvangirai chose to go against the party constitution and behind the back of Khupe to appoint Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri as VPs?

Why did Tsvangirai choose to form a coalition with his former saboteurs Biti and Ncube? Who benefits more in this equation considering that some Alliance parties cannot assemble more than 20 people on their own? Is Khupe wrong in defending MDC-T sitting MPs against being forced to make way for the alliance partners?

Does MDC-T benefit more from being in the Alliance than from keeping Khupe? Are we not likely to witness once again the 2013 scenario in Makoni central where the then MDC-T MP candidate Patrick Sagandira refused to stand down for a coalition partner Simba Makoni and they ended up splitting the vote and allowing Patrick Chinamasa to win? Why did Chamisa, even before his appointment by the national council, choose to take over through a coup?

The list is too long but simple reasoning will tell us that, since its inception, the MDC has been winning and it can still win the forthcoming general elections. What matters most are electoral reforms not electoral partners.

It is Chamisa, Khupe, Mudzuri and the MDC’s national council who should give serious attention to finally resolving this matter or they are heading for another self-inflicted defeat by Emmerson Mnangagwa and Zanu PF at the coming election.

My fellow Zimbabweans, if we are not clever enough to wake up to what is going on, we will continue to blindly follow and even give our lives to political messiahs who are in fact the brainchild of the very devil we want to defeat.

MDC-T leadership should remember that what binds them should far outweigh what tends to separate them or else the once biggest opposition party will expire with its founding president Tsvangirai.

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  1. ~their decision to boycott the Senate elections was out-voted but upheld undemocratically. the Zimbabwean electorate comprises mainly vana gundamusaira who don’t understand what’s happening.
    ~ they have already made a bad start by adopting violence and taking the ZANU route instead of offering people the change they want

    1. Spot on!…and now the “youths” have taken to insulting those perceived to be “old”..(i.e. their parents) … let’s see how far the broilers will go.


  2. very powerful analysis


  4. The idea behind the MDC Alliance is very noble and correct. While MDC has been in parliament since 2000 and had majority and speakership of the National Assembly in 2008 it has actually failed to bring any meaningful changes as desired becoz all power lies with the executive. This year MDC Alliance is not really interested in parliamentary majority but in the Presidential position. History has taught us that winning parliamentary seats without winning the Presidential seat will render MDC a majority opposition in parliament. Thats the reason why they are willing to donate seats to other opposition parties within MDC alliance provided they are going to get their support for the presidential seat contest.

  5. Peolpe can hallucinate about MDC its their right but everyone knows this is the only political party that carries the hope for the nation vele asijiki shesa mpaaaaaaaama .

  6. Chamisa is too young to lead Zimbabwe,only Tsvangirai was able to bt he failed,

    1. Leading a country has nothing to do with one’s age. It is about ability, Look @ France-Macron; America- Obama; Joseph Kabila- DRC. They were very young when they became presidents but they delivered and took their countries forward. The old you prefer that is Mugabe, Museveni, Munangangwa etc what have they done? nothing but destroy the good heritage they inherited.

    2. too yaoung i terms of what??????

    3. too young in terms of what????

    4. ED is too old. We just got rid of another Madala,, we cant have another one as this will be counter productive.

  7. Biti, Chamisa, Mangoma, Welshman and many others, well known CIO operatives.
    So, no surprises in what he is divulging in this article. That’s why Chamisa was always praised by Mugabe during the gnu.

  8. Sacrifice / is what will give us the change that we all desire. Our best foot foward is NC, so TK must show political maturity and accept the people prefered leader.

    ZPF brand under new leadership is selling itself as reformed, pro business and pro people entity. MDC T, needs to understand they are competing against a different animal – and a coalition best serves their interests.

    This once more requires that they sacrifice and surrender some seats to Alliance partners. The assumption that MDC T will muster suffient vote to defeat ZPF has cost us the vote previously.

    I therefore fail to understand the analytic nature of an article, attacking a strategic decision that brings with it a lot of brainpower.

  9. Forewarned is forearmed! We kept criticizing the late Tsvangirai’s elevation of two more VPs as the greatest undoing that he made and it has now come to haunt us. If he felt uncomfortable with his then deputy, he could have called for a special congress to make the necessary adjustments. A substantive VP would have immediately carried on after his demise. Without fear of contradiction, the current tussle facing the MDC-T will be a great setback during the election unless resolved in time. We shall harvest what we are now sowing within a couple of months. The sooner we drop our respective egos and agree to come to the negotiation table, the better. Make hay while the sun shines.

  10. tibvirwei apa, MDC is stronger thatn ZANU Pf and definitely it won 2008 and will will again but the OLD will not accept

  11. NewsDay should change the sub-editor who wrote ‘change tact’ instead of ‘change tack”.

  12. Your post has moved the debate fowadrr. Thanks for sharing!

  13. “They won! But they deliberately failed to push for the declaration of results within the stipulated time, giving Zanu PF all the time they wanted to play around with the figures.” You speak as if you were not present during the time, they pushed for those results, you wanted them to do demonstrations? They tried publishing the results by collecting the figures from all polling stations, but the law was used in which it was stated that it was only ZEC that had the mandate to announce the results. And you seem to forget that the country wasn’t run by civilians during the time.
    It’s good to sit and judge on the road not taken, cause you always have the advantage of hindsight. The decision that MDC took was for the people, with ZPF there is no one final move, they are not going anywhere- It has to be accepted. The thing that needs to be done is just for each political party with a five year term, take turns in leading. The party that delivers will get another term.
    Each party is trying to inflict maximum damage on the other which is impossible, because these parties are yin and yang.They will forever work together.

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