Without Zanu PF, MDC is nothing

Some political scientists have described the next election as critical because of the possibilities to define an era and a generation.

By Tapiwa Gomo

They have compared the importance of the forthcoming election with the historic election in 1980 that delivered Zimbabwe from the Rhodesian administration.

There are, indeed, similarities when we look at these two scenarios in terms of political significance and generational importance.

The change from the colonial administration was as necessary as the change from the current crop of nationalists.

The country now needs a new generation of leaders, who understand the demands of today.

However, in terms of the convergence of factors, there are huge differences between now and then.

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It is these differences that may determine the outcome of the next election.

When the MDC was formed in 1999, there was huge momentum and a lot was at stake.

The economy, the jobs and the conditions at tertiary institutions and access to services were at risk and this saw different groups and stakeholders converging to fight the Zanu PF rule.

What made the MDC’s cause stronger and louder at the time was that the project represented the varied interests of cross section of people and groups.

There was convergence of interests and that was a missed opportunity.

The MDC became the sounding board for everyone who had issues with the course Zanu PF had taken.

The MDC’s strengthen since then has drawn from the disgruntled citizens plus the backing of the international community.

Their unfettered audience with the international community helped put pressure on the unyielding Zanu PF.
Fast forward to today.
It may be that the MDC has not realised that the coup last year — which they supported — was a huge game changer and has turned the tables upside down under their watch.

Many people saw former President Robert Mugabe as the face of oppression.

The MDC have not taken this into account or taken time to adjust to this new reality.

They became too preoccupied and excited by power grabbing after the death of their leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.

The coup has reshuffled the political cards, changed opinions and recast assumptions.

The new reality requires fresh narratives and ideas. A new political campus was required before they hit the road.

It seems their counterparts were alive to this reality.

Upon taking over power, the new administration was quick to adopt the same policy ideas that were central to the MDC since its formation.

They promised peace and stability and everything that the MDC has been demanding over the past two decades.

They have acknowledged their transgressions, but argued that the country needs to heal, rebuild and move forward.

They have reached out, promising enabling conditions for economic recovery.

They have successfully won the international community.

They are progressive and not critical of anyone.

They have made it look like the forthcoming election is the only barrier to realising their promises.

But promises are only promises until they translate into reality.

Achieving that reality is another challenge altogether, but in the meantime, the ruling administration has a better game in town — even with the non-voting yet major stakeholders in their corner.

Arguably, the opposition has so far held more rallies than the administration and yet the political pendulum remains uncertain.

Notwithstanding the crowds, with each rally, the MDC has continued to fumble in their political rumble.

Blame it on immaturity or the eureka of a new found freedom to campaign freely — a rarity in previous years.
That is not the only problem.

As the ruling administration shifted its policy positions, the MDC has responded by drifting to the opposite end of everything.

They seem content with being an opposition party instead of being an alternative.

Their political case is weaker in the absence of Zanu PF from the political equation.

For instance, they want your vote because they are younger than Zanu PF.

They are good because Zanu PF has a bad history.

Delete Zanu PF from their case, they remain with nothing in terms of who they are and what they stand for.

In their political metamorphosis, as they orbit around Zanu PF policy positions, they have almost assumed the same position as Zanu PF a few months ago.
Evidence abounds.

The political violence — both physical and cyber, the repression, the autocracy, unilateralism, misogyny, the purging of seasoned members, disregard for constitutionalism and several others.

It is now safer to criticise Zanu PF than the MDC with their vanguard — both cyber and physical ready to unleash.

And for these growing attributes, they have lost the trust and respect of the international community, which explains why they returned home empty-handed after their two trips to the United States and the United Kingdom.

While this may be bitter pill to swallow, these mutations or lack of thereof, have made it easier for the ruling administration to rig the next election — if there is need to do so.

They can be rigged easily and there is nowhere to seek recourse.

Either way, unless the MDC reforms itself, they may as well kiss goodbye to the hopes of ruling after elections and they may face their eventual demise seeing that it is now a loose coalition.

Tapiwa Gomo is a development consultant based in Pretoria, South Africa


  1. Comment…why are you staying in pretoria mr writer,its a sign of failed gvt not capable of supporting its children .but you are supporting the ppl who made you suffer.the reality is that ppl are tired of zanu PF they wanted to try new party .hw can you expect opposition to deliver out of gvt ,it means you are an educated fool mr writer wakatengwa.

    1. Did I read that, “It is now safer to criticise Zanu PF than the MDC with their vanguard — both cyber and physical ready to unleash”?

  2. Mutumwa pliz learn to speak for yourself. U shld say I am tired of zanu-pf becoz not everyone is tired of zanu-pf. That’s why ED is going to win. Losing is a word that doesn’t exist in Zanu-pf’s dictionary.

  3. i agree, ZANU-PF is a strong party, from cell level to provincial level, the fact that it is now under new leader, President Mnangagwa with a renewed vision, means Victory is certain.

  4. chematsenganzungu

    vachashaya kwekunoimbira kambo kavo kerigging this time varakashwa nengwena

  5. I wonder what “victory” the voters can expect from a party that has turned a once- healthy economy into ruins? Is it the lure of more promises, after 38 years?

    Tapiwa, there seems a contradiction in your article. On the one hand you talk of leadership generation change being a new national requirement and then you go on to write about MDC-T’s “purging of some seasoned members”, pardon me; aren’t the “seasoned members” the “old guard” that the youth so desperately want to “go”?

    Whilst ZPF seems to be singing a new tune, a lot of voters are very aware that it’s the same old “bird” and the lyrics are the same.

    Most analysts base their logic of an MDC-T/Chamisa win on the premise of the huge number of registered voters and their profile (youths) and the fact that they are the most economically disadvantaged. Can someone propose what ZPF’s alternative to this logic is? Creation of vapourware of 4 mmillion jobs perhaps (they owe 2m jobs already)?

  6. Comment…all those ppl who support ed and expect him to turnaround the economy after failing to do so for the past 38yrs working with Mugabe and he was fired and organize a coup and come back saying new dispensation with the same ministers who failed b4 …nothing has change

  7. Looks like the author has touched a raw nerve. Dearie me. Watch the insults fly.

    1. Too true. The Chinja gang are very intolerant of critiscm of their “saviour”Chamisa will unleash vulgarities until the cows come home.They have swapped places with trhe old Zanu Pf. Even the President has fallen victim to these vile individuals on his FB page.

  8. By the way I am in the diapora and relocating back home for good.

  9. tapiwa gomo kutaura kwausina kuswera mazimbabwe haasi mapenzi vakuziva zvikuitika saka tibvirepo gara ikoko kupetoria ikoko

  10. Unarguably, things unfolded too fast changing the political landscape between November last year and February. The unprecedented exit of Mugabe and Tsvangirai and the ensuing exit of “Mugabe must go” mantra threw everything into disarray. The true colours of our parties have emerged. I concur that ‘probably due to time constraint’ we can hardly tell what the MDC Alliance currently stands for. No wonder it seems to place the cart before the horse. It therefore goes without saying that the MDC Alliance can hardly thrive devoid of the reciprocity of their competitor, ZANU PF, real or perceived.

  11. Unarguably, things unfolded too fast changing the political landscape between November last year and February. The unprecedented exit of Mugabe and Tsvangirai and the ensuing exit of “Mugabe must go” mantra threw everything into disarray. The true colours of our parties have emerged. I concur that ‘probably due to time constraint’ we can hardly tell what the MDC Alliance currently stands for. No wonder it seems to place the cart before the horse. It therefore goes without saying that the MDC Alliance can hardly thrive devoid of the reciprocity of their competitor, ZANU PF whether real or perceived.

  12. lets only wait & see come july;with the chamisa lie everywhere,it actually hard to see what will happen

  13. A good analysis mr gomo.

  14. Insightful analysis. MDC is shallow and always finds a semblance of depth by reminding us ad neaseum about Zanu Pf’s transgressions. We have a new President who NEVER held the reins of power before being merely a figurehead VP to all ruling RGM so that argument should be put to rest. KANU in Kenya and ANC in SA had their share of transgressions,however with new leadership their economies up and promising..so will Zim under ED.
    As for me #EDhasMyvote!

  15. And yes..its now SAFER TO CRITICISE Zanu Pf than MDC. Just see how vile the supporters are on social media against anyone who speaks against Chamisa even when he was caught in the Trump 15B lie. They even have insult the Pesident on his page with unfathomable vulgarities.

  16. Mr Gomo urikutaura chokwadi ana chamisa varikuda kuba chete hapana chimwe zvino hava lume ED HAVE MY VOTE

  17. Comment…l was 20 years when mdc was born. The only thing they did up to now was to pull down our economy helped by Britain and America .companies closed some relocated to south africa after a brutal attack on Zimbabwe image by chinja maitiro. their trick was to make sure the economy collapses and ordinary people suffer and revolt against government . mati mukushaya muchashaisisa those were famous words of mrt.

  18. Mr Gomo has just played the devil’s advocate very well with this analysis. I am sure if the MDC alliance can look themselves in the mirror, then they may agree with Mr Gomo on one or two things and be humble enough to introspect. I like constructive criticism for what it may really be, but surely whatever ZANU PF may do, should they be returned to power, may never obliterate the history of their evil 38 years in power. They may have the West on their side, but the truth remains that they have been the most evil party this country may ever have. Evidence of the evil visited upon the Zimbos abound, just like Gomo says happens with MDC Alliance shortcomings. If the truth be told, the West is now interested in Zim to counter the moves by China and Russia into Zim. It has nothing to do with ZANU PF toeing a different narrative from their evil 38 years in power. The West just want to exploit Zim’s resources which seem to be now at the mercy of the Eastern powers who never worry about human rights issues or any morals at all. Zim is now the new frontier of a West / East economic war, just like the Cold War of yester-year. Gomo, as a researcher, should look at things also from this perspective, much as he constructively criticises MDC. He, Gomo, and the West, may still live to prove that ZANU PF will never change and bring any meaningful change to the ordinary Zimbo lives whatever they may seem to pretend they are changing. ZANU PF is evil and will remain evil, with or without MDC trying to wrestle power from them. ZANU PF’s track record speaks to that, and no-one, the West included, will ever change that.

  19. rubbish analysis from mr gomo.

  20. people can forget so soon that it is fine to try and play down the importance of MDC and expect the rigging mach6ine to win, however we can foresee the tendency of dictatorship in the same ZANU PF and it amazes that we still h6ave admirers of dictators at this age and time

    1. It is pleasing that more and more Zimbabweans are beginning to see the emptiness and directionless of the MDC.

  21. Comment… Everyone commenting here is a fool. The elections in july will tell us who the president will be. Talk is cheap. And I’m pretty sure that winner will not be ed. Let them rig, thank God I’m not dependent on this rubbish bin called politics. Thank God that irrespective of wat the government is (mdc od npf), I dont get my bread from the government. So if ed wins(which is impossible in a free and fair election), let him be the president and zimbabweans will cintinue dying of hunger, and thank GOD my own businesses will not be affected. So ed goodluck with rigging. And chamisa, keep fighting, yu hrv alredy won, but kip fighting until yi victory is sure.

    1. kuda mlambo, why don’t you also urge Chamisa to keep on lying? Don’t be one-sided, please. Kkkkkk!

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