HomeOpinion & AnalysisHas democracy deserted MDC-T?

Has democracy deserted MDC-T?


FIGHTS in the opposition party, MDC-T, have exposed that all is rotten about the so-called intra-party democracy in the opposition party.

The MDC-T was in March tasked to convene, within 90 days, an extraordinary congress to choose a leader to replace the late Morgan Tsvangirai.

Eight months down the line, the party remains a battleground for egos, plots and subplots as party bigwigs fight for the control of the soul of the party.

What has been at play in this whole drama has been efforts to undermine all they purport to represent, democracy.

There is nothing democratic about creating ghost structures as we have heard is happening in the party where an individual is said to have a list of those he says are eligible to vote and the list is not known to others.

A significant figure has been blacklisted from participating at the congress as some contestants prepare for a kill.

Even those exercising their rights and freedoms, including freedom of expression, have been hounded out of the party.

This includes the recent purported expulsion of Abednico Bhebhe, the party’s national organising secretary, who had become the “voice of reason” in the party by calling to order those who are using undemocratic means to win at the long overdue extraordinary congress.

Bhebhe was booted out but he is challenging the purported expulsion and raises a lot of constitutional arguments in the process.

What betrays democracy even more is the suspension of provincial nominations following the snubbing of other contestants by the Bulawayo structures.

Results of the Bulawayo nominations did not please acting president Thokozani Khupe, acting national chairperson Morgen Komichi, secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora, national executive member Elias Mudzuri as they were beaten hands down by Bhebhe.

This was an indication that Bhebhe commands the support of the structures and they, therefore, had to silence him and bury him politically for whatever reason.
With Bhebhe vowing not to go down without a fight, the drama continues in the opposition camp.

There is absolutely no democracy to talk about in this movement that has been, since 1999, fighting for democratic change.
They cannot allow a process to choose a leader to be run smoothly, they cannot allow contestants to campaign peacefully, they cannot allow those with issues to raise them accordingly yet they want the world to believe they can deliver democracy to Zimbabwe.

The same people have accused MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa of the same and it boils down to lack of democracy in the current opposition parties.

A proposal has been made to have the extraordinary congress held virtually and some among the contestants are in full support of that.

It is as absurd as it is undemocratic to allow that and Mudzuri has raised the red flag over the matter, another battlefield opened in the party that will likely jeopardise the holding of the extraordinary congress.

We are told this process has the support of one or two contestants but is abhorred by the other two hence there is a deadlock on the matter.

Fears abound that this extraordinary congress may not take place anytime soon judging from these fights.

It ought to have taken place eight months ago but the continuous bickering and of course the usual COVID-19 excuse have stood in the way hence the quest for a virtual extraordinary congress.

Several questions remain to be answered if the party is to go for the virtual extraordinary congress.

How will the technophobic and those without access to phones participate?

Are there any measures to ensure that all the participants make a choice on this matter or not?

Ironically, when they formed MDC in 1999, they blamed Zanu PF of dictatorial tendencies, yet once they established their foothold, they wanted to be like them. It’s an open secret that Zanu PF has guided democracy and they live up to it.

In fact, at this rate, they remain the only alternative come 2023, especially if the opposition does not change the way they conduct themselves. It appears Zanu PF will be succeeded by another Zanu PF — good or bad. Why not when the supposed opposition is on leave — setting its eyes on the trappings of power, success, wealth — rather than Zanu PF’s alleged brute military force on the majority Zimbabweans.

Clearly, democracy has long deserted the opposition camp and whatever the outcome of this chaotic process, it will certainly not reflect the will of its members.

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