HomeEditorial CommentDemocracy should not be this scary

Democracy should not be this scary


THE call by the Douglas Mwonzora-led MDC-T for the postponement of the 2023 harmonised elections is not only an assault on democracy, but exposes the selfish nature of the unelected opposition party that wants to continue to reap where it did not sow.

This week, MDC-T national chairperson Morgen Komichi told NewsDay that elections should be postponed to allow dialogue to take place between their party and President Emmerson Mnangagwa over electoral reforms. Elections now or in 2023, would be “a waste of time”, he said.

The call by the MDC-T is, of course, coming at a time when it has, through the courts and tacit support of the establishment, recalled 40 MDC Alliance legislators and 80 councillors and have replaced them with its own proxies, who were not elected by Zimbabweans in the 2018 elections.

Backed by armed police and the military, the faction seized control of MDC Alliance’s headquarters in central Harare.

The party has also been receiving funding which is allocated to political parties which received over 5% of the vote in the preceding election. The party’s candidate, Thokozani Khupe, could not scrap together more than 3,03% of the vote.

The new MDC-T leaders, Douglas Mwonzora and Komichi were elected on an MDC Alliance ticket. So, the call to defer elections is not only self-serving, but a matter of self-preservation for a party filled by people who clearly feel their political careers may not extend beyond a public reckoning.

It is a fact that Zimbabwe requires extensive political reforms before the next election cycle to avoid yet another disputed poll and political gridlock.

However, such discussions need all of Zimbabwe’s body politic. It also requires political will, but Mnangagwa has shown no appetite for reforms that could make it easy for long-suffering Zimbabweans to vote him out of power.

It is clear that Mwonzora and his MDC-T outfit are not making this proposal for the good of the country, but to preserve their political relevance and shelf life.

Mwonzora, who was part of the team that produced the popular 2013 Constitution, has become a willing stooge in shredding the same Constitution to suit the interests of Mnangagwa, who simply wants absolute power.

The attempts to subvert the will of the people at the altar of personal interests by Mwonzora and his grouping of political opportunists should be rejected with the contempt it deserves.

Zimbabwe should not sacrifice democracy at the altar of greedy and self-serving individuals like Komichi and Mwonzora.

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