A colossus with feet of clay

The party that Morgan Tsvangirai and Gibson Sibanda founded is now on its death bed.

FOR the first time since the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) was formed in 1999, the party failed to win a single parliamentary or council seat in the just ended harmonised elections.

That the MDC failed to get a single seat out of the 210 parliamentary and 1 970 council seats in the August 23 and 24 harmonised elections is a major dent on Zimbabwe’s hopes of being a mature democracy.

A major party such as the MDC cannot fall out of the country’s political matrix in such spectacular fashion without the nation noticing.

In fact, it is a huge political scandal, to say the least, that such a major opposition party as the MDC is now virtually on its death bed if not already in the morgue.

Democratic tenets dictate that there must always be room for choice from the grassroots all the way up to the selection of the government.

This means that such institutions as Parliament, where a country’s laws are crafted, must provide an opportunity for various views to flourish.

The more the political parties, the merrier. Parliament needs independent lawmakers who are not beholden to political formations and thus escape the whipping system.

The party that Morgan Tsvangirai and Gibson Sibanda founded is now on its death bed.

The party that popularised the red colour and made change the famous buzzword is exiting the scene amid claims it was now cosying up to the party it was supposed to dislodge, Zanu PF.

In 2000, the barely year-old MDC garnered 57 seats in Parliament in a major haul for the opposition party and in the process, the biggest threat to the ruling Zanu PF party, which appeared to be wont on creating a one-party State.

More opposition parties in Parliament facilitate robust debate and the chance to create laws and policies which are fully representative of national aspirations.

History will not forgive Douglas Mwonzora for taking the party to the grave. Or maybe to put it more politely, it must be painful for survivors of Zanu PF’s brutal attacks on the party’s supporters that a once giant political party may be breathing its last on Mwonzora’s lap.

How he failed to even marshal a single council seat out of 1 970 is more than astounding; and the fact that he has not resigned as MDC leader further boggles the mind.

Mwonzora disrupted business in the Ninth Parliament by recalling Members of Parliament who had deserted his camp.

After recalling the MPs, he went on to lose the seats to new kid on the block, the Citizens Coalition for Change, which has now become the main and only opposition party in Parliament.

The recall of councillors in Harare left the local authority with “stooges” that approved the skewed Pomona deal, which will cost Harare US$1 billion in 30 years.

The MDC was rejected for its past transgressions.

And, as history will record, the party’s tagline of rational disputation found no takers. Under Mwonzora, the party became a colossus with feet of clay.

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