Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

MDC-T, a poorly performer in internal democracy

11 Apr 2017 at 16:19hrs | Views
So the MDC-T does not have a candidate election criteria, 18 years after it was formed? Did the MDC-T not come into existence to participate in elections? Failing to have a candidate selection criterion in their constitution is similar to having a newly wed couple having no idea about how they want to manage their bedroom life and with what ends.

The haggling in the opposition party's ranks over how to choose candidates to represent it in the 2018 election shows that the party's constitution is just part of their unused furniture. True, some Christians keep bibles only for the purposes of impressing their visitors. When such Christians are faced with problems requiring the counsel of the bible, they venture into the mountains to seek the help of a red garment prophet who plies his trade there.

It is both funny and annoying to hear a party that purports to represent democracy failing to promote the very fabric of democracy where political power has to be contested openly without any impediments to the process. And now we hear a whole spokesman and secretary general of the beleaguered party saying sitting members of parliament cannot be contested. Why under the sun must such a foolish thing be done? Or is there another word that describes foolishness better?

Sitting members of parliament must be the first people to be contested to see if what they promised their electorate five years ago is what they have been doing all the while. People's satisfaction with their representatives must be put to the test, exposing the said representatives to the approval of the electorate through primary elections. Candidates imposition is the worst action a party can do both to itself and the electorate and is sure to be accompanied by diminishing returns.

The huge secret that has been let out by this political chickenery is that Tsvangirai himself is quite aware of the support fatigue in his people over his presidency and style of leadership. If he has such limited confidence in his own party, what more confidence then does he have in the national electorate in awarding him the presidency come 2018? Did you hear it that the party's newest mini-constitution designed only for candidates' selection for 2018 has barred junior party members from contesting their seniors? What is seniority in politics? Is its age? Is it hierarchy? Is it length of stay in the party? Is it how vocal one is? Or is it how close one is to Harvest House?

Ok, lets assume the party's definition of seniority is age, are there are not many people older than Tsvangirai in the party? Are Nelson Chamisa, Thokozani Khupe and Elias Mudzuri triplets? Truly, this formula is untenable and cannot be seen to be used by a party with leadership that went beyond grade seven and passed.

If seniority meant the length of stay in the party, how about those that once defected and rejoined the party? Are they not similar to children that reentered their mothers' wombs after suffering the vexations of upper primary school arithmetic? When those children re-emerge from the same womb the second time, when will be their birthdays? Was Elizabeth Macheka not a Zanu pf cadre a few years ago in Joseph Macheka's household before she became Tsvangirai's wife? So would she pass as a very junior member of the party?

Ok, enough of this seniority equation! Lets go to church. In the Pentecostal movement where the flamboyant men of God have emerged from, which one among them is post forty years? Did they not leave pastors and near-prophets who are post sixty years and struggling to build their religious empires? If age had anything to do with popularity, was Andre Rajoelina ever going to rule Madagascar with relative ease?

With this type of mini-constitution, who will dare challenge Tsvangirai? Who under the sun will challenge his provincial organizing secretary whose signature put him in the district structures? Who really will see the need to challenge Tsvangirai whether or not he has more political clout than him?

Is the party not named Movement for Democratic Change? What species of democracy is this? Or probably the Tsvangirai surname attached to the party's name has diluted the little democracy the party claimed to have possessed. Interestingly, the same party harps about Zanu Pf's alleged lack of democracy.

The MDC must preach democracy first at home before it runs the expanse of the country preaching about a subject they understand very little about. If anything, the continuous fractures common with the party are results of the miscarriage of democracy. True to my word, this democracy test will claim a sizeable chunk of the party's democratic worth well before 2018, mark my words.

Source - Chigumbu Warikandwa
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.