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Another MDC self-made defeat on the horizon

11 Jan 2018 at 11:09hrs | Views
Driving through the noisy downtown streets of Harare on a lazy, sunny, Tuesday afternoon, this writer came across a bumper sticker that got her thinking on the current state of affairs in one of the country's largest opposition parties, the MDC, in all its fragmented forms.
The sticker read: "The saddest thing about betrayal is that it never comes from your enemies but from those you know and the greatest form of betrayal happens to be self-betrayal."

The MDC has faced defeat after defeat since its inception in 1999 and these defeats have all come as a result of self-betrayal, no matter how much anyone tries to tell you otherwise and lay the blame on some phantom outside force.

That party has been its own worst enemy since inception.

Some of the major highlights of its disappointing existence have been characterised by one split after another, costing them dearly in every election.

The first split came in 2005 and was caused by having two main egos (that of Morgan Tsvangirai and Prof Welshman Ncube) not agreeing on whether or not to take part in Senatorial elections. A surprisingly idiotic move since years later, the party is now fielding senatorial candidates.

The latest series of splits came after the embarrassing 2013 defeat and this saw that party's Treasurer General, Elton Mangoma, being physically assaulted by party youths and his subsequent departure from the party accompanied by the then Secretary General, Tendai Biti.  
The duo's reasons for disserting the party were centred on their lack of tolerance for Tsvangirai's methods and tactics that led to the party's dismal performance in the 2013 election.

Predictably, Biti has re-joined Tsvangirai's MDC through the back door, which is the MDC-Alliance, a coalition which is still under the stewardship of Tsvangirai, a man he blamed for his departure in the first place.

One wonders why Biti squandered three good years out in the political wilderness only for him to return, tail between legs and very little to show for his political philandering. It is another error which is home-made in the MDC that has cost them a lot of political ground.

Now the nation is seven or eight months away from the elections and the party seems to have learnt very little if anything from its past mistakes and they keep shooting themselves in the foot.

When President Emmerson Mnangagwa and one of his deputies, General (Rtd) Constentino Chiwenga paid a courtesy call on Tsvangirai, the world's suspicions were confirmed beyond any reasonable doubt, it was made clear that the opposition leader was critically ill and was in no shape to lead his party anywhere.
Reasonable and compassionate people would have taken this opportunity to give their leader a respectable exit on medical grounds and spare him another agonising defeat at the hands of ZANU PF.

However, the MDC being MDC, have come out guns blazing insisting that the bedridden Tsvangirai was their preferred candidate and he would stand against the rejuvenated ZANU PF veteran Mnangagwa, in the presidential race.

Forcing a sick man to go through the rigorous and hectic process of campaigning and taking part in an election does not seem like a good idea to anyone except for those in the MDC itself.

Even after the man himself hinted on stepping down, his party could not let him simply rest. In his New Year statement, Tsvangirai wrote: "I am looking at the imminent prospects of us as the older generation leaving the levers of leadership to allow the younger generation to take forward this huge task that we started together so many years ago."

Talk of ignoring the signs. The man is saying I can no longer take the pressure of losing an election and needs to rest but someone in the MDC sees it as a good idea to force march Tsvangirai to another loss. Please have mercy.

To add insult to injury, some political vultures are already circling and aiming to take charge of the party in the unfortunate event that Tsvangirai is medically incapacitated and unable to carry on.
Three camps have emerged as front runners in the succession wars, each presumably being led by the three vice presidents. The fight has spilled onto social media with some pages emerging and purportedly representing rival factions.

There is a @team_chamisa and a @team_khupe which have already began throwing salvo at each other in support of their preferred candidates for president on Twitter. On the other hand, party SG, Douglas Mwonzora seems to have become Elias Mudzuri's political commissar.

So, on top of having an ailing leader, being broke, now they have a succession war to deal with in a party that expects to win an election. I don't see it happening.

MDC is on the fast track to yet another defeat and they will only have the chaos they have created in their party and alliance to blame.


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Source - Charles Motsi
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