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Opinion / Columnist

MDC's tedious, shabby politics

04 Jun 2020 at 17:54hrs | Views
ZIMBABWE has never needed a stronger political opposition than now, a time of worsening economic challenges that portend an imminent regression to the calamitous crisis of a decade ago.

Dishearteningly, our opposition leaders still don't appear to appreciate the fact that the fight for a better and more inclusive democracy requires both diligent strategies and unity of purpose.

Indeed, our aspirant rulers in the MDC continue to engage in mindless leadership wars, leaving Zanu-PF to smile all the way to the country's political holy grail, to the detriment of all Zimbabweans.

Vibrant opposition parties are important if Zimbabwe is to ever reach its full potential.
Some of their key roles in this regard include holding the government accountable; ensuring that authorities function within the confines of the law; exposing corruption, nepotism and the abuse of power; and serving as a credible alternative to the ruling party.

The last point above is particularly crucial because competition is healthy in a functional democracy, especially in relation to preventing complacency by the sitting government and ensuring better service delivery to long-suffering citizens.

Equally importantly, opposition parties also serve as training grounds for future leaders, with shadow cabinets a great platform for parties to prepare their members on how to handle future ministerial and other government positions.

Alas, all these key opposition roles are a pipe dream in our seemingly cursed country, as the party that could play this role, the MDC, is always tearing itself apart.

It is not surprising, therefore, that the party's respected former chairperson, Lovemore Moyo, has described the latest bloodletting in the MDC as a "useless power struggle" that has got absolutely nothing to do with serving long-suffering Zimbabweans.

"Unfortunately, there is no winner in the on-going political fight as the two parties will significantly lose the opposition vote, supporters and credibility.

"Actually, Zanu-PF will emerge the biggest winner as it stands from a divided and unco-ordinated opposition come the 2023 general elections.

"What you are doing to yourselves, tearing each other apart, especially on social media, makes Zanu-PF smile. Focus on the ball," Moyo warned the brawling MDC leaders while speaking in an exclusive interview with the Daily News recently.

And he was completely right.

Professor of World Politics at the London School of Oriental and African Studies, Stephen Chan, chipped in saying the party's crass fights were leaving Zanu-PF with no formidable challengers.

"The external reaction to his (Nelson Chamisa's) leadership or lack of it, has been negative. This doesn't mean that Western powers will side with his rivals.

"No one is impressing the outside world right now. So, the question is not just whether Chamisa is finished.
"The question is whether the MDC has a meaningful role right now that is understood by both Zimbabweans … and the outside world that was once sympathetic to the opposition - for the opposition is opposing itself. This is a disaster," Chan said.

All these views are pretty damning, indicating that the MDC is fast losing its relevance.
Notwithstanding the misplaced and recent self-serving perceptions about the Daily News in some dodgy quarters of the country's main opposition party, we really don't care much about who leads the MDC.

Our interest - and we are unequivocal about this like many other right-thinking Zimbabweans - lies in the kind, quality and depth of the country's democracy, not the personalities and political parties per se that operate within our body politic.

It is in this light that we view the bloodletting within the MDC, very dimly - guided by the important philosophy that a united, strong and effective main opposition is good for our beautiful country.

As alluded to above, only complete fools do not appreciate the fact that leading countries - whose democracies and economies are thriving and working for the good of all their citizens - also tend to have strong opposition parties.

This is why the Daily News will continue to argue that our nascent democracy is the biggest loser as the madness within the MDC rages on, with no end in sight.

Sadly, none of the combatants in the party's feud are saints. In addition, their petty fight benefits absolutely no-one, except their fragile, inflated egos.

So, we say loudly and clearly to all the MDC's unstrategic leaders: Please do not continue to betray the aspirations of ordinary Zimbabweans.

Otherwise come 2023, Zanu-PF will once again romp to yet another victory - disputed or not - because the opposition is, as usual, taking its eyes off the ball at a crucial time of the country's history.
What is happening is frankly criminal.

Source - Daily News
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