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MDC Alliance remains a cry baby

06 Jan 2021 at 07:14hrs | Views
Whenever die-hard cadres in the MDC Alliance see smoke in the MDC-T, they wish it was hell manifesting, except that this time it is a braai not hell.

It is common cause that the victims of Thokozani Khupe's axe in Parliament and town councils are in celebratory mood, having witnessed a congress marred by fierce mudslinging, disagreements and all sorts of disputes. Perhaps the biggest of them all is the supposed fall of the iron lady Khupe herself.

The songstress sings

The MDC Alliance story is as predictable as a published song.

The ruling Zanu-PF party has had easy wins at the general elections, primarily due to the MDC's reluctance or naivety to address the elephant in the room.

It has always been the allegation of the mainstream opposition that elections in Zimbabwe are rigged in favour of Zanu-PF.

Taken to be true, the obvious would then be to address issues to do with safeguarding the people's vote.

That should be the clear focus of the opposition where all energies and resources must be invested.

These issues relate to firstly, security sector reform where the country's security sector does not dictate or influence the constitutional and political order of the day.

Secondly, being the issue of guarantee of the independence of the election body, ZEC.

Thirdly, being the issue of airwaves and broadcasting being opened for all and sundry to inculcate a culture of debate and tolerance of divergent views.

Fourth, being the issue of Zimbabwean elections being compliant to the Sadc guidelines on governing free and fair elections. The list goes beyond these.

A chance to reform was lost during the government of national unity, and it was lost big time.

On the other hand the question of the rural vote remains critical and poorly addressed.

The rural vote can only be gained through action on the ground — making inroads in Zanu-PF strongholds — not by being loud mouths on Twitter.

The MDC Alliance has no impact on the ground in the rural areas and as long as the bull is not taken by the horns, the political songstress will continue to sing the song of electoral loss to the MDC Alliance.

We fall to rise

This is a principle of life that none of us can dispute.

The massive onslaught by Khupe in 2019 against the elevation of nelson Chamisa to the presidency saw him being "dethroned" by the high Court as confirmed by the Supreme Court in March 2020.

I remember an article I wrote advising the MDC Alliance of critical political options it painfully had to take which could have left it breathing better today (see https://www.zimeye. net/2020/04/26/lest-the-alliance-willbark-outside-the-camp/ ) .

I will point out something very profound that Chamisa needs to realise, and most probably why the options suggested in the article with the above link were not followed.

Tendai Biti, Welshman Ncube, Job Sikhala on one side, and Douglas Mwonzora, Morgen Komichi, Khupe and elias Mudzuri on the other, are all veterans of the MDC who were there at its inception back in 1999.

However, the first three Biti, ncube and Sikhala share a common denominator which informs their advice and decisions with regards to political processes in the MDC Alliance.

These men have been rebels at some point and witnessed the harsh weather when they left the late MDC founder Morgan Tsvangirai.

They cited the degeneration of original values and principles of the MDC under Tsvangirai, a culture of violence being the central issue.

however, they witnessed that there were no values and principles to talk about when there is political failure, and the numbers don't go with you.

If there is a lesson they have learnt it is that they must remain in the party come what may and thus, they stay no matter the illegality of the party.

After the Supreme Court judgment, the MDC Alliance's best options lay in rebranding itself and setting up a separate political party, not a loose coalition of political parties.

Khupe later argued that the MDC-T was the MDC Alliance because it was the legitimate camp which Tsvangirai headed and led, she was right.

With regards to the other option, Chamisa had better chances in accepting the judgment and submitting to the congress and challenge for the presidency.

The legal and political woes would have been dealt with once and for all. But alas, the Bitis, ncube's and Sikhala's would not let him, they have seen how going solo and leaving numbers behind backfires.

These are the men behind MDC Alliance's misfortunes, being reduced to a mere silhouette of yesteryear MDC.

They will challenge him for the presidency at the opportune time like they did with Tsvangirai.

It is compress not oppress

The MDC-T extraordinary congress is now gone, Lovemore Madhuku has advised that despite the chaos, the congress was legally compliant.

Mwonzora's work is to take the legitimate opposition party to the Political Actors Dialogue (Polad) and the negotiating table to address the economic challenges that have affected millions of us.

This has been in the public domain as MDC-T has been party to Polad.

If there was any shred of doubt, it was put to rest when Mwonzora announced the creation of a post to deal specifically with dialogue efforts.

That process will involve and is set on moulding a political framework and arrangement to work together with government in its efforts to resuscitate the economy.

It is wishful to think that any peaceful and vibrant political economy can ever be established in Zimbabwe without both the ruling and opposition parties coming to the table.

Mwonzora's work is to unite the party after the chaos that happened at the congress and he has taken immediate decisive action by announcing the appointment of Khupe as first vice-president, and will also request ratification from the national council for Mudzuri's appointment as second vice-president of the party.

Komichi has been retained as national chair.

This, completed the unity puzzle forestalling any chance of breaking up, and it means the party will go into the Polad dialogue with unity of purpose, which is critical.

This compresses the MDC Alliance even further as all it knows is to bark, with no influence on real government processes.

Most of its MPs were recalled and are contemplating trekking back to the real MDC-T, now that they run the real risk of political extinction and irrelevance as Biti did to Samuel nkomo, elton Mangoma, the Madzores and others.

Mwonzora should make sure MDC-T retains its status as the legitimate opposition party in the country not only on paper but on the ground.

While legally this has been achieved, a lot still needs to be done to compress the base, and throttle the MDC Alliance's legitimacy claims which are legally incorrect and politically illegitimate, and ultimately gain the numbers as the only viable alternative with impact.

Robert Sigauke is a legal manager and political commentator. He writes in his personal capacity. He can be reached on robert.carl@rocketmail. com

Source - newsday
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