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Welshman Ncube, Tendai Biti in futile endeavour

02 Mar 2015 at 09:12hrs | Views
Yesterday, Zimbabwe witnessed the launch of what should certainly become yet another futile opposition adventure.

MDC and MDC Renewal launched an alliance, United Movement for Democratic Change at Stanley Square in Bulawayo. Tendai Biti, the former MDC-T secretary general who left that formation a few months ago to form the MDC Renewal and Professor Welshman Ncube of the MDC came together with their structures at a rally in the city.

As we report elsewhere in this edition, Sekai Holland, Moses Mzila-Ndlovu, Goodrich Chimbaira, Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, David Coltart, Amen Mpofu, Edwin Mushoriwa and Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga among other opposition politicians lined up at the square with a few hundred supporters to proclaim the formation of yet another opposition party.

We don't see this formation making any impact on our politics. It is a coalition of election losers with respect to the MDC side of it and a squad of bitter men who tried and failed to unseat their equally hopeless former leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.

But we must express our admiration to these opposition politicians for their undying perseverance even when it is clear that the era of opposition politics in the form we had between 2000 and 2013 is gone. We have a few reasons why we think that they are destined for failure.

MDC scored a fluke in the 2008 harmonised elections when it won 10 seats in the Lower House and 12 in the Senate.

Five years later, the party collapsed to lose all, its leader polling a measly 92,000 votes in the presidential election. The formation only has four MPs now thanks to proportional representation that seeks to ensure there are more women in parliament. Otherwise without a benevolent constitution, it would have been a total eclipse.

They were only lucky to benefit from the confusion that plagued Zanu-PF in 2008. When order was restored in July 2013, the electorate gave credit where it was due and shunned those that serve no purpose.

Biti's group has a few MPs, about 18. We recognise that they are only in parliament because they benefited from Tsvangirai, who comparatively has the most support in opposition ranks, but of course, is not strong enough to win a national election. We don't see the 18 or so MPs winning in their constituencies when competing under the UMDC in the forthcoming general election.

Harare East is unlikely to return Biti or Willias Madzimure in Kambuzuma, Bekithemba Nyathi in Mpopoma/Pelandaba, Albert Mhlanga in Pumula, Sipepa Nkomo in Lobengula or his wife, Roseline in Tsholotsho North.

There has been a clear pattern in local politics where the electorate tends to vote for candidates representing political parties they deem viable and good enough to win a national election; they vote for blocs and no one in between.

Also, we see structural defects in UMDC, which betray the challenge that Biti and Prof Ncube are facing in engendering consensus in their rank and file towards a united formation.

Already, Misihairabwi-Mushonga, as we noted earlier resigned, allegedly because she didn't tolerate the fact that Prof Ncube was supporting someone else for the secretary general's post when the UMDC structure is finally announced. Frank Chamunorwa, MDC national vice chairman also resigned last week because of his unhappiness over the structure of the planned party. Misihairabwi-Mushonga and Chamunorwa are reportedly members of a bigger group that is unhappy with the form that the coalition is likely to take.

In MDC Renewal, Elton Mangoma, who played a big role in the rebellion against Tsvangirai, is said to be fighting with Biti over the alliance as well.

Nothing represents the structural defects more than the co-leaderships announced yesterday.  Prof Ncube and Holland are the co-presidents, Biti and Moses Mzila-Ndlovu the co-secretaries general and Sipepa Nkomo and Chimbaira the co-national chairmen.

Another point worth noting which should militate against the success of the UMDC is the drying up of foreign funding for opposition parties and their regime change non-governmental organisations.

MDC-T is now a destitute party, whose leader, according to reports from the private press that is embedded in MDC-T, struggles to get money to buy airtime or mow the yard of his home in Harare.  This is happening as the US is investigating the apparent abuse of $850 million it channelled to MDC-T and the regime change lobby since 2008.

Having invested all that money into a lost cause, much of it abused, the US is likely to follow Europe in reconsidering their sponsorship of local opposition parties.

Without foreign money, UMDC, MDC-T and other opposition parties cannot mount an election campaign.


Source - chronicle
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.

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