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'Intra-party violence fomenting split'

08 Apr 2019 at 12:36hrs | Views
THE intra-party violence rocking the main MDC party ahead of its May congress might cause the party to split if history is anything to go by, analysts contend.

Reports coming from the provinces across Zimbabwe are disturbing as violence seems to be escalating in the main opposition party, notwithstanding last week's standing committee meeting which was meant to deal with the scourge.

Violence in the MDC has often led to a split. For example, Tendai Biti left after violence, so did Elton Mangoma, Thokozani Khupe and Welshman Ncube.  

Former MDC legislator Jessie Majome said it is sad to see the party rapidly losing its democratic credentials and moral compass.
Majome doubts if the MDC leadership has what it takes to nip the scourge in the bud.

"If it's right at the top, I don't see it happening as I have not seen in (MDC leader Nelson) Chamisa an appetite to restrain his violent and intolerant supporters who terrorise and bully dissenters in his name," she said. While all contestations for political positions are known to be emotional, it is the degree that differs.

Social analyst Lenox Mhlanga said as long as the rules of engagement remain above board and constitutional, it would be the duty of the party's leadership to ensure that sanity prevails.
"Chamisa and his colleagues should set a good example to the rest of the contestants by playing clean and within the legal parameters of elective contests," said Mhlanga.

Political analyst MacDonald Lewanika said the violence witnessed in the MDC is condemnable as it shows the extent to which negative political culture has permeated society. "It festers because it is condoned and often in service to the leaders. Those contesting for top positions at the MDC congress in May must be weary of the damage that these undemocratic practices do to the kingdom they want to inherit," said Lewanika.

"For purposes of differentiating themselves from Zanu-PF, MDC must get together and collectively condemn violence and commit themselves to democratic ways of accessing power."

Political analyst Maxwell Saungweme said it was unfortunate that the country now has a situation whereby Zanu-PF uses violence as an electoral tool, so is the main opposition that seeks to replace it.
"This should make voters see similarities that are there between Zanu-PF and the opposition that are often concealed by rhetoric, political banter and electoral euphoria.

"Once you start a dirty campaign of violence, the poll will be violent and its outcome challenged in courts or other fora. It's no rocket science," said Saungweme.

Crisis coalition spokesperson Tabani Moyo said the MDC must remain true to its founding vision by embracing diversity of views and opinion while responding to the plight of the working class.
"The issue is not about the congress but what the party can do post the congress mandate.

There is need for rejuvenation so that the opposition holds the ruling party accountable and that in itself it has the capacity to behave like the government in waiting – that is thinking strategically and shaping the narrative of a better Zimbabwe," said Moyo.

Political analyst Vivid Gwede said the focus should not be on positions, but on making the new Zimbabwe getting realised.
"The MDC must balance between the interests of the structures and those of the many people who vote for it even outside the structures," he said.

He said what is not in contest is that the current leadership got a ringing endorsement at the last elections, which means that the coming congress must be in tandem with the people's feeling as they played out in the elections.

"…we do not expect ambition, however, legitimate to run contrary to the popular endorsement of the MDC as currently constituted especially in the presidium," said Gwede.

Source - dailynews
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