Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

Unforgivable betrayal of the people by the MDC formations

13 Mar 2014 at 06:54hrs | Views
The current state of opposition politics in Zimbabwe is regrettable. It confirms the betrayal of the people  by the MDC. This is a cause for concern for many who have over the years invested their blood, sweat and tears  in a bid to bring about change in Zimbabwe. For many, to see the opposition parties in a state of disarray is yet another sad chapter in the history of our nation. The duty of any opposition - a responsible opposition party, is to hold the government of the day to account. In the absence of a viable opposition party, the whole of Zimbabwe will lose and the powerful Zanu-PF government will implement whatever policies suit their political agenda and political philosophy and rightly so. So what went wrong for the opposition which only a decade or so seemed so powerful and so promising?

There are a number of reasons as to what contributed to the decline or to the impotence of the opposition. Firstly, in the case of MDC, the split in 2005 was devastating to the fortunes and the credibility of the party. It is public knowledge that the split left the party weaker and not stronger. The departure of Welshman Ncube or Morgan Tsvangirai due to the split - whichever the way you look at it, damaged the party and this had ripple effects to the opposition politics in the country as a whole. What was lacking then and is still the case today, as I see it, is durable, decisive, selfless, courageous and quality leadership in opposition politics.

I believe there are many Zimbabweans of high calibre who can meet the grade of good and quality leadership however these sorts of people are either disillusioned by the state of the current political atmosphere in opposition politics or simply they lack courage to challenge the status quo in their respective parties. As of the MDC-T, the basic point remains that the split in 2005 and the looming split will further deplete the quality of leadership within the MDC-T. The intolerance of divergent views within the MDC-T, for example, serves to indicate a leadership incapable of uniting for a purpose to execute the very basic objective of its existence - that is upholding democratic principles. Unless the two MDC formations unite, the pathway to a new democratic Zimbabwe will continue to be a pipe dream, a mirage, and an aspiration for many years to come.

Secondly the dependence on donor money is problematic for both MDC formations and is an affront to our democracy. Some of these donors have unbelievable stranglehold on the opposition movements. Although I do not have concrete evidence on the extent and intent of influence by donor organisations on opposition politics, it is public knowledge that the donor community exert enormous influence on how opposition politics is conducted in our country.

One therefore wonders if the opposition movements in our country are really independent and people drive? In large part this dependence may have compromised the agenda and the determination by MDC formations to achieve their goals. This is because energy is focussed on appeasing the donor community more than at thinking through expedient strategies at critical junctures to inflict fatal wounds to Zanu-PF. Political parties must find ways of fundraising locally amongst their supporters and sympathisers. This will free them from the burden of being controlled by those with a hidden agenda - sometimes the agenda from these donor organisations is overt and disdainful.

So what could be the solution to this conundrum? There are no easy answers but there are simple things that the both MDC formations can do if the political will is there. Firstly there needs to be a leadership renewal in both MDC formations in order to bring about a fresh start - a new impetus to foster confidence in the opposition movement which not long ago was formidable political force.  Once there is new leadership in both MDC formations then a task of merging the two formations can begin. The current leadership carry a lot of political and personal baggage and their continued stay at the helm is doing more harm than good. It is difficult to see how the current leadership will come up with new ideas to revive the fortunes of the party. Of course it is not impossible but it is improbable. The current leadership lacks political courage and will to radically change the course of events. Otherwise the MDC formations are doomed. They need to change or die. 

I do not believe that formation of yet more new mickey-mouse political parties will be a solution. What I think will appeal to many faithful MDC supporters is a change of course, change of leadership, rebranding the party including defining or redefining the ideology of the party, rethinking of the strategies - coming up with a clear pathway stating purposely and clear the plan until 2018.The MDC formations combined have a massive support base which is at this present time demoralised, disillusioned and despairing.  The opposition movement has betrayed the hopes and aspirations of many. This is unforgivable.

Failure to resolve problems by the MDC only serves to strengthen Zanu-PF. Those in Zanu-PF are rubbing their hands in glee and enjoy the spectacle of MDC's confusion and ineptitude.

Sipho Phani Sibanda describes himself as a political amateur who takes pride in exercising his constitutional right of freedom of speech. He can be contacted via email: 

Source - Sipho Phani Sibanda
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.

Get latest news by email: