Friday 3 April 2020


FEARS are mounting regarding the future of the MDC, amid warnings from both within and outside the country’s main opposition that Tuesday’s Supreme Court ruling could have far-reaching implications on the party and its performance in the 2023 elections.

Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, both party insiders and political analysts expressed grave concern about the continuing brawling within the party, amid indications that the main protagonists on both sides of the mindless bloodletting are prepared to take the party down with them.

“We may not want to admit it, but we are in a royal, mega mess that goes beyond the Supreme Court’s ruling and Zanu PF’s machinations.

“I’m truly staggered by how we continue to score multiple own goals to our own detriment, as is exemplified by the party’s politically naive decision to appeal last year’s High Court ruling which has worsened our situation.

“Now, we are arguing that we are MDC Alliance and not bothered by the Supreme Court’s ruling. If that is so, why did we bring this misery on ourselves?” an anguished senior party official bemoaned.

“Save (totem for the late MDC founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai) would have never fallen for this bait as we saw in 2005 and 2014 when some comrades foolishly took him on,” the official further told the Daily News.

Another dejected party bigwig said the only way forward for the party was for the various combatants to “realise that their political future was on the line” and that “only mature discussions among us all will resolve this ugliness”.

“I am aware that I am among the minority on this, but we are all going nowhere fast if we continue to put our egos in front as we are doing.

“We must sit down and sort out these differences once and for all, if we are for the people … otherwise Zanu PF will rule unfettered until kingdom come.

“If we fail to do this, not only will we have to deal with another damaging split, we will also witness even more bloody feuds over funds, assets, MPs and everything else that we can kill each other for,” the second official told the Daily News.

Similarly, political analysts also warned that the road ahead would be “very bumpy” as both Nelson Chamisa and Thokozani Khupe dug in in their corners.

University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer, Eldred Masunungure, was among those who said that the MDC was facing significant turmoil.

“The judgment has introduced new dynamics, putting the entire opposition into uncertainty. As a result, the opposition will be very weak in 2023, just as was the case in 2005 and 2013.

“I’m not sure what the legal implications are with regards to the party’s name, but whatever the case may be immense turbulence is inevitable in the MDC.

“There is going to be gnashing of teeth and this problem is not going to be wished away,” Masunungure told the Daily News.

“It was clear for some time that there was terrible factionalism in the MDC, and now the Supreme Court has exposed all this,” he added.

Masunugure also warned that Khupe was likely to hold sway over both the party’s legislators and councillors, who were elected in the 2018 national polls under the MDC Alliance banner.

“Morgan Komichi absolved all those councillors who were suspended. He is already moving to take charge of the party.

“If MPs and councillors … misbehave, they can be recalled by the new MDC leadership. The bottom line is that the legal position appears to favour the Khupe group and anyone who defies them could be recalled.

“The MPs and councillors are in an invidious position … they are all probably searching high and low for the best way forward,” Masunungure said.

He also said it would be wrong to simply blame Zanu PF for all of the MDC’s problems “because they are largely self-inflicted”.

“The problem started in February 2018 with the decision to appoint Chamisa as the president. Some of us pointed this to Chamisa, but we were ridiculed because of the wave of populism around him.

“Everything has consequences and these are the consequences of a rushed decision … this is largely self-inflected.

“Of course, Zanu PF is capable of making Machiavellian moves, but the MDC has itself to blame,” Masunungure further told the Daily News.

“Of course Zanu PF would not be celebrating like they are doing if this decision strengthened the MDC. They are happy because their greatest threat has been seriously affected,” he added.
 On his part, Rashweat Mukundu accused Zanu PF of trying to destroy the MDC ahead of the 2023 elections. Daily News


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