AS THE vicious factional wars that are tearing apart Zimbabwe’s main opposition plumb new lows with each passing day, political analysts say the MDC may have reached the end of the road in its current incarnation.
In addition, they say, both Thokozani Khupe and Nelson Chamisa have to take responsibility for allowing the once formidable party founded by the late Morgan Tsvangirai to come to pieces so spectacularly by failing to resolve their differences. This comes as Khupe’s interim leadership has said that it will recall up to 38 party legislators and hundreds of councillors across the country starting as early as this week, as the MDC’s mindless bloodletting decimates the opposition corps.
Authoritative University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer, Eldred Masunungure, was among the analysts who told the Daily News yesterday that the MDC’s name was now possibly fatally damaged.
“The MDC Alliance has reached a dead end in terms of its political life. The battle for the MDC brand is needless, hence the need for a fresh start because the party has charismatic leaders … all they need to do is to infuse that into a new name and within a short time they will be a household name again.
“The problem is that the leaders at this moment are thinking with their hearts instead of their heads. They are using their sentimental attachment to the name but are only damaging their morale and confidence,” he said.
“To be honest, the weight of the name has been seriously eroded and the onus is now on the leadership to do the right thing at the right time.
“This rigmarole around a damaged name will not take them anywhere,” Masunugure added.
Professor of World Politics at the London School of Oriental and African Studies, Stephen Chan, slammed both Khupe and Chamisa for not putting the country first in their fights.
“This is the war of the MDCs. If there is no dialogue between the MDC and Zanu-PF there is certainly no dialogue between the MDCs.
“But these MPs (facing recalls) were democratically elected. To that extent, this is in fact a war against democracy for the sake of winning party turf.
“As with Zanu-PF, the party has become more important than the nation,” Chan told the Daily News yesterday. Last week, Chan also warned that the mayhem consuming the opposition was likely to gift Zanu-PF electoral victory in 2023.
“The various factions of the MDC are doing the work of Zanu-PF and … the ruling party can barely hide its delight that the once formidable opposition is now splintered into two feuding half-parties, neither of whom would be strong enough to win an election.
“I said some time ago that Chamisa should have been decisive and rebranded and registered that part of the MDC under his control. He wavered and an unedifying dog-fight began. “Basically the MDC is not only falling apart, it has actually fallen apart. It cannot challenge Zanu-PF in its current factional state.
“Zanu-PF must be delighted that the opposition insists on opposing itself. Chamisa seems to have lost his drive and his strategic energy,” Chan told the Daily News.
This comes as the MDC’s standing committee last week resolved to sack all legislators and councillors opposed to Khupe’s leadership. Among the bigwigs who could be jettisoned as soon as this week, in this latest party carnage, are MDC Alliance vice president Lynette Karenyi-Kore and, surprisingly, the coalition’s firebrand deputy national chairperson Job “Wiwa” Sikhala who have remained loyal to Chamisa.
MDC national chairperson Morgen Komichi confirmed to the Daily News on Friday that the party’s interim leadership had resolved to fire all legislators and hundreds of councillors across the country who are opposed to Khupe’s group.
He said the move was informed by the desire of the interim leadership to “realign the party and focus it on the needs of Zimbabweans”.
“We have reached a point where we are saying we cannot continue with members who have chosen to be stubborn.
“There is no way you can be Zanu-PF and be MDC-T at the same time, and any party that is serious is bound to take action. So, the letters will be written to Parliament soon,” Komichi said.
“The affected MPs have chosen not to align with the MDC-T, the major party in the MDC Alliance. They are siding with Chamisa and the national standing committee resolved that we have to take action,” he added.
Besides Karenyi-Kore and Sikhala, other prominent legislators targeted for the chop include Joana Mamombe (Harare West), Caston Matewu (Marondera Central), Ethrage Kureva (Epworth), Starman Chamisa (Mbare), Costa Machingauta (Budiriro), Erica Murai (Highfield East) and Brian Dube (Gweru Urban).
MDC Alliance secretary-general Chalton Hwende said the mooted recalls were being instigated by Zanu-PF, with Khupe allegedly just a willing tool.
“What we know is that this is not necessarily about the name but that it is a political fight.
“We are consulting our people on what needs to be done and as I speak with you today, there are 210 meetings going on countrywide being addressed by national and provincial executive members to get the people’s views.
“By the end of the day today (yesterday) we will be having a clear picture of how we are going to fight,” Hwende told the Daily News yesterday.
On his part, Sikhala said he was unfazed by the planned recalls.
“The freedom (to recall) is theirs. The people will walk with me all the way to freedom and victory.
“Not only will the people of Zengeza West stand with me, but the entire Zimbabwe population from Zambezi to Limpopo and from Forbes Border to Victoria Falls will.
“Being a Member of Parliament has never been the ultimate price for the people of Zimbabwe. Whosoever thinks it is the citadel of emancipation is a fool,” Sikhala let rip.
This comes as Khupe has so far already recalled 21 legislators out of a total of 110 party representatives in the National Assembly and the Senate – as well as dozens of councillors around the country, as the ructions consuming the main opposition party worsen.
The MDC has been ravaged by its futile ructions since Tsvangirai died from colon cancer in February 2018.
The party’s infighting went a notch up after the Supreme Court judgment earlier this year which upheld last year’s ruling by the High Court that nullified Chamisa’s ascendancy to the leadership of the party.
Source – dailynews