via MDC still popular but must deliver – DailyNews Live 10 July 2014 by Itai Dzamara
HARARE – Zimbabwe’s political dynamics and realities are undergoing a critical phase that is shifting perceptions, national mood and, by implication, the national agenda.
I have moved around the country over the last three months assessing the situation as well as gauging the political processes, and discovered three things.
First, Zanu PF has been losing, and continues to lose much of the support and votes of people who still had some sympathy for the party, or, for some reasons, voted for it last year.
The terrible turn of events caused mainly by the accelarated economic decline since last year’s elections, are all conniving to destroy Zanu PF’s support base among the electorate.
I honestly don’t see President Robert Mugabe and his party being able to proffer any other excuses or justifications for the worsening national leadership and economic crisis.
It is a cocktail of Mugabe and his party’s propensity for self-destructive economic policies, the endemic rot of corruption and plunder, as well as the accumulative effects from 34 years of running a rotten system. Zanu PF is proving to Zimbabweans that it is a source of failure, hunger and poverty.
The fact that Zanu PF controversially won elections just 12 months ago, makes it worse, because the people’s anger and disgruntlement is now justified.
People are openly questioning the logic of Zanu PF having “won” elections, only to plunge the nation into the hell of failure, poverty and suffering.
Any claim of Zanu PF retaining whatever support it had in terms of votes, under these circumstances can only be a blatant lie, or a cruel insult to the intelligence of Zimbabweans all over the country, who are bearing the brunt of Zanu PF’s unmitigated failure.
Secondly, the Biti project in the MDC, which had been crafted to change the political dynamics, has become highly suspicious, discredited and controversial right from the beginning and surely set to fail in gaining traction and popular support.
Beyond the noise and media headlines, the Biti project is, in real terms, a huge flop — largely because of the clumsy execution, controversial signals and positions, as well as bad timing.
I find the way ahead of the Biti group already seriously poisoned, not least by their own suspicious antics, controversial signals and images.
The main sentiment among the people, where the Biti group wants support, is that, it was either created, or hijacked by Zanu PF.
I have no doubt, that is a seal of death in terms of the battle for people’s hearts and sympathy.
The timing couldn’t have been worse for the MDC rebels — the people are at a crossroads and haunted by Zanu PF’s double blow of rigging polls and only to plunge the nation into suffering.
I am sure wrath befalls anyone that comes across as being a tool for “destroying the people’s project” as the Biti camp is generally being viewed to be.
Thirdly, the foregoing assessments leave the MDC under Tsvangirai to remain the most popular and looked upon by the people. The main reason sustaining the MDC’s popularity — and even increasing it — is the ripple effect of the catastrophic plunge into disaster by the Zanu PF regime, coupled with the flop of the Biti project.
In other words, the majority of Zimbabweans have a vivid comprehension of the main options before them, and, clearly find the MDC the better one.
Credit must also go to Tsvangirai and the MDC, for their record, for example, in both fighting for change and also involvement in the coalition government.
However, and more crucially, the MDC is faced with a daunting task, under the heavy weight of expectation and national responsibility.
One of the reasons behind the worsening national crisis is that, while the ruling party is totally clueless and hopeless, the people are not getting tangible and effective plans or action from the opposition, and that means Tsvangirai and the MDC.
It is my conviction that Zanu PF has crashed into a dead end, together with the nation, and there is a need for a way to retrieve the wreckage before bodies start decomposing under it. That task, in my view, is incumbent upon the MDC because it is the one with the people’s support.
As each day passes, the task becomes more compelling and urgent, because, the wheels have since come off, yet again.
The task has become a do-or-die challenge for Tsvangirai and the MDC.
*Itai Dzamara is a publisher of News Leader.