via Zim opposition failing to take lead on graft protest | SW Radio Africa by Nomalanga Moyo on Thursday, February 6, 2014
The opposition MDC-T party is failing to mobilise the people against corruption in the wake of scandals at State-linked institutions, a political researcher has said.
In the past month, ordinary Zimbabweans have reacted with disbelief at the huge salaries that ZANU PF executives are drawing at loss-making parastatals at a time when the majority of the population are wallowing in poverty.
Corporate malfeasance is at record levels, service delivery from local and central government at its lowest, and ZANU PF corruption at its worst – an indication that there is a leadership vacuum.
But instead of assuming the leadership role, the country’s main opposition party is showing a lack of capacity to rally Zimbabweans around critical national issues, political researcher Rashweat Mukundu told SW Radio Africa Thursday.
“The opposition parties are inward-looking, are failing to connect with the people and this is entrenching ZANU PF’s dominance,” Mukundu said.
“If the opposition continues on this path, we are facing another decade of unthreatened ZANU PF supremacy despite the party’s failures, Mukundu said.
At its formation in 1999, the MDC became the most formidable opposition force Zimbabwe has ever seen, but this had nothing to do with any strategic actions by the party.
“There was a lot of sympathy with opposition voices stemming from the collapse of the economy, farm invasions and the suffering of Zimbabweans caused by ZANU PF.”
But the MDC-T failed to consolidate this when they joined the unity government following the disputed 2008 elections which Morgan Tsvangirai won.
“The MDC-T should have use this time to define itself, reorganise, reconnect with voters, and explain what the party’s interests are,” Mukundu added.
“They failed to read that this is no longer 2008, the shops aren’t empty anymore and therefore there is a need for a new strategy. They allowed ZANU PF to outfox them.
“They joined the government and forgot why they were there, and this disconnected them from the citizens who had pushed them to the high political levels which they reached, because people couldn’t see what they were doing differently” he said.
ZANU PF on the other hand, used their time in the Coalition to define itself through populist policies such as ZimAsset which, despite being un-implementable, resonated with voters.
“It appears the MDCs saw the unity government as the final destination while ZANU PF used that time to learn from the opposition and prepare to retake power,” Mukundu added.
As a result of shortsightedness, lack of vision and the current witch-hunt stemming from the leadership debate – the MDC-T has come unstuck.
“Right now, the MDC-T is collapsing under the weight of internal fights. The party is failing to live by the ideal of its motto, the party of excellence,” he added.
Another political figure Simba Makoni says ZANU PF leader Robert Mugabe is wholly to blame for the country’s problems, including the looting at State enterprises.
Makoni said without ZANU PF implementing the agreed-on reforms, conditions in the country will continue to slide.
“While Mugabe can’t provide the leadership required to tackle corruption because he can’t lead, he can take full responsibility for the corruption and looting of State enterprises,” Makoni said.
The Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn leader said the opposition had a critical role to induce Mugabe to do the right thing.
“Left to their own devices ZANU PF is not willing to change anything because the status quo suits them. It is up to us outside the system to find ways to induce them to act. Zimbabweans should lose hope because bringing about the change we deserve is our responsibility,” Makoni added.