STAFF WRITER 7 March 2018
HARARE – It is often said that the more the merrier, but not in Zimbabwe’s
In successive polls since the 1990s, the ruling party has survived
attempts by opposition parties to take power because of the absurd
divisions among its opponents.
The most prominent example was the 2008 poll when former Finance minister
Simba Makoni’s Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn (MKD) party chiselled off eight percent
of the national vote to deny MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai (now late) a
It has been said that those who voted for the MKD leader were disgruntled
Zanu PF supporters who could have voted for Tsvangirai if Makoni had not
muddied the waters at the last minute.
The 2008 elections were probably the best chance the opposition has had.
Fast forward to 2018, Zimbabweans are likely to witness another dog’s
breakfast that could work in favour of Zanu PF.
Over 70 political parties are stampeding to take part in the plebiscite,
with the major actors being the MDC Alliance fronted by Nelson Chamisa;
the People’s Rainbow Coalition led by former vice president Joice Mujuru;
Nkosana Moyo’s Alliance for People’s Agenda and Dumiso Dabengwa’s Zapu
among many others.
Just when Zimbabweans thought they had seen enough of the madness, retired
brigadier general Ambrose Mutinhiri has gate-crashed onto the scene
through the New Patriotic Front (NPF), whose midwives are disgruntled Zanu
While the Zanu PF leadership is putting a brave face in the face of NPF’s
formation – assuming a statement by party spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo is
anything to go by – its appendages are betraying fear running deep inside
the party by threatening to take unspecified action against former
president Robert Mugabe, who is believed to be the brains behind
Zanu PF is obviously scared of the 2008 Makoni effect, which took away its
votes. That the party has stubbornly refused to reach out to former
members who were dismissed in 2014 at the behest of Mugabe’s overbearing
wife, Grace, has compounded the party’s fears.
It has been argued that those who defect from Zanu PF find it difficult to
fit into pro-democracy movements because, like oil and water, their
ideologies do not mix.
But if the ultimate prize driving these dissenters is to dislodge Zanu PF,
Zimbabwe’s opposition parties must cast aside their differences and work
in common purpose to bring about change.
At the rate the political situation in Zimbabwe is evolving, we could be
headed towards a closely fought poll which might produce another run-off.