MDC still ‘amateurs’ in political gamesmanship

via MDC still ‘amateurs’ in political gamesmanship | SW Radio Africa by Tichaona Sibanda

The former MDC-T MP for Mazowe central on Wednesday admitted that his party is still ‘amateurs’ in political gamesmanship and need to ‘up the ante’ to outwit ZANU PF in future elections.

Shepherd Mushonga told SW Radio Africa’s weekly program, the Hidden Story, that the ruling party was skilled in manipulating people or events, so as to gain unfair advantage over its opponents.

‘ZANU PF has been in existence for 50 years and we are only 13 years old. The way they rigged the poll was not about legalese, it was a question of intelligence more than the law and politicking,’ Mushonga said.

The former legislator, a lawyer by profession, said the results of the elections, which ZANU PF’ won’ by more than a two thirds majority, underscores the limitations his party has in intelligence gathering.

‘ZANU PF’s win took everyone by surprise. But how could we as a party fail to see even a hint of the final result? ZANU PF used the referendum to do a dress rehearsal of how they were going to cheat.

‘We said it as a party, that figures from the referendum were spiced up by 10 percent but out of respect for the new leadership of ZEC, we decided to leave it there. That is where we lost the plot,’ explained Mushonga.

He continued: ‘Even when we were campaigning, my leader (Morgan Tsvangirai) was saying the peace prevailing is deliberate because they want to rig in a peaceful manner. But we didn’t interogate ourselves to say how.’

Mushonga said he was not in a position to blame anybody for the defeat but agreed they slept with both eyes shut in the run-up to the poll.

‘When you are dealing with a beast like ZANU PF, never go to sleep with both your eyes shut. Leave one open to see what they’re doing in the dead of the night. But let us be pragmatic as well.

‘We are amateurs in this game and we have to accept that. Our intelligence was non-existent, you need to have somebody highly trained to detect the way they devised their rigging strategy, which was simple,” said Mushonga.

He explained that the rigging involved bussing in people from outside their constituencies, allowing 60 percent of the voters to use fake registration slips to cast their ballots, as well as telling rural voters to ask for assistance during the voting.

In Mazowe central alone more than 6,000 people were assisted to vote, including a deputy headmistress from Kanukanwe school who said she could not read and write.

In 2008 Mushonga garnered over 5,500 votes, beating his ZANU PF rival who got about 3,500. In the July 31st poll, ZANU PF polled over 11,000 with the help of outside voters who were bussed from Matepatepa and Forrester estate in Mvurwi.

‘The million dollar question now is how did we miss all this. Its only coming out now as we are carrying out post mortems in wards and districts. We need to pull up our socks if ever we are going to dethrone ZANU PF from power,’ he added.



  • comment-avatar
    eztechplc 9 years ago

    Let me help you Mr Mushonga, put it that MDC is noble, believing in free n fair vote. ZPF has access to people, placed their people to rign starting with Zec, ConCourt, RG etc, how dare wld MDC have manipulated this vote in their favour?

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    NANSI LENDODA 9 years ago

    Dead right Mushonga to admit that you are amateurs and that your intelligence section at your Party Head-Office is non-existence. Tsvangirai must know about this and at the same time inform his handlers in USA and Europe the truth. He must go there himself and at the same time ask them to remove sanctions against Zimbabwe and its people

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    joseph 9 years ago

    Here comes the first step for MDC’s progress- to acknowledge your weakness,to accept the defeat and to go back to the drawing table, forget about fairness and play a political game as it is. Don’t miss the point that you are in Africa and Africa is you when you destroy it you destroy yourself. They will give you what you want most in order to destroy yourself (euros)

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    Charles 9 years ago

    Its right to do some self searching. But I would not say a million dollar question – I would put it down to poor leadership. I beleive it was as clear as daylight that something was up – and there were no reforms as per GPA,date of elections to suit Mugabe’s scheming was not sufficiently challenged, no voters role and a raft of many other issues – and yet you went ahead. Rather the million dollar question is WHY! Yes SADC has let Zimbabweans down but so has MDC – big time!

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    For sure they are amatuers in rigging, intimidation and manipulating people. It’s better to be a good loser than to be a terrible winner. ZPF is the best example of such, they successfully manipulated the whole system and they feel the emptiness in their win, it does not call for any celebration at all, even within themselves. Sure for a party that won 61% of the ballot, it’s beyond comprehension to hear the winning presidential candidate threatening to revenge on the 15% that did not vote for him. The truth of the matter is they neglect the whole country because they are well aware that the people did not vote for them and that’s ‘why they reward themselves and peers (NIKUV, SADC, AU, ZEC, ARMY etc for job well done. For indeed they are the ones that won the vote for them.