For the first time since 2000, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), will not be a major contender in Zimbabwean elections, political analysts have said.
According to former government minister and political scientist, Professor Jonathan Moyo, the death of MDC was confirmed by events leading up to and the sitting of the Nomination Court on January 26, 2022, whose results had far-reaching consequences to Zimbabwean politics.
“This was a very historic Nomination Court, apart from that for the first time, it had two sittings, it’s been decisive, unprecedented and showed election results before the by-elections on March 26, 2022. We have before the body politic, amazing results that are the outcome of these by-elections, thanks to the sitting of the Nomination Court,” he said on a Twitter space hosted by CITE on the aftermath of the Nomination Court: By-Elections or Mini General Election.
Prof Moyo said once a formidable opposition, the MDC would be buried in the by-elections and possibly endure the same fate in the 2023 elections.
“Notably among the results is a historic fact that due to the run-up to the sitting, we have one political party dead and this happens after having it been a major feature of national politics since 1999 or if you want since parliamentary elections of 2000,” he noted.
The political scientist declared the MDC party was dead and the electorate had to accept its death, as no one could resurrect it.
“This is no small development. It will be very difficult or it would be difficult for people who have been following our politics for the last 22 years to imagine Zimbabwean politics without the MDC,” he said.
Equally historic, said the former minister, was the birth of a new party after the Nomination Court sat, which was the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) led by Nelson Chamisa.
“We have one party dead and another party born,” Prof Moyo stated.
“I think it is striking and quite surprising that debates on this issue have not unpacked the implications.”
The political scientist claimed the death of MDC was in part due to Douglas Mwonzora, leader of another MDC faction, who worked with the state to destroy the party.
“The planning on Zanu PF part, in general (President Emmerson) Mnangagwa, in particular, working with Mwonzora, invested a lot of time and resources in a scenario where we were going to have two MDCs or two MDC Alliances. The fact that Chamisa pulled a fast one on the eve of the Nomination Court, coming up with a new party is something the state of Mnangagwa and Zanu PF obviously thought about, it was not entirely unexpected, but unlikely. It’s not that they (Chamisa and team) came up with a new party but they came up with one whose immediate impact was to kill anything called the MDC,” Prof Moyo explained.
He added that Mwonzora’s fight to own and control the MDC had resulted in a bigger blow.
“Mwonzora had boasted that his MDC-T owned MDC Alliance and all its derivatives, he thought something called MDC was a big deal but the outcome of the Nomination Court has been a surprise to him,” Prof Moyo said.
“Clearly, he had not bargained for this. I’m sure some of his people wish they had kept the MDC-T and not run as MDC Alliance.”
In an interview with CITE, another political analyst, Effie Ncube, indicated that MDC’s survival in politics was questionable and was only a matter of time before it was swept into oblivion.
“When the Nomination Court demonstrated that the MDC as we used to have it and the MDC that could field candidates everywhere, every time has significantly weakened to an extent that it cannot do that. Whether or not it continues to survive, in particular the 2023 elections that should be left for the time,” he said.