We missed opportunity to reform govt: MDC Alliance 

Source: We missed opportunity to reform govt: MDC Alliance – NewsDay Zimbabwe


THE Nelson Chamisa-led MDC Alliance yesterday admitted that the country’s opposition parties wasted a golden opportunity to push for wide-ranging political, economic and electoral reforms when they were part of the government of national Unity (GNU) between 2009 and 2013.

The party’s Matabeleland North provincial chairperson Prince Dubeko Sibanda said it was now difficult for the opposition to push for reforms while outside government.

Sibanda, who is MDC Alliance MP for Binga North and chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, made the remarks during a virtual conference on parliamentary perspectives on electoral reforms.

The meeting, which also looked at the role of civic society in pushing for reforms, was organised by the Matabeleland-based civic organisation, Rural Community Empowerment Trust.
“I totally agree that we missed an opportunity during GNU when we controlled the levers of power that we should maybe have exerted more pressure on Zanu PF to have all these things reformed,” Sibanda said.

Participants urged the opposition to change its strategies for it to effectively lobby for reforms since the political playfield had tilted in favour of the ruling Zanu PF party.
“I think there is a need to change strategy for influencing electoral reforms. As long as the push for reforms is coming from the opposition political parties, there is bound to be resistance,” said one participant.

Sibanda said the envisaged reforms should ensure that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) does not report to the Justice minister, but to Parliament.

He added that the reforms were not targeted at removing Zanu PF from power, but to level the playfield.

“I think that is what we need to do, that’s what other democracies if you look at all other countries, their electoral laws and systems are not meant to favour a person who is in power, it is meant to give the citizens a fair chance to say whoever they want should be the one in power.”

Sibanda said as MDC Alliance they would continue lobbying for reforms through Parliament, local authorities, international community as well as civic society.


  • comment-avatar
    Kalulu 2 years ago

    Whilst the apology from MDC has been long overdue for abandoning the wishes of the people who voted for the party in 2008 general election which culminated in their leaders joining ZANU PF in the gnu, personally I am happy that someone from the party has owned up. There is no doubt that MDC leaders  were trapped by pleasantries of the gravy train and abandoned the noble cause of relevant reforms that they had along clamoured for.

    This is a good starting point and I hope other leaders including the the MDC leaders will apologise for abandoning the people during the gnu. I recall the late MDC leader (May his soul rest in peace) talking excitedly about the regular ‘coffee time with Mugabe every Tuesday afternoon’ as if that was the reason he and the party entered into gnu with ZANU PF.

    ZANU PF promised to be guided by the will of the people when they were first voted into power in 1980 but abandoned the people who voted them into power including the poor peasants who toiled during the war of liberation providing food, shelter and intelligence which was instrumental in winning the armed struggle. The peasants were always caught in between suffering brutalities especially from Rhodesian soldiers for supporting freedom fighters and up to now what they were promised is still a pie in the sky, (resettlement farms were for the well connected and freedom fighters). I personally appreciate what the freedom fighters did in bringing majority rule to Zimbabwe and they should not be blamed for the current crisis which was brought about by people who never actively participated in actual fighting as they spent their time in luxurious urban areas following developments from the war front, while our gallant brothers and sisters were on the battle front.

    We have people like Chinamasa frothing at the mouth as if he liberated us but only joined the war of liberation when there was no one to fight against, could he tell us his war time name, zero, hypocrite!!!!

    MDC should not follow the example of ZANU PF.

    • comment-avatar
      Fallenz 2 years ago

      Kalulu, I agree regarding the disappointment with MDC.  A) joining the GNU, B) joining the feeding trough, and C) thinking Mugabe had suddenly become an honorable man, and ZANUPF respectable.

      “Keep your friends close… but keep your enemies closer.”  That’s exactly how Mugabe turned the tables on MDC… lulled them to sleep, while positioning the knife to stab them in the back.  Listen, once a snake always a snake… and ZANUPF’s “venom” is more potent than any Mamba’s.  They consider that a compliment.  Pretty disgusting… not to mention, embarrassing for the Mamba.

      As for the rest of your dissertation, when ZANUPF first came to power just about everything that has happened was predictable… but few listened.  What was really insane was that ZANU and ZAPU did not win the war… the West was who changed the balance of power and forced Rhodesia to capitulate, so they must share the blame for ZANUPF coming to power, which has sunk Zim to the status of a failed state.  It wasn’t a revolution, it was a bank heist in thin disguise… and we know who has the loot.