via MDC should reorganise, keep Zanu PF in check – The Standard by Kudzai Kwangwari October 13, 2013
I am afraid that the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Morgan Richard Tsvangirai may just die; that the party may lose political clout and relevance; that we may not have a strong opposition party leading us to a de-facto one party state.
I am afraid the MDC-T may be too angry and shocked by the July 31 election results, to recover; the party may split and fragment into not so useful “pieces”.
Whether the election of July 31 was stolen or not, my humble submission is that all the other political parties that contested in this election failed to convince the masses how these elections were rigged. This was worsened by a number of court cases, which were withdrawn for reasons best known to these parties. Be that as it may, my appeal to the parties, especially the MDC led by Tsvangirai, is to regroup, reorganise, and re-strategise without having to lose a common sense of decency and responsibility. It is very important that the MDC- T remains a very active political voice to keep Zanu PF in check for the benefit of all Zimbabweans. It will be a very unfortunate development for Zimbabwe if MDC-T dies.
We need a politically and nationally organised voice that challenges those in power and maintains pressure. Some people may ask how the MDC-T can remain relevant — the source and core source of political relevance is in what the MDC-T and even other parties have been doing, which is opposing.
This time this must be a bit more organised. It must have some element of proactiveness. Otherwise the party may collapse.
When I learnt MDC-T party had formed a shadow cabinet, I thought that was a good idea because that’s where the party’s political relevance was going to be drawn from. I was happy because I considered that a departure from the election results debate and mourning.
This mourning was useless because it did not endear the party with Zimbabweans, because Zimbabweans had moved on with life. The question then should be: what can the party be doing until 2018? The party must be “opposing”; opposing because they are no longer in government and opposing should be their business, while they also restructure and go back to the people.
This must be done in a way that highlights the weaknesses and loopholes of Zanu PF policies.
The party must not abandon its manifesto. It must relook the manifesto and consider critical components of it which can be collapsed into serious policy issues, which is then offered to Zimbabweans.
In every sector, be it agriculture, tourism, education, health, mining, industry and commerce, you name it, the party must say this is our view and approach, highlighting the weak points of Zanu PF. This way, the party will continue to retain some relevance. Sustaining political relevance, while outside government can be a challenge for the MDC-T. If the MDC-T voice does not find expression on issues that touch people’s lives, that may be the beginning of the end for them.
Every shadow ministry must have its shadow policy which is articulated to the grassroots, to the majority of Zimbabweans in their respective communities. The rallies must continue, campaigns must continue using all possible platforms, including social media but especially the rural Zimbabwean communities. The MDC must not make the mistake of expecting the civil society organisations that pretend to be appendages of the party when it’s convenient, to do its work.
The party must not go to regional bodies like Sadc to campaign or to complain. The party mustn’t again listen to Europeans and Americans. They must prove to Zimbabwe and Africa that they are Zimbabwean and African in their approach and attitude and value system.
The reason why President Robert Mugabe seems to gain sympathy from other African leaders and other developing nations is because he has presented himself and Zanu PF as a victim. Unfortunately, in many a case, the MDC-T has reinforced the perception by either listening to Europe or by just failing to espouse truly African values in the way the party does its work.
The MDC-T must also realise that Zanu PF is already campaigning in preparation for the 2018 elections; in fact, it never stopped campaigning. What used to be rallies to appeal for support are now thanks-giving rallies and soon they will turn into launches of this and that scheme, a bridge, a road etc.
All this may appear not very useful and effective but it keeps this party in constant touch with the people. The MDC-T must ensure that they engage as far as possible in activities that keep them in constant touch with the people. They must never put their head in the ground.
We need all active political parties, including the NCA, the MDC, Zapu, Puma, you name it, for a rewarding multi-party democracy. Zanu PF must always be kept in check.