MDC-T in disarray after heavy defeat

via MDC-T in disarray after heavy defeat – The Zimbabwe Independent by Brian Chitemba September 13, 2013

AFTER 14 years in the trenches on a rugged political terrain where it appeared to be on the verge of finally wresting power from Zanu PF, the MDC-T seems to be now radarless in the aftermath of its heavy elections defeat.

The labour-backed MDC-T, which presented the first formidable challenge to President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF’s political dominance since entering the political fray in the 2000 elections, appears to be in disarray amid renewed infighting. Zanu PF secured 197 of the 270 seats while the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC-T won 70.

Mugabe won 61% of the presidential vote while Tsvangirai secured nearly 34% in what observers said could mark the end of his political career. However, the MDC-T maintains the polls were flawed owing to systematic rigging.

Thus, the MDC-T will mark its 14th anniversary at Sakubva stadium in Mutare tomorrow, heavily weighed down by uncertainty at a time intra-party wrangles are widening as a result of the setback and the on-going self-introsepction process.

It is rather ironic that the party will mark the anniversary under the theme “Claiming the People’s Victory” when it is still licking its wounds.

However, party spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora defended the theme arguing the party was celebrating after losing a “stolen election where the people’s will was subverted by Zanu PF”.

“The celebration which comes soon after the stolen victory in the just-ended election could not have come at any better time as the people of Zimbabwe seriously need to reflect on this monumental indictment of a people’s march to victory in the history of mankind,” the MDC-T said.

The MDC-T insists it lost elections because Zanu PF, through state institutions, manipulated the electoral processes although some political pundits blame the party for being complacent, failure to organise structures, naivety, imposition of candidates as well as lack of a strategy to unseat Mugabe.

MDC-T organising secretary Nelson Chamisa and his colleagues have been widely criticised for the party’s defeat.

Despite what appears to be a devastating electoral setback, political analyst Dumisani Nkomo said considering that Tsvangirai has been a major threat to Mugabe’s rule since 2000, the party had done fairly well.

“In its 14 years the MDC-T has had both the good and the bad as can be expected,” said Nkomo. “It’s been a mixture of all, but we should give them credit for standing against an authoritarian Zanu PF regime,” he said.

In its maiden electoral participation in 2000, the MDC-T won 57 parliamentary seats against Zanu PF’s 62, but the number dropped to 42 seats while Zanu PF garnered 72 in 2005.

Nkomo said the MDC-T’s performance between 2000 and 2013 indicated the party managed to create nightmares for Mugabe and Zanu PF and has thus made history.

However, another political analyst Chamu Mutasa said despite the MDC-T’s bravado in previous years, the party was in a panic mode and it doesn’t seem to have a plan on how to extricate itself from below the Zanu PF landslide and regroup for the next elections in 2018.

Nkomo laid into the MDC-T for numerous cases of corruption involving councillors from the previous government, while factionalism and imposition of candidates impacted negatively on the party’s image.

But the MDC-T has defended its performance saying: “It is not an illusion that over the past 14 years the MDC has established itself as a formidable political force in Zimbabwe and characteristically our most ardent critics and enemies are always unsettled and unnerved by this gesture of our periodic renewal. It is therefore not surprising that perennial and rabid critics from Zanu PF get incensed and would go all out concocting all sorts of ill-conceived ideas and myths towards our well intended gesture to the people of Zimbabwe.”

However, despite the concerted efforts to convince Zimbabweans that all is well in its camp, events on the ground suggest it is becoming increasingly difficult to paper over the cracks Tsvangirai’s 14-year hold on the party could be under serious threat amid reports that some senior party officials are baying for his blood as they demand leadership renewal even before the elective congress in 2016.

Among those said to be interested in Tsvangirai’s job is MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti who is said to be pushing the ‘2016 agenda’ where the leadership is set to change, according to MDC-T insiders.

However, Biti has denied moves to topple Tsvangirai. While the original MDC constitution had a two five-year presidential term limit, Tsvangirai pushed for an amendment which scrapped the term limit.

Tsvangirai stands accused of imposing candidates including his close ally, former Housing minister Giles Mutsekwa, to contest in the July 31 elections despite him losing primaries to lawyer Arnold Tsunga in Dangamvura constituency. Tsunga went on to beat Mutsekwa.

In what is certain to be a worrying development for Tsvangirai, senior provincial members have taken to the social media to air their discontent over the alleged “stifling of internal democratic expression” by the party’s top brass. The celebrations tomorrow will offer Zimbabweans the chance to gauge the cohesion and strategy of the MDC-T going forward.


  • comment-avatar
    Mine Supervisor 9 years ago

    Considering the results of the most recent local government by election, the MDC defeat by ZANU PF must be viewed with some sense of seriousness from MDC-T. The failure of Tsvangirai to accept the obvious loss made the MDC not to be viewed as a serious political party in Zimbabwe. In mathematics language, the MDC T support is a negative function of time with its support inside Zimbabwe dwindling every minute. By the time we get to 2018, MDC T will get less than 15% of the total votes unless if they come up with turn around strategies which are unlikely given that the sponsors disappointed them the past elections. Even their fanatics are disappointed in their unsubstantiated claims of rigging. The by election results is sufficient proof of dwindling support (reduction of MDC votes of between 30% and 48% in 6 weeks).

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      nesbert majoni 9 years ago

      Its u who is not considering MDC as not a serious political party but ask ZANU pf. The fact that they rigged puts MDC party up as a formidable political party. Like it or not that is the fact.

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      Chitova weGona 9 years ago

      I think uri supervisor we mine yaChinotimba the way u speak. Kurota masikati ndiko kwauri kuita.MDC will never die like u wish. They lost a battle not the war! Chinja!

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    Charles Chamunorwa 9 years ago

    We should not bury our heads in the sand. The election was rigged big time. This is an open secret even SADC is aware.

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    Charles 9 years ago

    I agree Charles. Its so much easier to blame Tvangirai & co while losing sight of the massive rigging machinery that was in place. It is very sad for Zimbabwe and for Africa in general. SADC are ‘protecting’ themselves but it could prove to be shooting themselves in the foot. Yes MDC needs to be renew itself so that it remains relevant, I believe new leadership is required. But the ‘Revolutionary Party’ is determined – but for how long?

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    chimusoro 9 years ago

    Sick and tired of hearing the word “rigged” being used loosely when no convincing evidence has been produced.

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      Chitova weGona 9 years ago

      Yo pseudo name fits u! Small head little brain. Genuine people knw that Zanu rigged period! Pamwe iwewe waitovamowo mukuba mavote!

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        chimusoro 9 years ago

        Genuine people can provide evidence not make unsubstantiated claims.

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    Dzoromuvhu 9 years ago

    Its not MDC that’s in disarray, it is Zimbabwe. Another GNU is coming soon unless ZPF remains arrongant in the face of hunger, death and shortages. ZPF is in a more difficult position than MDC. If the party could win fairly, they can’t govern and rule Zimbabwe fairly!

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    Concluding that support of mdct is on the decline using the results of the recent three by elections as the yard stick is erroneous taking into consideration the proximity of the elections to the main elections in which intimidation played a major part, more so when the zanupf supporters who are reported to be harassing mdct for having shown their support for mdct during the main voting time are not being arrested and mdct do not seem to be able to protect them.

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    cdes , yu want us to believe that the election was stolen , yet yu cant substantiate .has any of yu been an obsever or an election agent to really tell us how the election was rigged or stolen and if yu saw the thief stealing ,what did yu do? its amazing that yu wait for ZEC to announce results and when they are not in yo favour yu shout heeee rigged , heee nikuv , heeee stolen ,thats Nonsence : surely if there was that theft , how was is done , the whole country ?.Surely if yu can sbstanciate yo allegation then its unfortunate bcoz kana muchibirwa zvakapusa kudaro then How can yu be given the mandate to run the country ? ,Tavakutotya kuti mungatobirwa Nyika yacho zvekare nevapambepfumi ..The writing was on the wall prior to the elections but yu took the eletorate for granded muchifunga kuti vanhu zvavakaomerwa nemasantions vachangovhotera mdc .NO. Its ZIMBABWE which matters .the electorate is enlitened on matters of principle. MDC must understand these realities ………….APO !

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    joseph 9 years ago

    If the same thief can steal something from you three times it simply means there is a serious problem with you or your system.

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    Morris 9 years ago

    A number of issues need pointing out. 1. Zanu Pf stole the election big time presumably because they cannot win fairly and sqaurely. 2. The MDCs did make some blunders like operating themselves, allowing divisions to take root and imposing candidate but Zanu Pf make some blunders also which kind of equalises the two parties. 3. Zanu Pf has a grip on state institutions while MDCs are perenially on the outskirts simply because Zanu Pf made sure we cannot have a democratic state. 4. MDCs had little or no chance at running against Zanu Pf fairly because for the duration of the GNU Zanu Pf refused to implement reforms. 5. The grantors of the agreement that sired the GNU were unwilling to deny Mugabe his wishes; they did not put a line in the sand and say you will reform or we let you suffer illegitimacy.

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    mutakura 9 years ago

    The reporter is a fool. He foolishly ignores the fact that zanupf rigged the elections

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    Mkast 9 years ago

    Ask roy bennet about mdc problems he will tell you ,the more get stuck on rigged allewgation that you cant prove ,the you will continue wallow in pollitical wilderness .what is relevant is that zim pple voted zanu pf and most pple who want just shout from afar come vote just a few come back to vote u cant leave the comfort of your foreign bases ,who will make that change for you,,us who are local voted zanu pf cm five yrs time zanu again just read the manifesto its pro black,zimbabwean n african