via MDC-T rapped for hypocrisy | The Herald March 31, 2015
MDC-T is being hypocritical by claiming to be boycotting all by-elections while jockeying to fill the seven proportional representation seats that fell vacant when it recalled 21 legislators as filling the seven vacancies was no different to filling the 14 constituency-based seats, Government and political analysts said yesterday.
The beleaguered opposition party also came under fire for announcing the convening of a national council meeting on Thursday this week to consider the boycott decision soon after voting ended in the zanu-pf strongholds of Chirumanzu-Zibagwe and Mt Darwin West constituencies showing the party was only prepared to contest elections in its perceived strongholds to avoid humiliation at the hands of a resurgent zanu-pf.
Twenty-one seats fell vacant when MDC-T recalled legislators aligned to the United MDC that brought together the Sekai Holland-led Renewal Team and the Professor Welshman Ncube-led MDC.
The 14 legislators recalled by MDC-T are Tendai Biti (Harare East), Willias Madzimure (Kambuzuma), Lucia Matibenga (Kuwadzana East), Paul Madzore (Glen View), Reggie Moyo (Luveve), Solomon Madzore (Dzivarasekwa), Bekithemba Nyathi (Mpopoma Pelandaba), Albert Mhlanga (Pumula), Moses Manyengavana (Highfield West), Samuel Sipepa Nkomo (Lobengula), Roseline Nkomo (Tsholotsho North), Settlement Chikwinya (Mbizo), Gorden Moyo (Makokoba) and Anorld Tsunga (Chikanga Dangamvura).
By-elections for the 14 seats will be held on June 10 together with those for Headlands and Hurungwe West as proclaimed by President Mugabe last Friday.
Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo yesterday rapped MDC-T for hypocrisy, saying the party was pretending to be boycotting a process it was participating in.
‘’As everyone knows there are 21 seats left vacant by the expelled MDC-T MPs, 14 are constituency-based while seven are proportional representation seats. The MDC-T is filling the seven PR seats, that is participation. You can’t say someone who is filling proportional representation seats is not participating.
‘’MDC-T leaders want to participate where there is no contest, the reason being that they are afraid of losing and humiliation as they know they cannot defend all those seats. Because they know that Zanu-PF will participate, they are afraid to participate.
‘’If they didn’t want to participate, the consistent position would be to leave the PR vacancies as they are till 2018. The MDC-T does not want contest but the contest is provided for in our Constitution,’’ Prof Moyo said
The MDC-T has since announced that it will fill the seven PR seats determined by its share of the vote in the July 31 2013 harmonised elections even as the party claimed it would boycott all subsequent by-elections
The vacant proportional representation seats in the National Assembly were held by ; Evelyn Masaiti, Judith Muzhavazhe and Gladys Mathe while in the Senate, there was Sekai Holland (Chizhanje), Rorana Muchihwa (Chikomo), Watchy Sibanda (Matabeleland South) and Patrick Chitaka (Manicaland).
Prof Moyo trashed the MDC-T claim that there was need for reforms saying the only reforms that were necessary were supervised by Sadc and are manifest in the new Constitution, and the amendments to the Electoral Act, all of which the MDC-T co-authored
‘’Unless they (MDC-T) want the Electoral Act to say every election should be won by the MDC-T,’’ Prof Moyo said.
Political scientist, Mr Goodwine Mureriwa said the MDC-T’s prevarication showed the party is pseudo-democratic.
“To them democracy is going for an election, which they think they will win and boycott when they think they will lose.
“It simply shows that they are not a serious party. A serious party should always be prepared to go for an election if it takes its supporters seriously. You never hear Zanu-PF talking of boycotts because they have the interests of their supporters at heart.
“The MDC-T is made of pseudo democrats, they want to go for an election which they are likely to win and stay away when they are not sure of winning but that is not how democracy works. Any serious party should take part in an election and if they lose they take lessons from that,” said Mr Mureriwa.
Mr Mureriwa said the splits in the MDC-T in the past were over the issue of participating in elections and said this was likely to happen again if the stance to boycott elections persisted.
Dean of the Faculty of Communication and Information Science at the National University of Science and Technology Dr Lawton Hikwa, said if the MDC-T boycotts were a matter of principle, then they should stick to the decision instead of confusing the electorate by continuously changing positions.
“You cannot selectively choose to participate or boycott elections when it suits you. If it is a matter that the ground is not level then they should stick to their decision until the attendant issues they want are addressed.
“They cannot be exclusive on a principle they agreed and then split that principle to suit their own ends. If it is a boycott, it should be omnibus and not selective because they are obviously confusing the electorate,” Dr Hikwa said.
University of Zimbabwe political scientist Professor Charity Manyeruke, said the MDC-T’s actions showed that the party did not have the interests of Zimbabweans at heart.
“They have nothing to offer people. Which explains they are always talking of boycotts and no one should take them seriously,” she said.
Prof Manyeruke said by boycotting elections, the MDC-T had shown that it represented foreign interests.
“The essence of forming political parties is to seek to govern and if you don’t participate in elections, how then do you govern? It shows that the MDC-T are not a political party but agents of foreign interests because their boycotts do not benefit Zimbabweans,” she added.
Contacted for comment MDC-T spokesperson Mr Obert Gutu, said their decision to nominate replacements for the seven proportional representation seats was not akin to participating in an election.
“What we are saying is replacement is not participating in an election. These (seven seats) do not call for an election, an election is where there is balloting, but in this case that is not the case,” Mr Gutu said.