Time ur­ban vot­ers dumped op­po­si­tion

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Comment & Analysis -

FOR a long time Bu­l­awayo res­i­dents have been suf­fer­ing from blind loy­alty, fol­low­ing and vot­ing for the op­po­si­tion MDC-T. One politi­cian even joked that even “a don­key on an MDCT” ticket would win elec­tions in Bu­l­awayo and other ur­ban cen­tres, but events that took place at White City Sta­dium last Satur­day were an in­di­ca­tion that the hon­ey­moon for the op­po­si­tion is com­ing to an end, es­pe­cially com­ing against the back­ground of a re­sound­ing win by the rul­ing Zanu-PF in the 2015 by elec­tions. For the first time since the op­po­si­tion came onto the scene, the rul­ing party has six Par­lia­men­tary seats in the city.

The rul­ing party can now work on in­creas­ing the num­ber of seats in the com­ing elec­tions, as the op­po­si­tion has failed to serve the in­ter­ests of the masses with no life chang­ing ini­tia­tives com­ing from leg­is­la­tors from the op­po­si­tion, and the same can be said of ser­vice de­liv­ery, as the city coun­cil has come short on a num­ber of fronts.

Bu­l­awayo res­i­dents boy­cotted the so called Al­liance launch by op­po­si­tion par­ties led by MDC-T last week, thereby show­ing all and sundry that Mr Mor­gan Ts­van­gi­rai is not a demi-god. In ad­di­tion, the cracks that are widen­ing by each pass­ing day in the op­po­si­tion ranks serve as an in­di­ca­tor that the hon­ey­moon is over for Mr Ts­van­gi­rai and his lieu­tenants.

MDC-T chair­man Mr Love­more Moyo was quoted by an on­line pub­li­ca­tion last week say­ing the poor crowd which at­tended the MDC Al­liance launch vin­di­cated Mata­bele­land se­nior party lead­ers’ ob­jec­tions to the pact and their leader’s ide­ol­ogy.

Mr Moyo, MDC-T deputy president, Ms Thokozani Khupe and sus­pended or­gan­is­ing sec­re­tary, Mr Abe­dinico Bhebhe were among the high pro­file fig­ures who did not at­tend the event af­ter sharp dif­fer­ences with their leader on the dis­tri­bu­tion of Par­lia­men­tary seats in the Mata­bele­land re­gion in next year’s elec­tions un­der the al­liance.

Mr Moyo told the on­line pub­li­ca­tion that his party does not need any al­liance with Mr Welsh­man Ncube-led MDC and the Peo­ple’s Demo­cratic Party (PDP) led by Mr Tendai Biti.

“All of us should hon­estly look at the event of Satur­day and re­flect on it whether it does re­flect the real MDC we have known for the past 17 years. It is clear that there are some gaps and there­fore we need to be­gin as lead­er­ship to close those gaps. How can seven po­lit­i­cal par­ties at­tract such a pal­try crowd?,” Mr Moyo was quoted as say­ing.

He told the pub­li­ca­tion that the al­liance was “un­de­serv­ingly re­ward­ing Ncube and Biti’s par­ties at the ex­pense of loyal MDC-T mem­bers whom he said have worked very hard for the growth of the party in the Mata­bele­land re­gion.”

It would ap­pear the dif­fer­ences bor­der on per­son­al­i­ties, which is noth­ing new in the op­po­si­tion ranks as politi­cians in that sec­tor are known for get­ting into pol­i­tics for self-gain and reap­ing re­wards in the form of donor funds which have been com­ing to the op­po­si­tion from West­ern coun­tries hos­tile to the rul­ing party.

It is there­fore time for Bu­l­awayo res­i­dents and many oth­ers across the coun­try to see MDC-T for what it is, and stop wast­ing their votes by en­dors­ing op­po­si­tion can­di­dates. More­over, chances are high the MDC-T will split again as has been the norm since its for­ma­tion. And there is fer­tile ground for that split af­ter Mr Ts­van­gi­rai chose to di­lute Ms Khupe’s po­si­tion by ap­point­ing two other vice-pres­i­dents, and going ahead to sign al­liances with other par­ties with­out in­put from his se­nior lead­ers in Mata­bele­land, re­sult­ing in vi­o­lent clashes in Bu­l­awayo re­cently. In short, all is not well with the op­po­si­tion.

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