YOUR columnist, Jacob Rukweza, in his opinion piece of September 7 (“Imperatives for the MDC before 2008 elections”), makes some interesting suggestions regarding what the opposition party should do to enhance its chances of winning the next year’s plebi
Unfortunately, he spoils what could pass for reasonable suggestions by “intractably” burying his head in the sand with respect to the status of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
Contrary to Rukweza’s assertion, there are currently two MDCs using the same abbreviation, the same symbol, the same campaign songs and in some respects the same slogans.
These two MDCs are led by Arthur Mutambara and Morgan Tsvangirai. Both these formations held separate congresses where constitutions were adopted and various office bearers duly elected.
When I last checked, Tsvangirai’s formation had 21 MPs, while the Mutambara-led formation had 20 MPs. At the last local government elections, the Mutambara formation won 44 contested council wards while the Tsvangirai formation won 41. Both formations have mayors. While the Mutambara-led formation has seven senators, the Tsvangirai side has none having boycotted the senatorial race.
In view of these realities, why would Rukweza insult the Mutambara-led formation by describing it as comprising “intractable defectors”?
Why would anyone seek to ignore a political party that boasts some of the best brains in the land?
Mutambara is one among very few opposition politicians who are willing to stick their necks out by pronouncing policy positions in order to define the Zimbabwe they are striving to achieve; rabble-rousing can never be a substitute for coherent policy.
Had Tsvangirai not rejected the coalition framework that was crafted by the two formations’ negotiating teams, the opposition would be going into next year’s elections a lot stronger.
Dare I conclude that with the sort of advice that Tsvangirai gets from the likes of Rukweza, unity of purpose among opposition parties will always be a mirage?