MDC-T in disarray after heavy defeat

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.

28 thoughts on “MDC-T in disarray after heavy defeat”

  1. taurai mabhunu says:

    Its not the first time Morgan has changed the constitution to suit his own agenda and aspirations, and wont be the last until and unless his party deals with him.
    He did it with the ZCTU constitution. How on this planet can you have an elected official (ZCTU General Secretary) becoming permanent once elected? Only in Morgan’s world. Journalists like Brian Chitemba let us down because you don’t investigate anything except writing opinions.

  2. Baba Jukwa says:

    Quick question: Will Elizabeth Macheka be there?

  3. mukorekore says:

    Zanupf cant even show the voters roll, Mugabe pays 3billion usd to mossad to hold on to power. Zimbabweans are pathetic idiots

    1. Tafadzwa says:

      Liar where on earth will Mugabe get 3billion us$

    2. ROBBY says:

      Does the voter’s roll vote? That is where you concentrated and ignored the voters. Don’t you see them putting on the regalia. I thought MDC-T had money. Oh what a clueless party

    3. mukanya makwira says:

      eish do you think this is fact. do you know what 3 billion can buy. for the record, the money is almost equivalent to the country’s current annual budget.

    4. Wafaz says:

      I guess you are not Zimbabwean. How on earth could you just insult the whole country,because of an allegation.

  4. Chris Veremu says:

    An appropriate summary of the election would be, MDC do not know what hit them and ZANU do not know what they hit them with! So the mystery deepens…more like it develops a hole in its bottom.

  5. PAPA says:

    From the comments been written by people it is very surprising that some are labelling the mdc as a failure and yet fail to point to anyone who has managed to withstand the pressure of Zanu Pf. In the past we had people who where expected to challenge Mugabe and yet did nothing. At least with Morgan we had hope. Let us unit in giving Morgan advice rather than kumutuka. If we realy need change then its time we regroup like what Zanu did after 2008. People who suported zanu never blamed Mugabe for the defeat kana kumutsvinyira but they regrouped to map the way forward and here they are. Tiri vanhu vakaita sei tinofunga kuti they do dzega?

  6. Regis says:

    why did tsvangira remove the two term limit from the mdc constitution

    1. mukanya makwira says:

      because he is not a democrat he purports to be

      1. andy says:

        tswangirai has bn in power since the formation of the party ,does this really make him different from his opponents? l wonder why he cant even give others a chance to lead the party

  7. Mutongi Gava says:

    There is little point in painting MDC-T disarray as a loss to Zimbabwe, when the majority of citizens authored its defeat on July 31st. After so many attempts, MDC-T stayed where ZUM was in 1990, despite plunging this country into a sanctions maintained economic crisis led by hungry wolves at the gate. What happens to T and MDC-T the party is of little relevance now.

    Let all Zimbabweans now focus on what happens to the economy.

  8. Moe_Syzclak says:

    In all fairness Morgan Tsvangirayi, win or lose, has been the only person to win against ZANU, despite the entire state machinery and resources staked against him. This could be a blessing in disguise. After 5yrs Zimbos can see that 38yrs of ZANU has brought nothing but misery. While our neighbours are moving along with other nations of the world in ushering in the new millennium we are busy going to drinking water from zvibhorani, etc. Kana nhamo yatichemedza we will know what to do, Tsvangirayi or no Tsvangirayi. Don’t vilify the man, this is the best he could do. Zimbos we are quick at making jokes and taking to tweeter to make fun of genuine crusaders of change while we are huddles in darkness because Zesa has no power, or walking in sewage and potholed roads, or boasting that we are better than Mosken, etc. God help us all.

  9. Chin says:

    MDC-T has been in disarray from day one. Recent rigging by ZanuPF has put MDC-T in their right place. Tsvangirai was very happy not to win outright in 2008 – he was not ready. The GNU was formed to indulge Tsvangirai – he wanted to do an apprenticeship under Mugabe first he said so himself! If MDC-T had garnered more votes than ZanuPF the MDC-T was going to invite ZanuPF into a coalition of sorts. Tendai Biti said before the mock election “Any resultant new dispensation did not exclude the older order”.
    If people in Zimbabwe thought, and think MDCs can defeat ZanuPF in any mock election then they are all deaf and blind. How can the MDCs defeat a ZanuPF military backed by the police force and militias who are called war veterans? People ignore these bare facts hoping for a miracle which is never going to happen. There was much hype about the New Constitution but it can be ignored or amended by ZanuPF at any time – it is a useless piece of nonsense. The MDCs were taken for a ride by ZanuPF in the 4 years of the GNU.
    SANCTIONS – MDCs were so power-drunk they were running around the country and the world talking about how sanctions against Mugabe and his ilk should be removed as if it is any of their concern. Are they going to continue seeing that the GNU is no longer there?

    On 9 January 2013 Biti called on Canada and the international community to lift sanctions on the country and its officials, saying they are “not serving anyone”. “The use of sanctions and isolation, I think they’ve outlived their usefulness,” Biti said.

    On the 15 January 2013 Finance Minister Tendai Biti has blasted the United States government for the first time, castigating the Barack Obama administration for its recently announced sanctions on key Zim government Diamond companies:Mbada Dia­monds and Marange Resources. Questioning their motives, the no-nonsense minister made a statement to the effect of shaming the US government’s recent sanctions list which he said was illegal and against international law.
    Biti said the move by the US govern­ment was “contrary to the spirit of engagement and harmful to the generality of Zimbabweans”. Absolutely barmy these MDCs.

  10. Mhofu says:

    Mukorokore, i TOTALLY agree with you. Zimboz are an idiot lot. Siya uone, they are celebrating the stealing of elections and they dont no that they all going down with mugabe and his zani.

  11. Mberengwa says:

    Those that vilify Morgan for lack of being a Democrat may as well support other parties or better still form their own where there will be no amendments to constitution to suit people needs. MDC T is far from dead, just have a look at how many people will be at the rally. It did not loose elections, everyone sensefull, Zanu included knows that. The challenge MDC has is to level the playing field and not even for a single day leave anything to chance.

    1. Wengwere says:

      @Mberengwa – trying to defend the indefensible. MDC-T will soon disappear into oblivion.

  12. Zungunde says:

    For someone to label us idiots is a bit far fetched. we have done our best by exercising our voting rights but unfortunately only one winner should emerge. i wonder if Mukorekore is a Zimbabwean or if he/she is i guess he/she is outside Zimbabwe, otherwise with all we have seen and gone through and for someone to be labelled an idiot, is a bit inhuman.
    One fact that we have to understand is that experience is a good teacher and wisdom comes with age, no wonder the ZANU PF machinery is getting sharper with time, they have seen it all. didn`t the old man himself said that he could not be beaten by Tsvangirayi because he has fought harder battles and people than Tsvangirayi? on the other hand i do not agree with those that are calling for the removal of Tsvangirai because i think he is being sharpened with these brutal encounters and is getting better in terms of leadreship with age. For how long did Sata stay as an opposition leader until he finally won? Let us not be emotional but be objective when we make some of these comments.

    1. Wengwere says:

      @Zungunde – trying to defend the indefensible. MDC-T will soon disappear into oblivion.

  13. lenpovo says:

    @Mukorekore and Mhofu emotion aside, do you actually believe that MDC lost solely becoz ZPF actually had and paid 3Billion USD dollars to the so called Nikuv. Tht u believe is why the MDC lost? lf u swallow that mantra then no wonder why there is no future in the rank and file of opposition politics with such followers. lts true there is always a fool born evryday!

  14. jonso says:

    mukorekore uri zidofo remakoko chairo, i wonder if you have a tertiary qualification.

  15. jonso says:

    emotions and facts shld never be mixed, MDC brought the best out of Zanu pf, zanu ‘s populist policies may not really bring immediate developments to the country but are the best in a nutshell, Tsvangirai is a good politicain in his own right fighting for zim in his own way but Mugabe is sharper and wiser than him.

  16. Mberengwa says:

    As of 1800hrs 14/09/13 anyone who checked the pictures of what happened in Sakubva in terms of number of people who graced the stadium will tell you that Tsvangirai is a force and MDC T is here to stay, even Zanu knows it can’t rig indefinitely. Next elections people’s will prevail. Ofcourse those from Zanu that will be alive will have a lot to explain.

  17. King Tubby says:

    @jonso. If Mugabe is “sharper and wiser” than Tsvangirair, how did he fail to foil the latter’s call for sanctions? The whole state machinery is proZANU PF. Through his powers to appoint, Mugabe has his loyalists manning all pillas of government.The reason why the State media is always on Tsvangirayi’s case is that he is the man to beat. If this were a football match, Mugabe would be both player and referee.

  18. marigazvuru says:

    whatever zanu yakaora……kudhadra

  19. max says:

    Obama will not get chero ka10% of votes if he supports domestic and international terrorism by islamists fighting for freedom. That is swimming against the current. Supporting gay rights, keeping quiet about corruption by mdc councils countrywide is swimming against the current. In politics u tell people what they want to hear chete .obama promised to close guantanamo but its still open . Tsvangirai needs to study history seriously so that he won’t make stupid mistakes. Sanctions are bleeding this country and thanks to mdc we are all affected. Bob can still shop in hong kong where all the fancy products in harods can be found. Saka sanctions are really not helping anyone.

  20. jonso says:

    @mberengwa, its not every 1 who attends these rallies supports them, hakuna mabasa saka vanhu vanongoendawo kuma rally kutsvaga pekutandarira. MDC got over a million votes which is very significant but ZANU got double that. Tsvangirai is definitely a force but is tiny when compared to Bob

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