Splintered opposition ‘gift to tyranny’

IN a sense the low-key reunification of the MDC factions led by Tendai Biti (MDC Renewal Team) and Welshman Ncube, sealed at a ceremony on Wednesday, is auspicious in that it raises hope of consolidating what is now a splintered and ineffectual opposition.


The name of the new party, the United Movement for Democratic Change (UMDC) is, however, rather paradoxical for the opposition remains mostly divided as in the main this union is shorn off the largest residual group headed by Morgan Tsvangirai (MDC-T) and does not include yet Dumiso Dabengwa’s Zapu and Simba Makoni’s Mavambo/Dawn/ Kusile.

Zimbabwe is crying out for a broader coalition of opposition parties constituting a robust alternative to the ruling Zanu PF locked in brutal internal hostilities, seemingly to the exclusion of its electoral pledges to pull the economy back from the brink.

After last year’s calamitous poll drubbing, it behoves the opposition to rethink strategy while mapping out the agenda for the 2018 polls. It must try to lure the progressive elements among Zanu PF heavyweights chucked out by President Mugabe as he fulfils what appear to be president-for-life aspirations.

The ground could not be more fertile for an effective opposition. Clueless Zanu PF remains stuck in thick fog as far as delivery is concerned.

In its 2013 election manifesto the party — among other lofty promises — pledged to unlock US$1,8 trillion by utilising idle assets and transfer at least US$7,3 trillion into the hands of black Zimbabweans through indigenisation, create more than two million jobs and revive the moribund education and health sectors. Its signature economy programme, ZimAsset, is dead in the water.

In fact, the illiquidity-hit economy is in worse shape than when Zanu PF won — many allege routinely stole — last year’s general elections.

If all this fails to galvanise the squabbling opposition to forge a united front coalescing all like-minded democratic forces then nothing else will. But what do we have now? An opposition amateurishly revelling in throwing brickbats at each other more than at common opponent, Zanu PF.

Any claims by opposition party leaders that their differences are insurmountable constitute dissembling baloney; they betray prioritisation of personality issues ahead of long-suffering Zimbabweans’ concerns. Were the MDC formations not able to work with a brutal Mugabe regime in the unity government for four years despite all its atrocities and criminal destruction of the economy?

In any case, Biti suggested on Wednesday the biggest step to reunification could be the overcoming of inflated egos—read arrogance — when he apologised to Ncube for verbal abuse after the party’s first split in 2005.

Hence Tsvangirai, Biti and Ncube, the chief protagonists in the MDC fragmentation, have much soul-searching to do. They would do well to take a leaf from Makoni and Dabengwa who projected maturity and flexibility by forging a united front.

A divided opposition in which everyone loses is a luxury the country can ill-afford. David Coltart could not have put it any better this week when he said: “That (2005 MDC) split was a gift to tyranny, and remains so!”

9 thoughts on “Splintered opposition ‘gift to tyranny’”

  1. Chris Veremu says:

    Are the fellows in the Renewal team aware that this calling themselves the UMDC makes them sound like the second team of the MDCT? Why not look for a new name? Is this so hard one wonders.

  2. Wilbert Mukori says:

    @ Stewart Chabwinja

    Those who keep harping about the need for the unification of political parties led by individuals who have already proven to be breathtakingly incompetent underline just what is wrong in Zimbabwe – even when we know the individual is incompetent we lack the courage to dump him or her, We are like the monkey caught because we have clinched our fist and we will not open our hand to regain our freedom.

    It took 15 years or so before we finally accepted Mugabe is a corrupt and murderous tyrant. I wonder how longer it is going to take the nation before they will finally accept that Tsvangirai, Biti, Ncube, Dabengwa, Makoni and others are incompetent blunders who just want to get back on the gravy train. The monkey has clinched its fist and now it seems the fist has a mind of its own, impenetrable to reason and logic.

    An incompetent opposition is a gift to the tyrant – is it really relevant whether or not the opposition is united?

  3. Citizen says:

    @ Wilbert Makori. The problem with Zimbabwe’s politics and politicians ruling and opposition is not an issue of competence but morality! Our leaders don’t have moral integrity and courage to make decisions in the national interest. Most of them make decisions on personal and other less honourable interests! This country needs leaders who are principled, who have a demonstrable track record and reputation of moral integrity in their leadership!

    1. Saddened says:

      @Citizen I wholeheartedly agree with you as to what the problem with the current crop of leaders is however where will the right calibre of leaders come from in the present poisoned political atmosphere?

    2. ndaziva says:

      Totally agree. Principled, selfless individuals are required to lead us. What we have for an opposition party right now is a carbon copy of Zanu PF complete with a mutupo at the end and a dictator at the head. The founding principle of “democracy” relegated.

  4. nehoreka says:

    Of Zim and mugabes and the Dr wat wat, kaaaak man! Have had my vote stolen 4 times, I give up! Take the country down with u bob, heartless zanu people! But one day is one day. Chisingaperi chinoshura

  5. ndizvo says:

    I hear you Shuto but the basic wrong assumption is that had the opposition been united in any of the past elections and won a lanslide against zanu pf bob and company would have allowed such results to be announced. This was never going to happen as evidenced by what is happening within zanu itself. Chairmen whom they elected and endorsed in the politburo have been booted out. What more general zimbo povo. The problem is deeper than we have always thought and has a chance to be resolved only after the owner of the country is no more.

  6. kambairai says:

    With or without sell outs like Biti&Ncube,Zimbabwe will one day be free. For the opposition to try&take advantage of ZANU PF’s inter-factional fights is like a man trying to propose love to a married woman simply because the woman has conflicts with her husband.The opposition should stick to to their programmes as if nothing is happening in ZANU PF.

  7. Mukwerekwere says:

    I agree with the Citizen…..all these leaders lack morality. They cannot even unite despite having a common goal of removing the tyrants who torment us. They selfishness betrays betrays their supposed ‘good intentions’. I long gave up on these fools.

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