THE opposition parties, especially the Nelson Chamisa-led MDC Alliance, are proving to be their own worst enemies.
Candid Comment,Faith Zaba
Facing monumental hurdles in fighting the entrenched Zanu PF hegemony — built over 38 years — contesting the July 30 general elections in a lopsided playing field, coupled by crippling scarcity of resources, one would think this would be the time for them to join forces for the looming titanic battle.
Alas, instead of closing ranks and facing competitors head-on, opposition parties are busy committing political fratricide.
The MDC Alliance is supposed to be the core of the envisaged grand coalition, but the centre is not holding, as internal squabbles seem to be tearing apart the political arrangement.
MDC Alliance partners have been embroiled in a debilitating tug-of-war over electoral seats since the nomination court sat last Thursday. Alliance partners have publicly blasted their leader Chamisa, labelling him a deceptive politician who does not respect and uphold parties’ agreements.
This ensued after he fielded candidates from his MDC-T party in constituencies reserved for the allies.
They also accused him of being anti-Ndebele, as most candidates from Welshman Ncube’s MDC failed to file nomination papers because of MDC-T deceit.
This is more so in Matabeleland region where MDC-T refused to sign nomination papers belonging to Ncube’s candidates. The MDC’s Matabeleland North province demanded that Chamisa step down, for allegedly disrespecting alliance partners by grabbing their seats.
“I question why president Chamisa is failing to honour the agreement before he even runs this country,” the provincial chairperson Leonard Mhlanga complained.
MDC spokesperson Kurauone Chihwayi added to the chorus, saying: “We are dealing with chameleons and vultures.”
In response to MDC-T chairperson Morgen Komichi who said the issue was now water under the bridge, Ncube said: “Dishonesty, deception and treating colleagues and allies with disdain, disrespect and contempt can never be water under the bridge.”
This makes it less feasible the grand union can successfully dislodge Zanu PF, which boasts of state machinery at its disposal, millions of United States dollars to campaign and buy regalia, among other paraphernalia, as well as military support and saturation of propaganda through state media.
Chamisa is also entangled in a bruising court battle with MDC-T party presidential candidate Thokozani Khupe after a nasty separation prompted by a leadership wrangle following the death of the founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai in February.
The alleged anti-Ndebele sentiments are likely to negatively impact on the MDC Alliance’s performance in its Matabeleland stronghold.
If the opposition fails to refocus its energies just five weeks before the forthcoming make-or-break polls, it might as well hand victory on a silver platter to Zanu PF. It has to keep its eyes on the ball, or risk losing dismally like in 2013.