MDC-T’s new recruits are a convenient diversion

It is not the biggest but the right crowd that Zimbabweans should be seeking to associate with. The MDC-T is the biggest opposition party but in its current form and the reputation it has built over the last fifteen years, it is just not the right crowd. It is quite surprising that Job Sikhala of MDC-99, Edward Mkhosi and Siyabonga Malandu Ncube both former – and NOT – MDC-N members have heeded calls by the MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, to unite against ZANU PF when in principle and practice the MDC-T is no different. Is the MDC-T going to transform itself to start to represent the conscience of the Zimbabwean people? Or it is all going to end up in smoke yet again?

A foolish opinion remains foolish even if held by the majority; the intimation that the MDC-T is an alternative to ZANU PF and that it will transform Zimbabwean political institutions is a baseless argument lacking in depth as much as it lacks credibility. The fact remains that since 2005 the MDC-T and ZANU PF are the same, only different.

The MDC-T is a party now only seeking to govern Zimbabwe after ZANU PF; there is no evidence from the party’s own policies and practice that it seeks to effectively change Zimbabwe’s fundamental socio-political and economic systems and institutions that either promote ethnic Shona dominance or protect politicians’ interests over all other citizens or both.

The MDC-T does little to show a genuine interest in a significant power transfer from central government to the people. Like ZANU PF, the MDC-T appears to view extensive devolution of power to provinces with some scepticism, the main fear being a paranoiac perception that such a move might open doors for some regions, in particular Matabeleland, to seek full autonomy in the future. For both parties, the approach to governance remains that of closely monitoring regions as opposed to genuinely empowering them.

To create a future Zimbabwe now, we need political plasticity: our politics has to accommodate and be relevant to the evolving local and global social and political phenomena. Only the genuine free development of regions would be the prime condition for the free development of Zimbabwe.

Recycling a few failed politicians here and there is not worth a celebration; it will not suddenly transform the MDC-T’s political policies and alter its direction. The party needs policies and a clear vision, not individuals who cannot resist patting their own backs and people who are always a speech away from a political gaffe.

At times a good organisation has to get rid of important individuals to create a better organisation; Tsvangirai is an important member of the MDC-T but he has become a liability for the organisation. The party needs to revert to being just the MDC without the ‘-T’; for that to happen, a massive restructuring exercise will be essential.

Without a significant change of direction, the MDC-T’s new recruits are a useless addition; they are nothing but a convenient diversion. The party lacks innovation because it has failed to learn from its previous losses. It is only arrogance and naivety that ‘convinces’ cowards within the party that Tsvangirai remains the right person to take the MDC forward; he has failed in almost 15 years; what makes any reasonable person think he will get it right in 3 years?

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