MDC went into poll divided - Analysts

HARARE - MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai should carry out a forensic audit to ascertain where they erred in the just-ended elections, analysts have said.

President Robert Mugabe, 89, polled 61 percent of the presidential vote while Tsvangirai polled 34 percent in an election which Sadc and the African Union (AU) have said was free.

The 61-year-old former trade unionist on one hand blames the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) — the body charged with running the elections — for the stunning outcome and massive rigging by the revolutionary party which has clung onto power for the past 33 years.

But political analysts say Tsvangirai should look no further than his door step saying a significant portion of the blame lies within the party.

Over the years, Tsvangirai gained a reputation and respect due to his emotional connection with the grassroots.

But analysts say he had developed dictatorial tendencies and stuck to his “kitchen cabinet” which seldom opposed him.

University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer Shakespeare Hamauswa says this is about the time when MDC took a downward slope.

He said when the MDC joined the coalition government with Zanu PF, it concentrated on rebuilding the economy, reviving social service delivery while their partners in government took the opportunity to recover and regain credibility.

“Their strategy (Zanu PF) was to regroup and encourage their members to register to vote,” Hamauswa said.
“The MDC on one hand was busy rebuilding the economy and they neglected to build political power. They were economically correct but politically wrong.”

Hamauswa said Tsvangirai’s failure to deal with internal divisions which were worsened after the primary elections cost the MDC dearly.

“The MDC was not prepared for this election, their primary elections were another challenge as it left the party divided,” he said.

“Tsvangirai failed to deal with divisions within his party; he should have given those who opposed him a lifeline. He should have promoted them and that way he would have them on his side but he decided to protect his own and cut off those who opposed him.”

Analysts also argue that Tsvangirai behaved like a junior partner in the coalition government, allowing Mugabe to ride roughshod over him. 

They say he spent most of his time lobbying for support from the region, EU and US instead of concentrating his efforts on reconnecting with the people where he derived his mandate.

He also neglected key areas such as the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) and the labour movement.
Pedzisai Ruhanya, director of Zimbabwe Institute for Democracy, said the party had broken ranks with its key allies.

“The labour and social movement of 2013 was not the same as that of 2002 and 2008,” Ruhanya said.

“There were lots of divisions even in civil society and there was also a lot of brain drain. Although rigging was a major problem, there are internal problems within the MDC which they should look into.”

He said there was also imposition of unpopular candidates.

“The Dangamvura/Chikanga issue is an example of how MDC leadership was not in touch with its structures. The people wanted Arnold Tsunga but the leadership wanted (Giles) Mutseyekwa,” he said.

MDC spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said the party’s leadership was willing to accept criticism as long as it was constructive.

“We are not beyond reproach as a leadership, we have done and continue to do self-introspection but the truth is we did not lose this election, it was stolen from us,” Mwonzora said.

He went on to say the party was now in a process of regrouping and re-strategising.

In other mature democracies, when leaders fail three times, they step down. But Mwonzora said it was all a learning curve.

“After all this fraud, we have become wiser and more self-critical,” he said.

Job Sikhala, leader of MDC 99, said the survival of MDC depends on how they will be able to reorganise themselves.

“It depends on how they will be able to rise up from the setbacks and repackage themselves and how they can rebuild confidence in the people to vote for them again but what I also understand is that there is also a huge constituency outside there that did not participate in these elections which are interested in a third generation movement,” Sikhala said.

NCA chairperson Lovemore Madhuku, who is also a former ally of the MDC, has already expressed interest in filling the gap for a third generation movement.

Comments (20)

I suspect that the party agents at polling centres were given more money by the opposition that they wd have otherwise received from their party. Diamond rinofanira kunge rakashanda chete apa, coz how else can the figures be so huge? Chimboitai audit yema lifestyles ema election agents muone kuti zviri sei sei, you will be surprised nekupfachurwa kuri kuitwa mari.

Dumakwezulu - 8 August 2013

I believe the MDC party is still strong and can make a good showing in any free and fair election. We its supporters will stand by it.

chipolopolo - 8 August 2013

The other reason of the fall of MDC T was that in some instances, in some areas of Zimbabwe, when MDC T wanted to hold rallies , the Police and ZANU PF militia were sent to hinder the holding of the rallies and MDC T supporters were beaten up by ZANU PF militia. Also the ZANU PF controlled State run ZBCTV and the Herald prevented air time and advertising space in the newspaper for MDC T. The other reason why MDC T was prevented from winning elections was that, there were a lot spanners (frustrations) thrown at Tsvangirayi's efforts to win elections, for instance Mudede,s fraudlent voter's roll which NIKUV helped to manipulate, ZEC is full of ZANU PF CIO and ZANU PF supporters, Poling agents belong to Mugabe, the military (which also belongs to ZANU PF and Mugabe) was in full swing campaigning for Mugabe, traditional chiefs campaigned for Mugabe by intimidating villagers to vote for Mugabe, also it is being said that AU and SADC were paid in advance to endorse the fraudlent win by Mugabe as free and fair. The Chinese government gave weapons of war to the ZANU PF army in readiness to thwart MDC T'S win if they had won!!! So the chances of Tsvangirayi's MDC T winning these elections were remote indeed because all his efforts to win were being frustrated to the highest degree by ZANU PF MPs and their rigging machinery. So let us not blame Tsvangirayi too much, the man and his MDC T were caught between a rock and a hard place.

Grandpa Wemakonzo - 8 August 2013

All the above is nonsense. What happened is that the elections were rushed by someone who knew the result from the date he proclaimed July 31 2013. So called analysts are the most confused lot in Zimbabwe. How can one analyse theft? It boggles the mind. My opinion is that the battle is more spiritual than many may agree. But anyway in every situation GOD will be still saying something.

theresa - 8 August 2013

I believe MDC is still strong and that they are the ones who won not the cheating Zanu PF who have never in their entire life faced a strong opposition like MDC. Zanu PF was threatened and the only solution they had was rigging. what goes around, comes around

tkz - 8 August 2013

There is a big difference between dislodging a principality and an ordinary human entity. Please take note.

theresa - 8 August 2013

the days of trying to put the blame on zanu jongwe for anything going wrong within mdc are over. the party must mature and take advice. its strange mwonzora says they are open to criticism and here we have him already disregarding people's advice that they shot themselves on the foot. he is saying the elction was stolen. is that being open to advice mr mwonzora? that is exactly why people rejected you. come next election you are not getting any votes in matebeleland because tsvangirai couldnt convince people from mashonaland to vote for him. we are going to vote for our village politicians.

Black Crow - 8 August 2013

Women are conserdered more impotant thn the youth because of reasavation of seats and tht contributed to the loss of Mdc-t.Its high time people will prevail thn the the standing commitee than factions will

analyst - 8 August 2013

Thelma Chikwana you are bluffing.As for Madhuku please join Zanu pf because you are no different from Jonathan Moyo.Out to destroy the opposition.You are not even ashamed advising Mugabe to use powers of decree and you come and insult our intelligence.

Squarebasher - 8 August 2013

the above article explains the truth in simpler terms and should be heeded by those who are crying foul over the last election instead of playing the blame game it doe not bring bread on our tables. allow me to add salt to injury, makaramba monakirwa nemarally nekuva obsessed with press conferences vamwe vachiita oil their machinery as the election drew near

krissy - 8 August 2013

I think tsvangirai should stop blaming mugabe for his inefficiencies . he may be an endurer but no a leader politics is like chess , the small moves count . Olease give way to other people in the party who can drive the party to a victory not to keep blaming Zanu pf .

inini - 8 August 2013

What did Tsvangirai expect when he went to town denigrating his potential voters. His bad omen was further worsened by Theresa Makone who unwittingly called him, 'bhuru' much to the chagrin of the women who are more voters than men. Biti, for obvious reasons, did not do him good either as he continued to whisper to him from behind as Morgan addressed rallies. To the public-cum electorate, it meant that Tsvangirai was being told what to say no matter how bad it was. For Tsvangirai as an individual, he needs a serious self-introspection. Otherwise Project 2016 is now by the corner.

Bere I Tate - 8 August 2013

Why are there so many 'ostriches with their heads in the sand'. It's not about a Third Party, Tsvangari not knowing his strategy, Biti giving advice or even Mugabe being too old. No! It's all about ZEC (unprofessional), Registrar-General (Crooked), ZANU-PF (cruel), Nikuv (destructive), Mugabe (led by Generals), Mnangagwa (Crocodile) that destroyed Zimbabweans hopes. Tsvangari was leading by 78% until the Nikuv machinery kicked in! Well done Nikuv - ???? ????????? Nikuv - in Hebrew and Well done China - ( ZANU-PF's Master) it's ?????!

Chivula Mapoti - 8 August 2013

Them analysts underestimates the rigging that zanu did that would have stood any party divided or united. MDC put up a good fight and exposed zanu for what they really are which is a bunch of cheats taking zimbabweans for granted.

obama4eva - 8 August 2013

The MDC-T was fooled by unprofessional journalists particularly GIFT PHIRI who highlighted that Tsvangirai would defeat Mugabe by 61per cent. They religiously believed in Baba Jukwa's information.

Robison Nyundo (THE HAMMER) - 8 August 2013

ever since the creation of Mdc over a dacade ago it has not changed presidency and i dont think tsvangirai ill step down come 2018.something is wrong wit that!

matemai - 9 August 2013

Nikuv could not have done anything without the knowledge of their government. If Israel was in the know, it means UK and USA also knew. Which means they are the ones who planned the destruction of the MDC. No wonder why they did not provide funding this time and MDC had to beg Botswana in the last minute. So please stop blaming ZANU PF and the people who voted. If your masters dumped you, why do you want the people of Zim to embrace you?? Pasi nezvimbwasungata. Pasi nemapuppets of the West.

Commander Guvamatongo - 9 August 2013

mdc will gain more popular than it was before elections because guys don't fool yourself and expect anything fruitful from zanu pf ndinopika mdc is still very very popular

ZIMBO - 9 August 2013

its a shame zanu pf are back to full throttle. at the same time mdct has to take full blame for taking elections as a done deal. in future elections, mdct should do away with the kitchen cabinet and lobby properly if it is serious. get rid of rhodesians like roy barret, major mutsekwa and the makone family. lovemore madhuku is an influential personality, so is welshman ncube, dumiso dabengwa, not standaries like sandlana, thokozani khuphe and gedion moyo. morgan talk to the original cast of job sikhala and the rastaman, mnyaradzi gwisai. this must serve as a lesson, even to the diaspora, who fail to approach us, even if we fought for the liberation of zimbabwe, we 2 hate zanu pf rule.

umsomi olomnyathi - 9 August 2013

The suffering we Zimbabweans have endured under ZANU-PF shit has nothing to do with Bennet. Hate or love him he is not the cause for all our ills. Some of us had the opportunity to grow during Smith's error and believe you me we never suffered such ill treatment like the one we have had to endure under ZANU_PF Lucifer. Harp you may about ZANU_PF winning elections. They did not win anything and when one of these days you work up to starve thats when you will realize that it is not funny to just sit down and write nonsense on this forum. Some questions I would like to ask the ZANU-PF apologists who think it is OK for a 90 year old man and his murderous gang to continue to hold the nation Zimbabwe at ransom defying all logic, insulting our intelligence and taking us for idiots. Taneta with people who do not want to anaylse issues intelligently and remain at naive consciousness. Read Pauolo Freire: Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Divided or not there was no way that Tsvangirai could have done in the face of such well orchestrated rigging by ZANU-PF with the help of ZEC and NIKUV. Jews are evil and some of us have been wondering why Hitler targeted them and Idi Amin. They are full of rubbish. Imbwa dzevanhu. Hilter should have exterminated all of you so that no offspring of yours could be causing Zimbabweans this Heartache.

Vongai - 10 August 2013

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