We let our eyes off election ball, MDC admits

HARARE - Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC has admitted taking eyes off the election ball during the inclusive government, saying participating in the July 31 elections without key reforms was suicidal.

Tsvangirai suffered a huge defeat at the hands of President Robert Mugabe during the July 31 elections, triggering calls for him to step down to pave way for a new leader.

In an exclusive interview with the Daily News on Sunday, MDC organising secretary Nelson Chamisa said participating in the July 31 elections without reforms was akin to going to an examination without a syllabus.

Chamisa however, shot down suggestions that the party’s 61-year-old leader should quit.

“It is not time to change the commander,” he said.

“Every struggle has its face. President Tsvangirai is the face of the struggle. Any other shrill calls or comments for him to step down are just but voices in the wilderness.

“It’s good to express oneself but looking at the circumstances, the challenges we face, its not the time to change the commander. We are in the middle of a mortal combat with challenges that are so clear in the country.”

In retrospect, Chamisa regretted that the party “entered a stadium which was filled with water, stones and of course thorns”.

“There is no chance we should have gone to elections without electoral, media and political reforms,” he said. “We left and lifted our eyes off the ball. We were supposed to continue with the reform mantra. We were supposed to focus on the reforms as a precondition for free and fair elections.”

Tsvangirai was railroaded into an election after the Constitutional Court directed that elections be held on July 31.

The buoyant MDC participated in the polls under protest.

Now out of power, the MDC says it is going to make sure that it will not take part in future elections without necessary reforms.

“We should never enter into darkness hoping that we just grope around and locate that which we are seeking to identify,” Chamisa said.

“We need to make sure that we bring light to the elections. We need fundamental reforms to how elections are conducted, who conducts elections, the technical staff of Zec (the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission), the issue of institutions of government doing government business and not necessarily partisan business, those are things we have learnt and things we could have done better and now with hindsight, we are even twice sharper, once beaten, twice shy.”

Chamisa, who served as a minister for Informatio and Communication Technology (ITC) in the inclusive government, said being outside government was not a handicap to the MDC’s goal of attaining political and institutional reforms.

“We don’t necessarily need to be in government to achieve reforms; the theatre of politics is not just transacted in government. We are political stakeholders by the virtue of support that the people of Zimbabwe continue to give to president Tsvangirai,” said Chamisa.


Comments (18)

You guys never stop to fascinate me. Now you don't want participate in future elections without reforms. If you could not make reforms while controlling 50% of government, you think they will ever happen. The problem in you guys is you put 100% of your energy in foreigners who don't stay in Zimbabwe. You did no even have Paypal so people in the diaspora could assist you financially. In 2008 you won and the looked to S.A.D.C. This year after a obvious rigged election you turn to S.A.D.C. again. You forgot who you where dealing with. Zanu-PF had a 500 million dollar election fund. Everyone got a check. All you had and all you will ever have is the people. Did you use the people's anger, no. For the second time in a row you wait until they accept it. Making the wrong turn at every juncture is why you guys delivered our head on a silver platter to Mugabe. Its leadership renewal or join the dustbins of history. Don't hold us hostage or you will stand alone. Hopefully this time you will choose an intelligent leader, with excellent communication and people skills. Intelligent leaders can decipher good from bad advice. Thank you.

mutsa - 13 October 2013

Well done for being honest young man. That's a mark of good leadership!

Nelson Biti - 13 October 2013

Well done for being honest young Chamisa. That's a mark of good leadership!

Nelson Biti - 13 October 2013

Chamisa you sound so pathetic. All the things you talk about are the things you were told about daily, SADC leader told you over and over. You never had your eyes on the ball - you were power drunk and Zanu pf let you wallow in there. You were even full of praise for Mugabe...!!! Unbelievable. Can you still describe him with the same words today..?? I feel let down by the leadership and for that I am angry. Very angry. Do you even have a plan going forward other than crying and crying..?? May be it was good you lost coz you just sound clueless.

fokolo - 13 October 2013

As the thoroughly defeated MDC-T ponders its bleak political future it is advised thus: 1. The party should restructure it's leadership starting with requesting its flawed and clueless commander-in-chief Tsvangirai who cannot read the political compass. 2. The party should strategise on ways of winning back the support of the electorate which ditched the crippled party. There is no point in blaming unproven "rigging" as this will assist it in the next elections, 3. The party should not heed the poisonous advice of foreigners particularly the British who have a political and economical "grudge" against President Mugabe with whom they accuse of dispossessing whites of the land they stole from the indeginous Africans.

Robison Nyundo (THE HAMMER) - 14 October 2013

Correction , advice 1. should read: The party should restructure its leadership starting with removing its flawed and clueless commander-in-chief Tsvangirai who cannot read the political compass.

Rabison Nyundo (THE HAMMER) - 14 October 2013

Correction noted

fokolo - 14 October 2013

Truth is when people set out to accomplish an objective as a team under a leader and they fail to achieve the goal, the leader of the team takes up the responsibility for the failure. Ordinarily the leader resigns and another leader takes up the mantle. In a political party, this is easier said than done. Where there are signs that the desired resignation of the failed leader would bring strife and eventual decimation of the party, it is wiser to let the erstwhile leader continue until unity is achieved within the party. Then and only then can the leader handover reins to another. In MDC, the person who has seen it all and had the courage to stand up to an ruthless regime is Tvangirai. He is a thorn in the flesh to Zanu (PF) and Team Zanu (PF) knows this hence their sustained effort to ensure Tsvangirai is elbowed out as soon as possible. All these noises in the media and elsewhere are the result of Zanu (PF) propaganda tactics etc. In 2008 Zanu (PF) lost the elections; why were there no cries for the leader of that party to go? Any party in the world has a disciplinary code and the members who transgress must be prepared to take the consequences. MDC -T cannot be afraid to discipline its members because Zanu (PF) says this will split MDC. What has Zanu (PF) got to do with it unless they have vested interest!! Let us take the wool off our eyes... why would Zanu (PF) be worried or even comment about Tsvangson's visit to TB Joshua? Does this man have no right of association. Muri kutyei????

Isidore Mutungagore - 14 October 2013

Me jaweti do not mind about their loss or win because its them who lost their jobs to fend for their families. Kana shungu, whether the elections were rigged or not handina basa nazvo.

jaweti - 14 October 2013

Jaweti Kazangarare kkkkk hauna kuuraya here gore rino

Cde jagnos - 14 October 2013

bwaaaa!!! magrazi mudenga bwaaa!!! pasi

tipelo - 14 October 2013

Its refreshing to note people see through machinations of politicians, they are the same. We have been bombarded with the '' Mugabe has overstayed his welcome at State House'' mantra and we agreed with the democratic movement which shouted its self hoarse about being the dispensation necessary today. But, alas as reality will always be, some in the person of Chamisa are vehemently resisting democratic transformation of the self appointed democratic party. It wont surprise me if he is a member of the infamous kitchen party which misdirected its energies and resorted to joining the lootocracy and helped plunder our resources at our watch. If this MDC is a peoples project, there must be leadership renewal to instill confidence into the electorate and to also adopt people friendly policies like empowering the natives who have business initiatives as opposed to advancing the thinking that employment can be availed by whites only. Excellent example ''Strive Masiyiwa'' he is as black as they come. 90% of locals have survived by self employment and Iwant to believe 40 or so % are real business people with the potential to create employment. But instead of taking indigenisation from their perspective they opted to label it ''another zpf destructive mechanism'' without realising that there are multitudes, like me, who wont dream of being formally employed but aspire to employ. Until you bring realistic agendas like the one above and also addressing leadership issues you shall drift very surely into irrelevance. Does it mean this of yours is going to be completely lost, if Tsvangirai were to die today? This hero worshipping mentality should cease for only ''GOD '' is the Almighty and the only one indispensable. Food for thought

top heavy - 14 October 2013

tsvangirai is aool puppet. enjoying western funds while kubuhera kune ma orphans .shame . what gos around comes around, tsvatu waro

kune ngwena - 14 October 2013

@top heavy your percentages really make me laugh because we shall end up with noone to employ if we all become self-employed as you say. We cannot all sing bass otherwise there is no tenor, alto or soprano and the music because dough. We need employers and employees but you are saying we should all thrive to be employers who then do we employ? Even Zanu manifesto said it will create 2,265million jobs for people because they know that we cannot all be employers. Changing leadership at this time is akin to flying another pilot to take over a nose diving jumbojet and I tell you that pilot will not be of any use. The plane will fall faster even so let the pilot in it try to stabilise it before landing then others can take off with that plane otherwise mid-air crew change does not work unless you looking for disaster. The 1st thing MDC needed to do has been done by Chamisa in this article and the second thing is to go down to the electorate and find out what they need/want not the C10s that comment on this website.

Qawe laMaqawe - 14 October 2013

Hleka kaMthwakazi. Kikikkk Chamisa anoShamisa

NANSI LENDODA - 14 October 2013

It is always true that people get much wiser after an experience as is normally happening to Chamisa. He 'realises' only now that the last elections needed 'reforms'. Maybe he will be wiser again that he was advocating for leadership change when he reads this Daily News article again and again never mind his silencing calls for leadership change (read regime Change Robert Mugabe) of his party's leader whom he pretends with unparalleled sarcasm as the face and commander of MDC struggles (read as tribulations). But excuse me Mr Chamisa, by regretting that MDC “entered an election stadium filled to the brim with water, stones and... thorns, and that you should have been wiser not to participate without reforms, but only did so because your party led by this face and commander of the MDC lifted its 'eyes off the ball', are you not saying the same things as Kay and Benet. Are you sure you are not saying Tsvangirayi led you astray and sarcastically saying he should continue to lead MDC, even as Michael Jackson would say " I am bad" when he meant he is cool?

Murenga WaMutapa - 14 October 2013

With COPAC and numerous legal amendments some leading to the establishment of helpful media and anti corruption commissions as well as the re-manning of the ZEC board, which you participated in, at what point did you take your eyes off the electoral ball? Assuming you did, why on earth did you do that when you knew fully well that the route to State House was via an electoral victory? Are you not confirming sir, that you were overwhelmed by the trappings of power? With this indispensible face and commander of the MDC, how could you have entered into darkness hoping to grope around and locate electoral victory? How could you wish to bring light to 2018 elections with the same commander who misled your party so mythically that you thought the only worst mistake MDC could pull was an impossible feat of snatching defeat from the gnawing jaws of electoral victory. You failed to carry out 'reforms on the inside and hope to do so on the outside. Fine. But you know what, if you succeed to achieve the reforms you want before the next elections outside government then you will confirm the already known facts that you are the most formidable opposition political party ever formed in Zimbabwe and ZANU PF the worst. Conversely you will confirm ZANU PF as the best ruling party ever, and MDC the worst.

Murenga WaMutapa - 14 October 2013

You should never have participated in those elections, even if Mugabe's legal team forced it. Now the magic question is how to save the movement or if its even possible. SADC is a no go area. The rest of Africa hopeless and Western countries can only offer aid. POWER LIES WITH ZIMBABWEANS. NEVER FORGET THAT AGAIN. "What will bring the masses back? What will energize them?" If you guys can't be honest about the obvious, your movement is doomed.

mutsa mugari - 14 October 2013

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