What is really at play in the MDC?

HARARE - It is probably easier at the moment to groom a skunk -— that stinky cat-sized mammal that sprays a foul-smelling liquid from its backside when it is threatened by an attacker -— than it is to make sense of the MDC’s current squabbles, their genesis and what the infighting is supposed to achieve.

How else are Zimbabweans supposed to look at this bizarre conflict within the party’s leadership when there is seemingly nothing to gain from this insane self-asphyxiation?

It is entirely understandable when Zanu PF “chefs” club each other to death year in and year out in their faction-riddled party, because they are fighting for a slice of a significant patronage system and access to real resources —- such as diamonds, multiple farms, fat State tenders and obscene pay cheques like those unmasked by the media over the past few weeks.

It is, however, exactly the opposite in the MDC, where for most of the activists there is only pain, poverty, sacrifice and a piffling of drying donor funds.

So why this orgy of chaos and propensity for self-destruction?

At the weekend, for example, the nation was told of attacks on some of the leaders of the party after a meeting in Harare.

The victims of these alleged attacks virtually fingered their own party leader in these

By yesterday, however, a different picture was emerging, amid claims that party president Morgan
Tsvangirai was in fact the unsung hero who saved deputy treasurer-general Elton Mangoma and secretary-general Tendai Biti from a savage lynching by an irate mob outside Harvest House that was baying for the blood of the two gentlemen.

So, which is which in this sordid tale?

Were Mangoma and Biti assaulted or not, and why? Was Tsvangirai complicit in their disputed harassment and how? And why is there no record of this crime being reported to the police?

All this leaves despondent Zimbabweans asking what the hell is going on in the MDC?

We fully understand that when a political party loses as dismally as the MDC did in last year’s elections, notwithstanding the controversies that accompanied those elections, there is always going to be some blood-letting. It’s inevitable.

The shattering reality and pain of defeat, particularly when the party naively believed that it could beat all the odds stacked against it, including unfulfilled Global Political Agreement (GPA) tenets, is always such that both paralysis and confusion reign — and people begin to look for scapegoats to blame for their predictable loss.

Throw in a piffling of donor funds, a few egos and unbridled ambition in the mix, and you have a toxic cocktail that makes Zed look like fruit juice!

While this is not the whole story, it surely partly explains what is at play within the MDC — and it is a red hot recipe for disaster, where none of the combatants come out of this smelling of roses or with anything to gain.

Let it be known that the squabbling leaders of the MDC are betraying the aspirations of ordinary Zimbabweans who have entrusted them with the job of strengthening democracy in the country over the past 15 years.

And come 2018, these selfish —- if not incompetent — egomaniacs must not cry foul when Zanu PF romps to yet another “landslide” victory; because they are once again taking their eyes off the ball at a crucial time of the country’s history.

Comments (19)

Who will blink first? Kunzima bafowethu!

Mntungwa - 18 February 2014

I might be naive but the issue seems to me simple enough. After a devastating loss (some say there were cheated) there is bound to be some introspection. This is as it should be. What is questionable is this violence and intransigence on the part of the top executives..Might an early congress not put these leadership issues to bed? That said, saying the MDC leaders are fighting for 'broken meats' from the table of donors is an insult not worth this paper..You have done a lot better than this trite nonsense in the past. This is a serious issues and your readers expect you to fully engage them on this issue not this penny twaddle you peddle here as reason for the discord in the MDCT. We expect better from your staff or contributors to these pages.

gutter poet - 18 February 2014

they dont care about winning the state house, they are fighting to control donor funds.

mandoza - 18 February 2014

Violence(whether intra/inter party) is the DNA of African politics Mr Editor.

Mukanya - 18 February 2014

Gutter Poet you seem to know more than you are letting on. If you feel that the Daily News has not told us the complete story, then enlighten us what is really happening here. What is the really story?

Musorodamba - 18 February 2014

Iwe Musorodamba can't you see that @Gutter Poet is just upset that the Daily News, in typical fashion, has told off his favourite politicians. Kkkkkkkk!

Kamba - 18 February 2014

So Morgan thinks he is the only one who can lead MDC just like Bob thinks he is the only one who can lead Zim. -shame on them

Cartoon gazer - 18 February 2014

The issue at play is quite simple, Mr Editor. Mr Mangoma stirred an hornet's nest when he protested against Mr Tsvangirai's abuse of party funds as well as his (Tsvanangirai's) immorality. Under normal circumstances all members should have agreed with Mangoma and by now Tsvangirai would have been sent to the cleaners. However, there are certain elements who have been benefiting from Tsvangirai's rule of MDC-T and these people are getting angry on behalf of Tsvangirai.

Feldman Bandura - 18 February 2014

I do not see why the leadrship in MDC should deliberately give tools to the other side to enable them to drive a wedge in the party. You guys are still to achieve delivering the results to the nation. You can not afford to change leadership while still in the struggle. You simply loose focus. The timing to call for leadrship renewal by Mangoma ,although it is within his right to do so,sets the party 95 paces backwards when they had only fives paces left to the finishing line.

mambo - 18 February 2014

The editor is spot on MDC-T leadership is losing sight of the mandate bestowed on the by the people by concentrating on trivalities.Instead they should capitalise on the divisions in ZANUPF because of the salary gate and impending congress.Some of them may think they are indispensable but they should know that politics is a game of numbers and should not underrate the generality of the population.

Aluta continua - 18 February 2014

When Prof. Ncube told you Tsvangirai instigated and presided over violence you did not believe him. Now zvionerei mega.

mavuso kunene - 18 February 2014

ZANU PF is better off without Tsvangirai on the political landscape. Why is Mangoma and the like falling into the trap ? ZANU PF knows Tsvangirai is not beatable in a free and fair election. Just like Mandela was, the face of opposition politics at this point in time in zim is Tsvangirai. We are not yet on a leadership changing phase. If today Tsvbangirai left and Mangoma took over , would the opposition stand a chance . Tsvangirai is a brand . whether you like it or not . Ask Mugabe and he will tell you that Tsvangirai is the only politician who has been him in three consecutive elections and the last one he had to hire the International Rigging Authority to "win convincingly ".

Mupinyu Wasvotoka - 18 February 2014

Who let the dogs out who who whoo................hokoyo nemhamo kuMDC T!!!!!

Chaitichouya Chikopokopo - 18 February 2014

Its every member's democratic right to demand his leader's resignation if he feels that the leader is becoming a liability to his party. The leader might have been given a mandate to lead for a given period but that is not cast in stone. If during that period the leader acts in a manner that is not compatible with his status the interests of that party should take precedence. Leaders should come and go, but their parties can remain.

msana we ngombe - 18 February 2014

It surprises me to note that MDC-T can be squabbling in this fashion given the predatory naturer of their arch-rival, ZANU-PF. Are there no clear rules to impeach, vote out or discipline a leader when he fails to deliver or when he breaks rules? Why do I also get the impression that Mangoma and followers are playing to the gallery?

Mbezo Mutasa - 19 February 2014

When money was plenty at MDC-T, there were no quarrels, but mari hapachina vamwe havachaiwani so there are bout to be fights. It's natural.

machakachaka - 19 February 2014

Tsvangirayi has the legitimate right to lead until 2016 but he has lost the mandate to do that hence he must be replaced with someone out side the current Mdc people like simba makoni,masiya,mutumwa

DAVID - 19 February 2014

Tsvangirayi has the legitimate right to lead until 2016 but he has lost the mandate to do that hence he must be replaced with someone out side the current Mdc people like simba makoni,masiyiwa,mutumwa

DAVID - 19 February 2014

Unfortunately the sad reality of a real democratic dispensation in Zim is now beyond both Zanu PF & the MDC.

Whini yadhomoka - 19 February 2014

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