MDC grievance handling costly

HARARE - The MDC circus has rolled into town once more.

After the split of 2005, another group appears to have broken away again.

That a party can split so many times — MDC-T, MDC-N, MDC-M, MDC 99 and now MDC Team (or is it MDC-B now?) — is most unedifying.

It probably holds the record as the most fractious party in the world.

It would seem the MDC brand is so precious every splinter group wants to take a piece of it with it. It is always MDC this or MDC that.

The latest sequel in the MDC circus involves the main MDC suspending and expelling a senior official for challenging the leader publicly; the expelled member, in turn, joins hands with the party secretary-general to suspend the leader.

It is stuff of political comedy.

But it is a circus that only Zanu PF and its media can enjoy.

With emotions running high, the ZRP too will delight in arresting the feuding supporters.

The police are keen to portray Zanu PF as the non-violent party and the MDC as the violent one.

For staunch democrats, the unravelling of the MDC — a party upon which they placed hope and for which many were maimed and killed — the developments are tragic.

The problem stems from a political culture averse to grievance or challenge.

In Zimbabwean politics, when a grievance is raised, it cannot be legitimate; it must be an external emanation. In this case, it is Zanu PF, the CIO, Welshman Ncube and so forth.

Some dossiers emerge to fortify claims of external forces.

But such accusations are no different from suggestions by Zanu PF that the MDC itself was a creation of external forces — as if Zimbabweans are incapable of reasoning and agency.

Such an approach blinds us from considering the legitimacy of grievance and the capability of internal players to organise themselves independently around grievances.

It does not take the secret service, for instance, for people to organise themselves around the fallibilities of the leader of the main MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai, because his inadequacies are not a secret.

Soon after the elections, I said Tsvangirai should consider his position. Arriving at a decision on such a matter takes integrity and honest introspection. He has chosen not to step down.

It is not a secret, nonetheless, that he exercised poor judgment when he acquiesced to electoral participation without the necessary reforms; has been outwitted, not once, but several times by his opponent apart from personal indiscretions.

One does not need to be influenced by some external force to notice these.

The MDC Team, or the so-called renewal group, raises similar concerns including the violence, cultism and other issues they say indicate a departure from the party’s founding values. 

Do “renewalists” hold legitimate grievances? Of course, they do. They also see the next election when, as many expect, President Robert Mugabe will not stand as a good chance to secure power; hence the need for the best candidate.

Tsvangirai, after several failed attempts, is, according to them, not such candidate.

But have the “renewalists” gone about it the right way? Probably not.

It was improper in the first place that a supposedly private letter to Tsvangirai challenging his position was leaked to the media.

And secondly, if the disgruntled lot believes it has popular support, it can challenge Tsvangirai’s leadership at congress.

It is understandable, however, why “renewalists” would choose the “suspension” route, probably followed by “dismissal”: it is unlikely that they would dislodge Tsvangirai in a vote.

The former prime minister has assumed cult status to many.

The other option is, of course, for the disenchanted group to leave the MDC altogether and start afresh. Simba Makoni did it without establishing some Zanu PF-M.

It is a difficult proposition but, just like in business, you have to work on your new brand. There is sufficient time to do so between now and 2018. 

 

Comments (8)

Those who want to renew others must first renew themselves,usually when you point a figure at someone else, remember four figures will be pointing at you, renewal should come from the people not the power hungry ones, losing election three times is not a sin, Its time that we rally behind our Leader,not insulting him in and out like that its not human, he deserves respect, that is why people are behind him,he has not killed anyone. He got 1 200 000 {million } showing that people are behind HIM ' do not make a joke with this figure, people love him.To be in the opposition is also ruling but we need total take over and MT IS WORKING TOWARDS THAT.when things were tough no one needed to take that position ,now seeing the dog can no longer continue biting people ,you what to take over.

pagomo - 30 April 2014

Those who want to renew others must first renew themselves,usually when you point a figure at someone else, remember four figures will be pointing at you, renewal should come from the people not the power hungry ones, losing election three times is not a sin, Its time that we rally behind our Leader,not insulting him in and out like that its not human, he deserves respect, that is why people are behind him,he has not killed anyone. He got 1 200 000 {million } showing that people are behind HIM ' do not make a joke with this figure, people love him.To be in the opposition is also ruling but we need total take over and MT IS WORKING TOWARDS THAT.when things were tough no one needed to take that position ,now seeing the dog can no longer continue biting people ,you what to take over.

pagomo - 30 April 2014

a well balanced piece

steve - 30 April 2014

Well said PAGOMO. You are one in a million.The struggle for true democracy&freedom continues without power hungry traitors such as those crying for leadership renewal.They will die a natural political death.People long lost faith in the so-called educated idiots.Even professors are nothing without the people's support.

Gonaguru - 30 April 2014

Well said PAGOMO. You are one in a million.The struggle for true democracy&freedom continues without power hungry traitors such as those crying for leadership renewal.They will die a natural political death.People long lost faith in the so-called educated idiots.Even professors are nothing without the people's support.

Gonaguru - 30 April 2014

Well said PAGOMO. You are one in a million.The struggle for true democracy&freedom continues without power hungry traitors such as those crying for leadership renewal.They will die a natural political death.People long lost faith in the so-called educated idiots.Even professors are nothing without the people's support.

Gonaguru - 30 April 2014

Well said PAGOMO. You are one in a million.The struggle for true democracy&freedom continues without power hungry traitors such as those crying for leadership renewal.They will die a natural political death.People long lost faith in the so-called educated idiots.Even professors are nothing without the people's support.

Gonaguru - 30 April 2014

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