'MDC infighting weakens Zanu PF challenge'

HARARE - Infighting within Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC which has culminated in another split of the 15-year-old political party has weakened the opposition party’s fight against Zanu PF, analysts have said.

The squabbles between senior members of the party have seen expulsions and counter expulsions of senior officials such secretary-general Tendai Biti and ex-treasurer general Elton Mangoma.

Now, the once vibrant party which led Zimbabweans through the historic food riots in 1999 has split into two groups; one led by Biti who are calling themselves the MDC renewal team and the main faction led by Tsvangirai.

Analysts say the split has weakened the MDC because many looked to the social democratic movement to end President Robert Mugabe’s 34-year reign.

MDC’s chances in the 2018 poll may now depend on the degree to which Zanu PF will be able to reproduce the unity     of 2013 in 2018 while the liberation movement will be judged on its economic performance over the next four years.

On the other hand, if economic problems persist without clear policy solutions, many who voted for the ruling party in 2013 may withhold their vote in 2018.

Stephen Chan, a professor of International Relations at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, said neither factions of the MDC stood a chance of defeating the ruling party.

“I do not see any chance of success for either MDC faction in 2018,” Chan said. “It will take at least 10 years before opposition party politics becomes viable again. Now is the moment once again for civil society, intellectuals, and church figures to act as restraining forces on a dominant Zanu PF.”

Piers Pigou, Southern Africa project director at the International Crisis Group, said the fragmentation of the opposition would unlikely result in the generation of a serious challenge to the revolutionary party in the short term.

“Any longer term prospects for this require a fundamental re-orientation from the politics of personality to issue-based foci underwritten by a return to nuts and bolts of organisation and mobilisation,” Pigou said.

“In the circumstances, this is likely to necessitate a long-term engagement.”

The split in the MDC started brewing even before the fateful July 31 elections which saw Tsvangirai lose to his arch enemy and former partner in the Government of National Unity (GNU) Mugabe.

Fissures in the 15-year-old party escalated in January when Mangoma penned a strong worded letter calling on Tsvangirai to step down as party president and allow for leadership renewal.

On April 26, the Biti-led group suspended Tsvangirai and other senior officials at a meeting attended by members of the national council.

Comments (22)

Well we do not care about useless analysts who do not live among the suffering masses in this country . Nothing has changed the MDC T outfit is still intact as ever This is not the first time that the party has had a split . IN 2005 the biggest split happened but Morgan defeated Mugabe in 2008 . Come next election history is gong to repeat itself ZANU will be defeated watch this space and the writing is on the wall for ZANU every body knows that let those hallucinating about the people do so at their own risk siyaphambili baba sellouts Biti and Mangoma have left our party so no sabotage anymore from within esih siyajabula mani Ako ako roverai pasi bwa one time kwa Zwimba.

Diibulaanyika - 25 July 2014

Ko nhaiwe Thelma Chikwanha kuti “the liberation movement” ndokuti kudii? Ko kungoti ZanuPF zvineyi? ZanuPF yakatiita “liberate” rinhi? Kubva keneyi isu takange takagara zvakanaka kwazvo tichotongwa ne mabhunu? The reason why we are in a mess is because of journalists like you who lionise ZanuPF for no apparent reason. Kuitwa “liberate” kuita seyi? Takange takasungwa nani? Dayi pasina mabhunu tingadayi tisina kuenda kuchikoro, kana kusevenza muma ndasitiri. Musaite basa rekutedzera ma politician vanonyepe ivo vakafundiswa nema bhunu acho iwayo. Show me just one first generation politician whose education was not sponsored by the colonialists and I will show you a liar. I have never understood this nonsense about “liberation”. This land was not at all on the brink of some technological breakthrough before the whites came in 1890. You people are being cheated by these power-hungry politicians who tell you about “liberation” after they had finished their colonial education. What you call “liberation” was nothing but an almighty frenetic struggle for power between black politicians which started in earnest in 1960 right up to 1987 which included bloody incidents like Gukurahundi, Entumbane, detention of Zapu's Dumiso Dabengwa and Lookout Masuku and Joshua Nkomo legging it to UK in 1983 and seeking asylum. 1987 is when the Unity Accord was signed between Zapu and Zanu bringing an uneasy truce. Spare us this “liberation” sound bite. It is important we get this one straight before we talk about the useless MDC-T and it offshoots. There's no way any of the MDCs, united or separately will ever unseat ZanuPF, now or in the future. What exactly was the point of joining the coalition? That, indeed, was a waste of time and money.

Musona - 25 July 2014

I suspect Musona was a dzakudzaku i have been looking at his comments and have no doubt he was and is still a dzakudzaku .

Siamababa - 25 July 2014

It is the print media with their psuedo political analysts who are working to weaken the opposition. The people have long forgotten about BITI & his boys.Reactionaries should be expected in any revolution. The fact that ZANU PF publicly thanked China for helping them win the 2013 election is a clear admission that they never won that election fairly.It was all about cheating,not the MDC-T split, that stole the election. To HELL with your misleading so called political analysts.

GAMBUKAMBU - 25 July 2014

@Siamababa - idiot - what is a dzakutsaku? You are imposing a party on me. Don't be silly and always look at politics in binary terms that If I say something then I was on this or the other side. I have never seriously supported any political party. To me they are the same, after power only. The dzakutsaku you are talking about also wanted power as well. How old are you? What do you understand by dzakutsaku? What did they stand for? Were they black or white? You are just parroting what someone told you. If you want a civilised debate you should pick out the points you think are not true and say, for example, “None of the politicians' education was sponsored by the whites” and then give names of those who were educated on Mars. Maybe you are upset by “liberation” thing? Was Gukurahundi part of “liberation”? What of the detention of Dabengwa and Lookout Masuku? Are you not aware Joshua Nkomo fled Zimbabwe in 1983? What was he running away from? Was that “liberation”? Where does dzakutsaku come into this? You are a big idiot.

Musona - 25 July 2014

Divisions weaken but at times it strengthens the will to prevail over evil. Tendai Mbiti being the mother of evil

t-bone - 25 July 2014

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qweer - 25 July 2014

lets just pray for our loveth Zimbabwe . we should not be much concerned with this that and that.

munhu - 25 July 2014

@ Musona why do you think that those who see you as a negative person are young . I am 76 yrs former RISCO employee . You hate those who are trying to bring change and you also pretend to hate those who destroyed this country From your ramblings you are a dzakudzaku. I have no time to define Dzakudzaku it has no benefit at all to any sane person . Be positive not to be negative a lways mfowethu freedom is coming tomorrow .

Siamababa - 25 July 2014

I wonder what infighting in MDC because the issue was dealt with long back when Biti and Mangoma were chased away from the party after it was discovered that they were working with zanu and to zimbabweans who are the voters that issue is now water under the bridge . mdc is now moving towards the congress Your idiot analysts are so so back ward that you must no depend on them for comments .Go to the masses and talk to them about this topic you will find the answers .

Diibulaanyika - 25 July 2014

@Siamababa - incoherent nonsense. You say I “hate those who are trying to bring change and I pretend to hate those who have destroyed this country”. Is that your definition of “dzakutsaku”? A person who hates those who are trying to bring change to the country while pretending to hate those who have destroyed the country? You are just using words whose meaning you do not understand. The reason why I asked your age is to try and ascertain whether you know what you are writing about. You labelled me “dzakutsaku” and what I have written so far has no connection with what you term dzakutsaku. If you knew what dzakutsaku stood for then you would not have written this nonsense. I am not pro-ZanuPF or pro-MDC-T in any way shape or form. I now detest ZanuPF more than MDC-T. I voted for Zanu in 1980 just giving them the benefit of doubt, something which I now regret. And I have never pretended to like MDC-T. I always give my reasons for criticism all the time. You might like MDC-T but this does not mean we should all like your favourite party. That is your choice not my choice. You cannot stop me, or anyone else for that matter, from criticising your favourite party because Zimbabwe does not belong to you only - it belongs to all of us. I have an independent mind and my opinion has been formed by what I have seen in the past and present. And my opinion is that MDC-T is a waste of political space. (Continued below)

Musona - 25 July 2014

(Continued from above) @Siamababa aka Diibulaanyika - Since 1999 MDC-T has been using the same strategy all the time. Tsvangirai himself admitted only last week in his “Personal Reflections” how he has got the whole thing wrong. He confirmed what we already knew. He was warned about joining the coalition but he would not listen. He is unable to say why he joined the coalition with ZanuPF and how his party benefited. His top lieutenants have deserted him citing bad strategy and dictatorship. My question to Tsvangirai and his followers, including you, is - what do you hope to do to stop ZanuPF turning the next elections into a “military operation” as they have always done in the elections? If you cannot answer that question then forget about any change any time soon.

Musona - 25 July 2014

musona benzi remunhu tikwanire

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Musona - 26 July 2014

The United Nations Organisation must be shut down until it compensates the Zimbabweans 500 billion US Dollars.

Dharma Appavoo - 26 July 2014

Musona you are an idiot and likes talking rubbish . You say you are not into politics but every day you talk about it .Why talk about something you do not like , Its like someone who says does not eat pork but he carries it every in his lunch box every day . A dzakudzaku is Musona that is my defination for dzakudzaku .Do not change my name to Diibulaanyika I am Siamababa you blood siphukupuku .

Siamababa - 27 July 2014

Vanhu vakuru havatukane even paforum yakaita sei inoiyi. Pane mazwi anonyadzisa kunzwika achibva kunaana sekuru. In any case those of age should be guiding the young on how to argue for one's view point respectifully. Ndapota hangu vana baba naana amai, vakomana nevasikana ngatirekedzanei padare rino.

taurai - 27 July 2014

Vamwe vaneshungu yekutongwa nemamwe marudzi. A ndiyo choice yavo iyoyo. Kubva ngativaremekedzeiwo is tinofunga kuti nguva iyoyo yakafuura kare kare. Imi murikushingairira varungu pls do not force feed others with you idealogies. At the end of the day, people would have to choose for themselves. As for me, i remain hopeful just like siamababa that good days are ahead of us - through the leadership of a zimbabwean.

taurai - 27 July 2014

@Taurai well said old people need to be mature and refrain from using unprintable words like this chap Musona always does, hey the guy is foul mouthed . and negative he hopes that Rhodesia will come back one day which we all know will never happen again . While we all agree Rhodesia had better economy that does not mean that we must undermine those zimbabweans who are trying to bring change in our country, for no reason or saying how we think they must bring about change . In every difficulty situations people need to be positive not to fight with every body except our enemy.

Siamababa - 27 July 2014

Very well said @siamababa. Zvinokonzera stress to be bitter about things you can not change. It is encouraging to lookout for opportunities to contribute positively to the development of our country and perhaps our communities. Its no good throwing tantrums needlessly.

taurai - 27 July 2014

iwe siamababa unoudza vamwe kuti dzakutsaku, ndiwe hombe racho kusekana kwana kamba ,bt iwe ndiwe dzakutsaku kwete uyo .be civilised hauna political background futi

VANYARARISAYI - 29 July 2014

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