Civic leader warns Tsvangirai, Biti

HARARE - Rights defender and civic society leader, Dewa Mavinga, has warned the MDC that it risks losing relevance if does not quickly rectify problems engulfing the party.

Mavhinga’s warning comes amid a messy fallout over leadership renewal.

“The people’s respect and trust is earned on the basis of a clear record of consistent performance in the interests of the people and the same can be lost easily through taking people for granted,” Mavhinga told the Daily News in an exclusive interview.

“The MDC is only relevant to the extent that it represents a viable alternative to the current regime and embodies the hopes and aspirations of ordinary Zimbabweans. But if people lose trust and confidence that the MDC in fact is a genuine movement for democratic change, then they have a serious problem that needs urgent attention.

“Now is a good time for serious reflection by the MDC in order to rebuild the political capital that has been squandered during this past period of internal fights and missed opportunities.”

The MDC has been dogged by internal fights following attempts by ex-secretary general Tendai Biti to dethrone Morgan Tsvangirai.

Tsvangirai’s loyalists have fought to retain the founding MDC leader at the helm, leading to a serious rift which has since spilled into the courts.

Mavhinga, who is also a senior researcher with Human Rights Watch, warned that the rift was militating against the opposition movement’s role of holding the Zanu PF government accountable.

“The MDC infighting has hugely and negatively impacted on the party’s ability to hold Mugabe’s government accountable as much of their energy and time has been consumed on internal fights, generating massive ripples of negative energy that have rapidly spread across the country,” said Mavhinga, who is also chairperson of Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition.

“The unfolding economic meltdown offers opportunities for the MDC to present clear policy alternatives which so far are not forthcoming as the fragmented opposition movement is consumed by the self-destruct mode in their never-ending zero-sum game.

“Great leadership is not demonstrated by fighting personal vendettas or settling personal scores, but is about setting aside petty personal interests to embrace broader, higher national goals that improve people’s lives. Those pre-occupied with infighting should ask themselves this question: How does this help improve people’s lives and hold Mugabe’s government accountable?”

The squabbling in the fractious party comes as the economy continues to regress, but at a very worrying pace.

Recently Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa was forced to revise downwards the economic growth forecast despite having been bullish during his presentation of the national budget last year.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) hinted it would extend the Staff Monitored Programme (SMP) deadline for the second time after government missed most of its targets.

Mavhinga warned both MDC and other opposition groups that people could easily dump them.

“Well, the MDC and other political parties should not make the mistake of thinking that all Zimbabweans live only for elections and that the only things to look forward to are 2018 elections. Remember in 1998 there was no MDC to talk about, and there will arise a generation that knows no MDC,” warned the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition chief.

Comments (8)

dewa mavhinga, there is no truth that surpasses this. for one thing, tsvangirai has been left with quantity in job, chamisa, mashakada and dunglas. on the other hand, tindo and crew went with the brains but they are not streetwise enough to garner enough vote to do anything significant. in the end this will be a zero sum game in which no hostages are taken as biti will stay some votes to deny tsvangirai of victory, repli 2008!!! Pamunhu mutema nhamo haiperi!

thusani dube - 29 July 2014

The people of Zimbabwe know who is fighting for them .They cannot tolerate people who work to confuse& weaken the genuine struggle.It appears Mr.Mavhunga is mourning that his preferred men have clearly been rejected by the people&are even fighting among themselves as they are so power hungry.From time immemorial, despots always had their supporters & rebels will always abound.Even ZANU PF lost people like Margarette Dongo,Edgar Tekere,Simba Makoni & for Heaven 's sake,some war veterans helped found MDC. Even Smith had black supporters but at last he lost.ZANU PF may win the 2018 elections in a similar way as they did the 2013 ones but legitimacy & the economy will remain problem # one.Please don't waste time on rebels.

FALSE ANALYSIS - 29 July 2014

Mavhinga is telling the trueth for example positions are now reserved for individuals to make matters worse youth are to witness pseudo dictatorship in MDC-T like wht happened last primary elctions whr youths whre barred to contest against female seating MPS.From tht incident youths have started dragging thy feets on anythng to do with former democratic part meaning relevence has been eroded by inconcistnt policies.

trueth - 29 July 2014

last year an American think tank predicted a landslide victory for PF after a genuine reserch and people like @false analyst turned a blind eye on the true reflection report another local Think tank called Mavhinga is doing the same prediction people are turning another blind eye again wait and c whts going to happen in 2018

YOUTHS - 29 July 2014

It is not only political parties who lose some respect from the masses also political analysts especially when they start hallucinating and not talking about what is really affecting everybody . Surely to think that the sacking of Mangoma and Biti can bring problems to the people 's project is being crazy , In 2005 the same thing happened and came elections in 2008 what happened Mugabe bit the dust for the first time in our history. We all know that Morgan is the people ,s project commander in chief and with him victory is certain .

Diibulaanyika - 29 July 2014

Mavhunga is just a prophet of doom.Please anyone is free to join any party of their choice. Parties come&go but the people will forever remain with their problems. MDC T may lose the next election but all Zimbos will remain stuck with the problems MT is trying to solve in the face of myriad yet baseless criticism. Why should MT beg rebels to return to the main opposition party?If MT loses he won't suffer alone.Even the ZANU PF diehards will suffer like everybody else. We should encourage unity of purpose NOT to blame innocent people for treacherous money mongers.

dzvootsvoo - 30 July 2014

While ZANU PF are concerned only with winning elections whether or not by hook&crook, all the people, including gullible ZANU PF supporters, will always be the ultimate, permanent losers. We would have expected civic leaders to support the noble cause rather than engaging in useless analyses. Every well meaning Zimbabwean knows genuine liberation fighters. Divisive elements have long been rejected...

CONFUSION AMADHODHA - 30 July 2014

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five star - 30 July 2014

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