Missed opportunity

HARARE - MDC’s  decision not to participate in the by-elections for the seats made vacant after its successful recall of 21 MPs from Parliament has exposed the party’s poor strategy when dealing with Zanu PF’s predatory politics.

The MDC has refused to participate in these by-elections because of what it cites as an unlevel electoral field which must be realigned by holistic reforms contained and provided for by the new Constitution.

While this is an acceptable argument given that the MDC has been losing elections since 2000 mainly due to electoral fraud and a manipulative Electoral Act, the decision not to contest 14 seats but filling only seven seats through the Proportional Representation system, does expose the party.

If the MDC was serious about protecting its zones of autonomy, surely it would have been in their best interests to contest all the seats to dispel any lingering doubts about its decision to recall the legislators which its critics say was vindictive.

The fact that these 21 seats were won on the MDC ticket should have been enough motivation for the party to participate in the by-elections.

As it is, Zanu PF has been delivered these 14 seats on a silver platter while loyal MDC supporters, particularly in Harare and Bulawayo, have been denied the chance to replace the MPs they had voted for in 2013.

At closer analysis, these urban constituencies might be difficult to recapture from Zanu PF in 2018 as the decision to participate gives the ruling party an opportunity to register its own people while on the other hand, the urban MDC supporters would feel aggrieved and could boycott future elections.

For example, the people of Bulawayo have been voting for the MDC since 2000 and now have to live with the reality that Zanu PF has been re-admitted into their constituencies through a bad political decision that robs them of exercising their choices.

To put it mildly, this is a kick in the teeth to the urban electorate and some loyal but aspiring MPs in the MDC who had been presented with an opportunity to earn a ticket to the National Assembly through these by-elections.

The decision by the MDC to recall the 21 MPs was not a betrayal of democracy but the decision to surrender the same seats to Zanu PF leaves everyone wondering whether the MDC has not disemboweled its organs.

Comments (18)

Why blame MDC (T) .Inga MDC renewal iripo they should fight for their seats.

Manno - 30 March 2015

MDC-T is confused. They hate the Renewal Team and love Zanu PF. They dont like their masses. They really are CONFUSED>

torido - 31 March 2015

Agree despite the resolution passed at the MDC (T) Congress, its important that MDC (T) not concede the political space to ZANU (PF) especially in its urban strongholds by participating in elections. That the playing field is not even is well known and well documented but this tend to manifest itself in some constituencies where the electorate is easily cowed into a certain voting pattern. I cant imagine how it be for MDC (T) and pro democracy agents to have Dr Grace Manzou Mugabe as the Member of Parliament for a constituency somewhere in Harare North. Now she will claim to have been voted by the people and carry the peoples mandate. Its easy to be irrelevant and I hope MDC (T) is not choosing this path.

Upfumi - 31 March 2015

Its high time that MDC (T) understands what God wants it to do in this season. Victory belongs to God but how can they expect a miracle without participating in the elections. I personally encourage MDC (T) to participate regardless of the so-called un-leveled electoral field and our God who knows the future of Zimbabwe will be with you!

Godknows The-Future - 31 March 2015

As a consistent mdc voter since 2000, while I agree with the reforms first before elections, the fact that zanupf will be in harare abd Bulawayo as victors of 14 by elections is painful.I think mdct should participate and never give zanupf a comeback in both cities in that simple manner

cypriano - 31 March 2015

now I see its not MDC which is confused but the electorate, the nikuved elections 2013 you said why did they participate today you saying they must participate what has changed now.

nyanga - 31 March 2015

l feel that MDC Tas a party really need political counselling from top to bottom so as to end these continued splits due poor decision making.It will not be a surprise for the party to reliase another split again.If this party was as serious as Zanu Pf in politics a holistic decision to restructure and incorporate the Ncubes and Bitis back into the party will good since issues that caused the splits are known can they addressed

baba ashie - 31 March 2015

l feel that MDC Tas a party really need political counselling from top to bottom so as to end these continued splits due poor decision making.It will not be a surprise for the party to reliase another split again.If this party was as serious as Zanu Pf in politics a holistic decision to restructure and incorporate the Ncubes and Bitis back into the party will good since issues that caused the splits are known can they addressed

baba ashie - 31 March 2015

I do not agree with your assertion , mr writer. principles dictate that u stick to them whatever the effects. would it be double standards to participate in harare elections, ostensible to win back the seats, and not participate in Headlands elections because the playing field is not even. No need for sentimentalism here. Let MDC-T's no be no. Funny enough, u are the same guys who accuse Morgan for flip flopping. If Morgan is to change the congress resolutions, the next thing you call him undemocratic. Let them win by default. at least their is no glory in winning a contest when u were the only candidate. The truth will the same that the seats are belong to MDC-T, just a the presidency belongs to Morgan. There is no missed opportunity here. in fact there is every gain in this. Zanu Pf and ple will know that MDC-T means business

prof - 31 March 2015

MDC-T is stuck between a rock and a hard place. If they participate, they propagate the idea that they are a principleless party out for a quick buck. If they dont, Zanu gets back in the game in the towns and who knows what they can get out of it in the remaining 3 years. Even if zanu then agrees to the reforms, MDC-T wont be in parliament in the towns that are being contested so in the time leading to elections, zanu will be panyanga. Thats where you need a visionary leadership, a leadership that shows it different to everyone else, something that MDC-T does not have. Just saying!

Abel - 31 March 2015

MDC-T is stuck between a rock and a hard place. If they participate, they propagate the idea that they are a principleless party out for a quick buck. If they dont, Zanu gets back in the game in the towns and who knows what they can get out of it in the remaining 3 years. Even if zanu then agrees to the reforms, MDC-T wont be in parliament in the towns that are being contested so in the time leading to elections, zanu will be panyanga. Thats where you need a visionary leadership, a leadership that shows it different to everyone else, something that MDC-T does not have. Just saying!

Abel - 31 March 2015

if they dont participate ZPF will pay other people from unknown parties like what they did in the recent by-elections of chirumhanzu to contest for the seats which they know they are already theirs

cde lodza - 1 April 2015

The main opposition group MDC-T must not field candidates and the Renewal team must field the same candidates that were booted out. If MDC-T participates now its fatal mistake. I think this is the best solution to this situation. In any case these by-elections are meaningless, zanu pf has the majority. It can be the only step torwards healing the break up wounds. The renewal team must bail out MDC-T's hardline decision and take a blow for it. In the remaning three years MDC-t must spin something and participate 2018 under protest. The truth is that the laws will not be changed under the current system to level the playing field. Biti, Mangoma, Morgan and Mwonzora its fine if they dont like each other but they must all wake up.

X-MAN IV - 1 April 2015

Ill-advised poor Morgan and his lot. They had forgotten their own resolution not to participate in elections till Jesus himself delivers the State House to them on a silver platter. Effectively that's the meaning of their resolution because we all know ZANU will never spear-head the levelling of the playing field. Again, they didn't foresee that in recalling the 21 MPs and boycotting the resultant by-elections they would have delivered those seats to ZANU PF and would be accused of working in cahoots with the oppressive government. Wouldn't it have been better to let the rebels remain in parly till the next polls nhai Morgan?

OkaSlwane - 2 April 2015

MDC IS KNOWN FOR BLUNDERING THE RECALL OF THE 21 MPS WAS JUST ONE SUCH BLUNDER!

wilbert Mukori - 2 April 2015

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