Tsvangirai in last chance saloon

HARARE - MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai should know he is in last chance saloon to try and avert a third split in his party.

It is clear there are so many problems at the MDC right now and these need a sober head to deal with as they are coming at a time the party should be going full steam at Zanu PF in preparation for next year’s election.

For many months, Tsvangirai has been papering over cracks within his party, without really addressing them, to the detriment of his efforts to mount a strong challenge against an equally dithering President Robert Mugabe in the make or break elections.

Tsvangirai is at loggerheads with his longtime deputy Thokozani Khupe over the way he has handled the coalition talks which culminated the launch of an MDC Alliance involving seven other political parties.

Where Tsvangirai must take the blame for what is happening around him is that he failed to act decisively but democratically on the concerns that were raised by the likes of Khupe and her colleagues in the Matabeleland region.

Khupe, by virtue of being the most senior MDC politician in Matabeleland, carries a lot of weight and has respect of that constituency.

All the talk that she is overestimating herself, does not help Tsvangirai in his quest to finally deliver change to the people of Zimbabwe — because that he cannot achieve that by ignoring the concerns of the people of Matabeleland — who have transmitted their disquiet over the MDC  Alliance through Khupe.

The poor crowd at the MDC Alliance rally in Bulawayo on Saturday and the boycott of the event by Khupe, national chairperson Lovemore Moyo and organising secretary Abednico Bhebe, told a big story.

If Tsvangirai is to succeed in avoiding a further split, he has to take a different approach and be conciliatory, open to have meaningful dialogue with Khupe and her colleagues in Matabeleland.

It does not bode well for the unity that Tsvangirai is trying to preach when he cannot share a cup of coffee or tea with his disgruntled deputy.

Again it would be foolhardy to think that the people of Matabeleland, who have faithfully supported the MDC, can just okay everything Tsvangirai does — even if it includes characterising Khupe and the regional leaders as people who are against a coalition.

Tsvangirai must by now know that without universal acceptance of his decisions in the party, he can’t pull it off in 2018.

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