MDC Alliance in limbo

HARARE - While MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai’s continued illness has thrown opposition politics in disarray ahead of the crucial harmonised 2018 elections, we hope opposition political parties will not despair.

As we speak the MDC Alliance which has realistic chances to challenge President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party is in a panic mood as their preferred candidate, Tsvangirai, is not able to hit the campaign road just a few months before next year’s vote.

The MDC Alliance’s campaign trail which should cover the whole country is quite a taxing exercise that will need a fully recovered Tsvangirai. As it is he might not be able to energetically cover much ground given that Mugabe may promulgate elections anytime early next year.

Tsvangirai’s party and indeed the MDC Alliance should not live in denial. Their preferred presidential candidate cannot run the full race considering the time left for a robust campaign.

Instead, we urge them to engage in constructive conversation over who should lead the MDC Alliance campaigns as Tsvangirai recovers because each day that passes is becoming costly as there is no time left really.

While the MDC Alliance may still retain Tsvangirai as their presidential candidate, there is need to put in place a strong supporting team to hit the campaign as soon as possible.

We hope the top leadership in the MDC Alliance will not waste more time fighting over who should lead the campaign in Tsvangirai’s absence. It is sad that politicians usually tend to fight for power which they do not have. Instead, they need to get power first and then look at how they can share it later.

The MDC Alliance has a lot of work ahead of them in terms of preparing for the elections and this needs a lot of money.

The financial aspect, if not handled well, can cripple the opposition’s mooted campaign as there is need for adequate resources to fund travel and accommodation for campaign teams. This is apart from producing campaign materials like T/shirts, adverts and other regalia to aid the campaign. There will also be need for a vigorous media campaign in the form of paid advertising for both print and broadcasting.

And we hope the resources have already been mobilised because trying to do it now will be too late.

On the other end, Zanu PF is oiled for the campaign beyond imagination as they are splashing millions buying campaign vehicles for the youth and women’s leagues.

Zanu PF, as the ruling party also has the advantage of using State resources for its campaigns and recently Mugabe ordered the purchase of vehicles for chiefs, a suspicious purchase meant to win traditional leaders’ favour ahead of the elections.

We hope the MDC Alliance or even the MDC will continue working hard to put a strong showing next year, and that the absence of Tsvangirai will not jeopardise their campaigns which are already late.

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