Opposition misreading political mood

HARARE - Recently, Human Rights Watch (HRW) and representatives of the MDC Alliance — Tendai Biti and Nelson Chamisa — were in the United States of America as part of an invitation to discuss the fall of former president Robert Mugabe.

The discussion included prospects of holding credible elections in Zimbabwe after the military intervention and the presence of soldiers on the streets.

HRW director for southern Africa Dewa Mavhinga and Biti testified before the United States Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health policy.

Their testimonies triggered a public backlash as there were seen as undermining President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government and his own commitment to making sweeping electoral reforms before the 2018 elections are held.

What infuriated most Zimbabweans was the recommendation to the US government to maintain sanctions against Zimbabwe until Mnangagwa’s administration had instituted democratic and electoral reforms as demanded by the opposition and local civic society organisations.

While we hold no brief for Mnangagwa and his administration, the MDC and rights group, appear to have misread the current political mood in the country.

The majority of ordinary Zimbabweans is concerned by bread and butter issues and would want to see if Mnangagwa can depart from Mugabe’s previous ruinous polices and improve livelihoods.

No well-meaning Zimbabwean would want to hear about sanctions especially at a time there is hope that the departure of Mugabe could lead to a new beginning for the suffering lot. Rights groups and the MDC appear to be driven by self interests to the detriment of the ordinary citizens considering that they decided to arrive at the conclusion of having the US maintain sanctions without having presented their demands to Mnangagwa’s government.

And considering that Mnangagwa and his government have been in office for less than a month, the actions of the MDC and the rights group expose lack of serious strategy needed by the opposition to conjure up a new narrative.

Since the inauguration of Mnangagwa as president and several policy pronouncements by his government — including many bright spots in the proposed 2018 National Budget — there has not been any real or meaningful intervention by the opposition other than claims government cloned its blueprints.

Where Zimbabwe stands today needs a new thrust by politicians – the MDC included – to chart a new beginning. The sanctions mantra, whether for or against, does not work anymore because the biggest story right now is that of bread and better issues.

Comments (21)

I think it is you that is missing the Political mood. They are about to install the coup leader as the Vice President. The opposition have it spot on. Full pressure until we see what their intentions are. The people were duped.

Real Democracy - 19 December 2017

Most of these local nwspapers seem not to be impartial or whether they are being forced to do so is a very sad state of affairs

Monso - 19 December 2017

What political mood? Yes, Mugabe is gone, but we want democratic, free, fair and credible elections. Zvamuri kutaura ndezvenyu. ZveZANU.PF #HazvisiZvedu.

Rejoice Ngwenya - 19 December 2017

I totally agree with this article, MDC alliance went off side on calling the US to maintain sanctions on us, what we need is a better Zimbabwe, with equal opportunities for everyone. we need to give the new government time to make these changes,

Sigudu - 19 December 2017

The MDC Alliance has lost the plot since the sanctions are hurting the ordinary man and woman who want food on their table. The people of Zimbabwe will definitely punish the party for inviting further sanctions on them

Chief Charumbira - 19 December 2017

It is fool hard to think that pple are buying this nonsense of so called sanctions . Actually it was l a coste who made a lot of noise on zbc and Herald the traditional zanu propagand machine for zanu . If they think that Mnangagwa is no popular let him call a rally and see if he will fill a stadium without ferrying pple from some where .

Diibulaanyika - 19 December 2017

There seems to be some confusion here. Some sections of the media claim that the MDC - T asked for sanctions to be lifted so as not to give the government any excuses, and this was confirmed by Peter Godwin who appeared alongside the MDC guys in the US SENATE. What then is the true story? Besides, were they invited or they went on their own accord? Since it looks like they were invited, why then are they being vilified??? I think at times we should get our facts right before we jump into conclusions. We are all happy Mugabe is gone, so let us please give these new guys a chance. I doubt if the opposition would have been anywhere near giving us hope, considering their state of confusion!!!!

MR COOPER - 19 December 2017

vanhu ve opposition mese MDC Mese hamuna wisdom.Ndakutaurirai kuti kwenda kwamugabe ndipo pakaperera sarungano.vakagaruata since 2009 havana kuwana mabasa vazhinji mavendors mutown mabasa hakuna.....vamwe vakatadza kuwanikwa wakabira zambezi...vakasvika kuita pfambi kushaya pokutangira and so many you cant count them 100% of our people were affected in one way or the other bezc of BOBO. Munoziwa here kuti muzimbabwe vana vese vakaita grade 1 yawo 2007..2008 parizvino vazhinji wacho havagoni kunyora mazita awo check by yourself......there was zero pass rate in all rural schools just imagine becz of bobo.......now MDC failled to rule becz of him.....them abva....ndipo pakaperera sarungano. With MDC WISDOM under morgan you were suppose to run very fast.....very very fast to go and convince. His ex. ED .....The peoples president by our heart to tell him to work together with the opposition as he himself by default was opposition......first before the old corrupt zanu pf thieves like obert mpofu and others came and fill the gaps supposed have been occupied by MDC REPRESENTATIVES Under Unity GVT OR other arragment which facilitate a united zim.....one zim and facilitate reforms for 5...10 years and after that will be a true democratic zim and this mambara chamisa,biti and others interested in running the country will groomed or see what the road/direction to zimbabwe/Canaan is....one zim all people equal and love each others not as competitors to each other but what I can offer to my country.

dofo - 19 December 2017

Just to set the record straight - when I watched the whole USA video I only head Dewa Mavhinga requesting sanctions. I am not sure whether this guy was representing MDC or Human Rights groups.

Mentalist - 19 December 2017

You know what we are tired of this nonsense of sanctions with sanctions or no sanctions ZANU WILL NEVER DEVELOP THIS COUNTRY CHECK THEIR CV OF 37 YRS , Lets not take views from la coste and say its the mood of pple that is total rubbish . Why does zbc or herald NOT interVIEW the Opposition so we can hear from the horse s mouth . PEOPLE BE CLEVER ALL THIS SANCTION NONSENSE DOES NOT EXIST ,

Diibulaanyika - 19 December 2017

MDC Alliance for all their faults and weaknesses did the right thing. If they let Zanu do a coup and then reorganise themselves at the expense of the people everyone will wake up crying and the same people will be blaming the opposition again for not doing enough. People in Zimbabwe are just confused if they are buying this zanu propaganda. Zanu abuses state and government powers for its own end and that is not right, so all Biti and co are saying to those who Zanu is trying to impress look these people need to reform the electoral system so that people are free to chose a government of their choice without violence or intimidation. If the people then vote for Zanu freely then so be it. I'm clear that anyone who votes for Zanu after their dismal failure for 37yrs and if that person is not a thief or murder or rapist then mentally there is something wrong with them.

Galore - 19 December 2017

The private media has now been captured. They cant even be bothered to report the facts accurately. Lacoste has $15B to play with and we know that in a poor and mismanaged country like Zimbabwe there are many hungry editors and journalists.

Galore - 19 December 2017

Zimbabweans are letting their anger for Mugabe distort a clear vision. You don't have to choose between development and freedom you know. FYI You can actually demand both. Why give ED and coup leaders a free pass just because they removed Mugabe. Infact, they are the same group that kept Mugabe's brutal repressive system in place for so long. Where are you getting lost. Elections are 6 months away, sanctions or not, nothing can happen in that period to turn things around. ED should bring back all freedoms, a free and fair election and whoever wins, people will rally behind 100%. Why do you expect opposition to go abroad and campaign for a government they are not part of. Wise up man. They are just doing their jobs and Zanu should do it's. If you watched the whole hearing, you are blaming MDC for what they never said. They just gave their own perspective of the current situation and what they should can help Zimbabwe move on. Yes, a free and fair election is first and foremost. How quickly you forget you celebrate the same people who killed and maimed you in 2008 and stole an election.

Zuze - 19 December 2017

these guys are sellouts its all about power for them not bread and butter.they wud rather let u suffer so that u vote for them on hungry stomachs

dexter - 20 December 2017

opposition mese manyora apa endai munogeza mazidofo evanhu........freedom yekunyepera vanhu why musina kusecrifisa kujoina unity /TRANSITIONAL gvt so that you will be part and parcel of making reforms with no hard feeling with the defualted opp... the current president......the current president alone was part of you and still part of you ...... try to talk to him to seperate old zanu pf....real zanu pf original of 1980 and the chancers like the G40 and others who were hired for wrong cause and work as 1 nation.zvenyu zvekurwira kutonga izvi vana vezim ....machitmbura now you are calling ZEDERA to remain zvinenjodzi kwamuri vanhu vezim are tired of politics and tired of dividing of our nation.hood......democracy.....dzese dzamunotaura.....choosing their own leader etc...ngezvekuAmerica izvo.......kuno ku africa takatora minda......tikadzidzidza zvokudzidza now 88% gradutes and above ,100% form for our nation zim with all skills from.....enginering to teachers ...all kills......Tasvika ipapo toda African democracy.....RESPECT YOUR ELDERS.......no corruption......all people are equal......all politicians must be veted from community level......what do you offer.... hatichadi zvenyu izvi street politicians....uyu chamisa aipfeka mavhevhe pa Harare polytechnic and now bussy advocating for sanctions how many good thing has he ever done kumusha kwake kumasvingo neku warren park kwaihwanda.......ngaafambe netsoka ape vanotambura mota dzese dzaanadzo ......akaramba achinyepera vanhu zvedemocracy achapedzisira arorwa nesimbi zvakamboitwa ku Airport gore riya....isu muzimu hatichadi nonses dzese. Our president his excellent ECD ....watch next time gone shame the money lounderers and the corrupt and remove all the remaining thieves like Obert Mpofu and company from the ministerial positions that is when MDC has to request to fill those positions occupied by these few thieves.

dofo - 20 December 2017

It is encouraging indeed that people can see zanu pf lies fast .ZANU think lies they tell people in farms and reserves about non existing sanctions will be swallowed by town folks . But heish city folks know they are no sanctions only lies by a zanu that is trying to win back pple but that will never happen especially when the opposition set up campaign gear, Sanction has become so cheap POLITIKING such that if you hear anyone supporting it that person is idiot .

Siginya mbila - 20 December 2017

Its not a question of what the MDC Alliance said but what where they doing in the USA ,instead of engaging ED -1st and foremost .I am sorry but for me its 1 less vote for the MDC .

garwe - 20 December 2017

I am also not going to vote ZANU bcoz prices have gone up and after elections if they win it will be even worse .So for me to have a job i have decided not to vote for zanu this time around including my granny in midlands she will not vote for zanu too much lies about sanctions nxaaa

Chimedza matombo - 20 December 2017

Udzaiwo va MDC PRESIDENT Dr RECHARD MORGAN TSVANGIRAI Vanotaurirane nemumwe wawo HIs excellent The peoples president ED Mnaangagwa to postpond that 2018 divisive votes for 5-10 years and agreed to work together and their ministers on rotational basis and build 1 zimbabwe with one nation with people who treat each other as equal ......that foundation can never be there only by one political outfit it requires everyone to work together between ZANU PF AND THE MDCs.......Musadya uroi nekunyara.....endai munotauririrana naPresident time is running out zvamunoda kutanga izvi kudya uroi kwamurikuita.KuA merica kwamunoenda hakumhanyiwi mozoendako as zimbabweans delivering a zimbabwean one voice .....from zanu pf and mdc makabatana and it will be the voice of the people of zim and the voice of God.

dofo - 20 December 2017

Udzaiwo va MDC PRESIDENT Dr RECHARD MORGAN TSVANGIRAI Vanotaurirane nemumwe wawo HIs excellent The peoples president ED Mnaangagwa to postpond that 2018 divisive votes for 5-10 years and agreed to work together and their ministers on rotational basis and build 1 zimbabwe with one nation with people who treat each other as equal ......that foundation can never be there only by one political outfit it requires everyone to work together between ZANU PF AND THE MDCs.......Musadya uroi nekunyara.....endai munotauririrana naPresident time is running out zvamunoda kutanga izvi kudya uroi kwamurikuita.KuA merica kwamunoenda hakumhanyiwi mozoendako as zimbabweans delivering a zimbabwean one voice .....from zanu pf and mdc makabatana and it will be the voice of the people of zim and the voice of God.

dofo - 20 December 2017

So much has been ignored and thrown in the trash bin by the previous administration that not for one moment can the pressure to modernise be held back and thus offer a genuine representation to the Zimbabwean people. No more or no less than free and fair elections will test the resolve of the Zimbabwean people .

Neil - 21 December 2017

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