The time for MDC to make a decision is now

HARARE - Two schools of thought have emerged in the MDC on how the party should resolve the debate around Morgan Tsvangirai’s succession.

One school of thought is campaigning for an extraordinary general meeting where all those aspiring for the top job can present themselves before the MDC membership which can then decide on who should lead the country’s largest opposition party going into the forthcoming polls.

It is being argued that this route is not only consistent with the party’s constitution but affords the membership — the ultimate owners of the MDC — with an opportunity to settle the debate once and for all.

The other school of thought avers that the decision on whether Tsvangirai should remain in control of the party should be made by the National Standing Committee (NSC).

Those agitating for this route argue that the NSC is also provided for in the MDC constitution and its decisions are binding.

From the arguments presented, those pushing for an extraordinary congress do not have confidence in NSC’s ability to produce a democratic outcome because it can be easily manipulated by the mighty and powerful.

It can be recalled that when Tsvangirai appointed Nelson Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri to deputise him in June 2016, he subjected his decision before the standing committee to give it legitimacy. That decision did not go down well with some party members who felt the role of congress was being undermined.

Those who are averse to an extraordinary congress say it is too costly to convene it given the MDC’s dire financial situation. The logistics involved can also be too taxing, so they argue.

Beneath these arguments, one can see that this is a ruse meant to circumvent the people’s will in favour of an outcome that Tsvangirai can influence.

But whatever the arguments and processes the MDC may wish to purse, time is running out for the party. The leadership cannot continue to procrastinate on such an important decision because the elections are around the corner.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has already announced to the world that elections are due within the next five months within which period the MDC must prepare for both primary and national elections.

Assuming Tsvangirai decides not to stand, the MDC will also need sufficient time to market his successor to the electorate and mend the rifts caused by the internal wrangling rattling the party.


    Comments (1)

    Tsvangirai must resign and leave the party executive members to decide his succession. He has overstayed given that he lost many a numerous times. In SA Democratic Alliance had been changing hand from Tony Leon , Helen Zile and Musimane as far as i know and this has nothing to do with winning election but praticing democracy which must begin from the house before it is spread nationally. Citing Tsvangirai's deteriorating health will add more salt to the chilli.

    Mtape84 - 2 February 2018

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