The opposition’s disembowelment
THE Daily News has been a lone voice over the past few months in highlighting the folly of the country’s opposition engaging in self-immolation, and taking counsel from dubious characters.
For this fair and spot-on reporting stance, we have received ill-conceived flak from a few misguided opposition leaders and their cheerleaders — among them unprincipled “journalists” and self-serving members of the intelligentsia.
The good thing in all this is that lies and foolish posturings always have short legs. As has happened many times before, the Daily News now stands vindicated by unfolding events. Indeed, the disastrous results of the opposition’s madness of the past two years are now painfully obvious even to the most zealous, but undiscerning opposition supporters.
Very worryingly for all right-thinking Zimbabweans, the ugly infighting ravaging the MDC, in particular, is now cantering towards its tragic end — with the party’s interim leadership led by Thokozani Khupe said to be planning to recall dozens more legislators from Parliament, as well as hundreds of councillors countrywide this week.
Among the bigwigs who could be jettisoned in this latest party carnage are MDC Alliance vice president Lynette Karenyi-Kore, the coalition’s firebrand deputy national chairperson Job “Wiwa” Sikhala and Joana Mamombe.
This comes as Khupe has already recalled a staggering 21 legislators out of the party’s total 110 representatives that it won in the National Assembly and the Senate in the 2018 national elections — as well as dozens of councillors around theß country, as the needless ructions escalate by the day.
Khupe and Nelson Chamisa have been involved in a hammer and tongs tussle for the control of the party since the MDC’s much-loved founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai died from colon cancer in February 2018, amid repeated warnings by political analysts that the divided opposition will find it difficult to compete against Zanu PF in the fast-approaching 2023 national elections. It is not surprising in this light, that World Politics professor at the London
School of Oriental and African Studies in the United Kingdom, Stephen Chan, has observed pointedly that the MDC’s fights are richly benefiting Zanu PF.
“The various factions of the MDC are doing the work of Zanu PF and … the ruling party can barely hide its delight that the once formidable opposition is now splintered into two feuding half-parties, neither of whom would be strong enough to win an election.
“Basically, the MDC is not only falling apart, it has actually fallen apart. It cannot challenge Zanu PF in this current factional state. Zanu PF must be delighted that the opposition insists on opposing itself,” the ever perceptive Chan told the Daily News last week.
This is a pretty damning, but very accurate characterisation of the sorry state of affairs within the country’s main opposition party by a hugely respected academic — not the embarrassing drivel that is often spouted on social media by some “scholars” to please their misfiring MDC friends.
Here is the redeeming issue for the opposition in general, and the MDC in particular: This is not to say that it is not too late for our opposition leaders to change course and return to the path of good sense and accountability of old, that engenders confidence in them among disillusioned Zimbabweans — and which saw Tsvangirai conßstantly giving Robert Mugabe and his goons a run for their money.
The sad reality though of many of the current opposition leaders is that they have become poor clones of the people in power that they claim to despise — including displaying off-putting tyrannical and narcissistic tendencies, which is unhelpful for their causes and the country’s democratic quests.
The worry of many people in this regard is, if these opposition figures can display these despicable qualities before they get into power, what will they behave like if they become our rulers. As unfair as this line of thinking may seem like, it is entirely understandable given citizens’ experiences of the past four decades.
The most frustrating thing about the ongoing opposition ructions is that the country has never needed a stronger and united opposition than now. Indeed, and with Zimbabwe’s current political and economic challenges, long-suffering citizens want a viable opposition that will assist the nation to overcome its decades-long crises.
This is so bearing in mind that opposition parties play critical roles in a democracy — including holding the government to account and serving as watchdogs; ensuring that the government functions within the confines of the law; and exposing ills such as corruption, nepotism and the abuse of power.
Is it too much to hope that our opposition can finally rise to the occasion and begin to function as a credible alternative to the ruling Zanu PF?