By Chief Reporter
Contrary to the MDC leader, Nelson Chamisa’s legitimacy mantra, wherein he disputes the clean victory of President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the subsequent by-elections, the party’s provincial structures continue to admit defeat.
The MDC Masvingo Provincial Assembly, during its post mortem meeting for the Zaka East and Masvingo Ward 1 by-election held last month, conceded that the party did not do enough to win the electorate’s vote.
The Provincial Assembly Chairperson, James Gumbi presided over the meeting and lamented the failure of the party to penetrate the rural electorate which since independence has been a major stranglehold of the ruling Zanu PF.
“As a party, we should take responsibility of the Zaka East by-election results because as a party we failed to come up with initiatives that resonate and touch the rural electorate.
“The rural areas have been a stranglehold of Zanu PF for a long time and the success of the MDC depends on our ability to sway the rural voters,” he said.
Political analysts who spoke to this publication put the blame squarely on the MDC leader, Nelson Chamisa and accused him of giving unrealistic promises to the rural electorate which has further driven a wedge between the party and the rural folk.
John Wood, a political analysts, said, “The reason why MDC keeps losing these by-elections in rural areas is because that party’s leadership is failing to come up with hard hitting programmes that improve the rural folk’s lives.
“Who remembers Chamisa’s promises during the election period, to build airports at every homestead, building spaghetti roads, and installing WIFI at every homestead, granted, they are ok ideas but the rural folk do not need these at the moment and they will never connect with these promises.”
Professor of African History at the University of Liverpool, Dr Diana Jeater, commenting on Chamisa’s electoral promises rubbished and described him as out of his depth and over-excited.
In another Provincial Assembly meeting in Manicaland, the Provincial Director for elections, Malven Tafirenyika Mudiwa indicated that MDC lost the 2018 harmonised elections, contrary to Chamisa’s claim that the party won.
Mudiwa cited disunity as that party’s biggest undoing.
Woods complemented Mudiwa’s assertion, claiming that Chamisa had to deal decisively with the disunity in the party, instead of being at the centre of it.
“Chamisa should stop fuelling disunity in the party and work to unite his troops. Bulawayo province has been the hardest hit with reports of squabbles on a daily basis,” he said.
Ever since the 2018 harmonised elections, Chamisa has claimed that he won the Presidential race and that President Emmerson Mnangagwa is illegitimate, a notion that is now being dismissed by even his strongest sympathisers.
In 2014, the now Vice President, Tendai Biti shocked the nation when he openly admitted that Zanu PF’s policies resonate with the electorate. He added that Zanu PF initiates programmes that touch the rural electorate unlike the MDC, whose policies are complicated and detached from the electorate.
More recently, even an MDC sympathiser, Hopewell Chin’ono, declared that the MDC would never win an election without the rural constituency, but it seems his advice fell on deaf ears.