by Gift Mashoko
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has always preached about unity of purpose for us to succeed as a nation. This is the same philosophy that the ZANU PF has used for time immemorial and has yielded results every election period. This is the lesson the MDC is failing to grasp as it continues to suffer heavy defeats in by-elections and blaming their losses on alleged rigging by the ruling party, which they can’t substantiate by the way. As we speak, the party is mired in escalating tensions as the MDC leader, Nelson Chamisa is trying to consolidate his position from vultures who are circling his throne with a view to take over.
Zanu PF has always approached elections with a unity of purpose which the MDC lacks. Over the weekend, by-elections were held in Chimanimani and in Mangwe where Zanu PF came out victorious against the MDC.
In Chimanimani Ward 15, the MDC polled 232 against 1 589 by Zanu-PF. This shows that the MDC party led by Chamisa polled just around 12% of the votes. Whilst in Mangwe, Zanu PF garnered 313 votes and MDC got 201 votes.
These are not the first instances where Zanu PF has come out victorious, post-2018 elections, there is the Mwenezi by-elections that took place in February 2020, Nyanga’s Ward 26 and Bikita ward 31 in 2019.
Of all the instances that Zanu PF have won, MDC has always accused Zanu PF of either, rigging or vote buying. Even when they lost during the 2018 Presidential elections, MDC accused Zanu PF of having rigged. The MDC is expending its energies in fighting for leadership posts which is cascading to its supporters who are now weary of the directionless party.
In reaction to MDC’s loss over the weekend, MDC’s secretary for elections, Jacob Mafume said, “You must understand elections language, retaining a seat is not winning it, that’s why I said take time to recover. How many times is the rural folk captured, they have weaponised food aid, and Cyclone Idai assistance is being delivered in Zanu-PF trucks. There is no land tenure and there is command voting.”
As usual MDC is failing to self-introspect and is accusing Zanu PF of using food aid as bait, really. The Zanu PF Government does not politicise food as every Zimbabwean has a right to food regardless. The party is failing to convince the rural folk to vote for it, period.
Lest we forget, of late, the MDC has been at each other throats that Nelson Chamisa had to use heavy-handedness to deal with the escalating dissension. Factions are now an open secret in the MDC. There is the young blood then the old guard which consists of Mwonzora and other founding members. Then, there is Job Sikhala who is after the leadership position and accusing Chamisa of being a man of words with no action. Then, there is Tendai Biti who has the support of their western sponsors also angling for the leadership post.
All these people have supporters, who would rather see the party lose than support members from an opposition faction. This is going to be the undoing of the party come 2023 if it does not split until then. Who could forget Chamisa recent assertion that he can single-handedly run the party if all others leave?
Last weekend in Masvingo there was a bloody fist fight where scores of people got injured while fighting for party positions. Instead of addressing the lawlessness and factional fights in the MDC, Chamisa is believed to have declared that people are free to leave the party if they are not happy with his leadership.
What kind of leader is he that he fails to reprimand his supporters and lieutenants? With those kinds of words how does he expect people to support him? Of course people will leave the party for a better organised one, Zanu PF, which caters for people’s needs. Chamisa will not go far with his careless words and big ego. He has no one to blame but himself if the party loses elections as he is failing to instil unity of purpose in the heavily divided, embattled party.