MDC-T and its so-called partners in the MDC Alliance have been thrown into disarray, all the bravado is now gone and panic has set in the opposition party’s rank and file. It seems the announcement of July 30 as the election date and the few well-attended rallies and public meetings President Mnangagwa held in the past weeks have exposed the opposition party to a frightening reality that victory is not certain for them.
Judging by the few rallies and meetings, President Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF clearly have the people on their side. Well, let’s give it to Nelson Chamisa, the leader of the wobbly MDC Alliance, for wearing that “brave” face to plunge into the election campaign first.
But this has backfired badly.
The rallies exposed Chamisa as an outright lying politician, so empty on ideology and strategy that even his few supporters have begun creating memes about his wayward utterances.
President Mnangagwa, being a seasoned politician, remained calm, watching as Chamisa went around the country addressing his rallies.
Many thought Zanu-PF had no campaign strategy, but the lesson from President Mnangagwa’s approach is very simple — you do not act at the whim of your opponents.
Zanu-PF has been following its own programme and this explains why it started campaigns and meetings at its set time.
First were primary elections, then the launch of its election manifesto and now the campaign and public meetings with party supporters in various provinces. By contrast, Chamisa plunged into the campaign without any back-up in the form of parliamentary and council candidates.
He appeared like a lone ranger. He was about selling himself to a nation still aghast at his lack of respect for the dead when he grabbed power in the MDC-T before founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai could be buried.
Thanks to Chamisa, everyone now knows the tragedy of trying to get back to basics when it is too late and the trouble that it breeds.
The MDC Alliance primary elections have been marred by serious infighting to the extent that some candidates have been brandishing guns against their opponents.
We reckon that the MDC Alliance primaries are still to be concluded in many areas, weeks after they started. There is intense in-fighting among the alliance partners over seats — it’s a dog-eat-dog situation. It is clear that the MDC-T and its partners cannot stomach the reality that the harmonised elections are coming on July 30 when they are in such a state of confusion.
Having realised that its rallies — MDC Alliance partner Tendai Biti says they were 45 of them — have proved to be just hot air, the opposition party is now changing tact.
Biti, himself a spent force in opposition politics, especially after he moved out of the MDC-T, held a press conference last week announcing misguided demonstrations against the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
This is a clear hint that the opposition party can’t stand its ground against Zanu-PF on the electoral field in terms of ideas, strategies and a working programme for the country.
ZEC has made it clear the voters roll will be made available to all political parties and those who need it now can access the provisional one on its website.
Yet, Biti says the opposition party plans demonstrations to press ZEC to avail the same document. We view Biti’s call for the demonstrations as an act of panic and sabotage, especially in the face of certain defeat by Zanu-PF.
The opposition party is spoiling to disrupt the elections, whose process has been so far peaceful and commendable. The fact remains that no amount of demonstrations will swing the people’s decision to vote for the ruling party. Zimbabweans want these elections done with to allow them to move on with their lives. The MDC-T called for ruinous sanctions that destroyed the economy and left millions out of jobs.
That is the havoc Zanu-PF and President Mnangagwa are fighting to repair, yet the opposition seems keen to perpetuate the suffering.
Demonstrations are an instrument of fear and terror. Zimbabweans have never benefited from such scare tactics.