Archive | May, 2013

MDC T scores high in its primary elections

27 May

The events of this past weekend have left no doubt that the MDC T is a mature political party ready to govern Zimbabwe after the general elections scheduled for some time this year. Never mind the propaganda from ZANU PF’s newspapers about the primaries being marred by violence and chaos. The MDC T primary elections held over the weekend signal a huge political victory against ZANU PF and any of the MDC T’s detractors for a number of reasons.

Firstly, after a lot of speculation about the dates for holding the MDC T primary elections, the MDC T leadership resolved to hold the primary elections anyway. There had been too much speculation that the MDC T was worried that ZANU PF would infiltrate its structures after the primary elections. This I think was just pure hogwash. It is true that the CIO and ZANU PF could try to infiltrate the MDC T structures. However, to pay attention to such would be tantamount to underestimating the organising power and influence of the MDC T. ZANU PF is not invincible and can be thwarted.

The MDC T through the nominated and confirmed candidates should now work to unite the structures and guard against infiltration. The confirmation of Jacob Mafume as the MDC T candidate for Harare South is further proof that the MDC T is ready to face ZANU PF in any battle to govern Zimbabwe democratically. ZANU PF regards Harare South as its bastion in Harare and will do anything to safeguard it. However, with the MDC T having confirmed its candidate, what is only left now for the party to get onto the ground and convince Harare South residents that the MDC T is the only game in town.

Secondly, the MDC T has shown political maturity as a party through the confirmation of its Diaspora supporters and aspiring leaders. The confirmation of Eric Knight and others who have been based in the Diaspora is quite significant. The participation of these Diaspora candidates shows the political maturity, tolerance and inclusive nature of the MDC T as a political party. Such a feat would not have been possible in ZANU PF. This alone is a political victory by the MDC T over ZANU PF. The MDC T has shown that the party belongs to Zimbabweans living at home and in the Diaspora and the latter have equal opportunities. This is quite encouraging for a party that it still nurturing itself into creating a system that is mature and preparing to take charge of Zimbabwe’s political affairs and governance.

Thirdly, the victories by young people such as the long persecuted leader of the MDC T youth Wing, Solomon Madzore shows that the party is ready and unafraid to infuse young blood into its ranks. The forthcoming elections are more about the future of Zimbabwe. With a country whose population is composed of 50% youth, it is imperative that there be a generational mix of political leadership. The same cannot be said for ZANU PF with its “young leaders” who are over 40. What more with an 89 year old candidate who is seeking to carry the hopes of the whole country for the next 5 years? With this kind of thinking and strategy by the MDC T, Zimbabwe can be assured that its future will be in the right hands. The talk about people centred policies and development can only be matched making sure that the issues that concern women, young people, the disabled and so on needs those affected to be involved.

Fourthly, the rejection and non – confirmation of a number of sitting candidates in some parts of Harare and Chitungwiza is clear testimony that the MDC T has matured and is principled. Most of the sitting MPS and councillors had been accused of poor performance, graft and other misdemeanours. Residents in most parts of the constituencies have complained over the years about some of the leaders who were voted into office in 2008. The MDC T has taken action in most of the cases and this can only boost Zimbabweans’ confidence in the party that graft and poor performance will not be tolerated. People like Timothy Mubawu have been shown that whilst his attacks and slurs on women happened long ago, the party and its supporters was not going to quickly forget and endorse them again. The same cannot be said about ZANU PF.

On a last note, the policy that senior MDC T leaders should not be challenged shows that the party is clear about its vision and where it wants to take the party and Zimbabwe. By ruling that leaders like Nelson Chamisa, Tendai Biti and those in the Standing Committee will stand unchallenged, it ensures that there is continuity in the party and this leadership can concentrate on the party’s organising needs and other key issues. In contrast the majority of ZANU PF’s leaders are all “senior”, “untouchable” and cannot be challenged in primary elections. Now for a party that purports to have the nation’s future as its priority, it leaves a lot to be desired.

As a point of caution though. The MDC T now needs to finish off the primaries and confirm all of its candidates to stand in the forthcoming elections so that they start working and invest more resources on the ground. (Voter registration, voter education, peace and tolerance activities and general campaigning). The candidates that have won or been confirmed need to reach out to those that have lost to make sure that they have enough numbers to vanquish and bury ZANU PF for good. The MDC T leadership including Morgan Tsvangirai should start preparing soon after the primaries have been finished to criss – cross the breadth and width of the country to galvanise and unite those who have lost and won in the primaries. The MDC T cannot afford to lose to ZANU PF through the fielding of double candidates or even having disgruntled party members standing as independent candidates.

Congratulations are in order to the MDC T leadership and the MDC T party for showing political maturity, tolerance and giving Zimbabweans hope. The only game that is now in the country, town, district and cell is the MDC T in the forthcoming elections.


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