Breaking News

Can the MDC-T still win?

by Jason Moyo, Mail & Guardian
29 January 2013 | 4082 Views
A new constitution for Zimbabwe has been agreed on and now parties are looking to the elections.

So, what does Morgan Tsvangirai have to do to win this time? His biggest task will be to reignite the fizz of 2008, which has died down over disappointments in his party's performance in government and his personal scandals. But there is hope for him yet.

This week, analyst Lance Mambondiani asked in an opinion piece: "Is it possible that we are experiencing a shift in the maturity of the voter, in which politicians are held to account based on their policies rather than their rhetoric?" Yes, but not enough. And as long as candidate quality and policy are still taken as secondary to removing President Robert Mugabe, Tsvangirai has a chance. His party can only win by targeting that "anyone but Mugabe" vote that has carried it for years.

The options on offer are stark: on the one hand, it's a choice between Mugabe and Tsvangirai. The alternative is simply not bothering to vote at all, an increasingly appealing prospect for many.

Mugabe will run on his black-empowerment drive, promising rural communities near mining operations shares in the mines. Tsvangirai's own economic policy, known by the acronym Juice, is vague at best. But lack of clear policy is not new to the Movement for Democratic Change and has never stood in its way before.

The MDC's major struggle will be recreating its vibrant March 2008 campaign. The country's economic collapse made Tsvangirai's "change" platform far more appealing than Mugabe's "100% empowerment" refrain. Tsvangirai ran a well-funded campaign, addressing thousands of red-card-waving supporters. Young people who had previously stayed away from politics came out to vote for the first time. There was a zest in the air, a great expectation that this time change was, indeed, coming.  In an unprecedented turn of events, the MDC was able to campaign freely in the rural areas. Having long been cordoned off by Zanu-PF militants, rural voters flocked to MDC rallies.

The results showed: Zanu-PF lost its parliamentary majority for the first time ever and Tsvangirai won more votes than Mugabe, although not enough to avoid the violent run-off that would follow.

Now, besides the mechanisms still needed to make the election a fair race, rediscovering its 2008 form is what the MDC needs the most. The events of the past five years have broken voters' resolve: the violent 2008 election aftermath, the mind-numbing talks on the formation of the unity government and then its failure to bring about reform.

Although the economic growth of recent years is stalling, it is not as bad as it was in 2008, when hyper-inflation and food shortages bred deep resentment of Mugabe and drove desperate voters to the polls.

Tsvangirai will need to capitalise on Zanu-PF rhetoric that the party will revive the Zimbabwe dollar if it wins. The "Zim-dollar era" is a dark one for many and the MDC will need to play on those fears.

Tsvangirai's personal scandals do not help. Those controversies showed that he, too, had built his own Mugabe-esque base of fanatical supporters. It wasn't his fault, his lieutenants said - it was all some dark conspiracy. The scandals disillusioned many. The erosion in Tsvangirai's support may not translate to backing for Mugabe or other rivals, but may simply keep people away from the polls.

In the previous election, many voters simply put an X against the name of any MDC candidate on the ballot. Nobody cared who the candidate was. But those voters now feel let down by corruption and lack of service delivery by urban councils run by the MDC.

There is little enthusiasm for the forthcoming election, which, including two referendums, will be the country's eighth poll in 13 years.




A coalition against Mugabe would seem an obvious option, but it is unlikely. The bitterness between Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube, leader of the smaller MDC faction, runs deep. In 2007, an attempt to forge an alliance failed, partly because the parties could not agree on who would get certain positions in government if they won. In his autobiography, At the Deep End, Tsvangirai said Ncube and his backers never had any clout. They "were simply riding on my popularity, in the forlorn hope that part of it would rub off on to them". Many Tsvangirai supporters agree. The two men trade frequent barbs in public, many of the insults eyeroll-inducing in their pettiness. Tsvangirai recently dismissed Ncube as a "village politician", to which Ncube retorted that allowing Tsvangirai to lead would be like giving a cyclist a bus to drive.

So with no strong policy platform and little chance of an alliance, the only real game the MDC can play is the same one it has played before. The old "change" mantra is really all the MDC has - and it will be tougher to convince voters this time around.


MDC Win


Disclaimer:
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

Source: Jason Moyo, Mail & Guardian

Is Itai Dzamara eyeing the US Green Card?

Yes
16.08%
No
78.82%
Not sure
5.1%
255

Comments

News Updates

Email:

Latest News

Rioting inmates appear in court - Nine Chikurubi Maximum Prison inmate...

by Staff reporter | 30 March 2015 | 879 Views

Teacher bashes municipal cop for clamping his car - A Masvingo Munici...

by Staff Reporter | 30 March 2015 | 1430 Views

White man challenges poverty in Rural Zvishavane

by Musavengana Hove | 30 March 2015 | 2762 Views

Is the Mugabe regime smuggling diamonds via diplomatic bags? - With th...

by Clifford Chitupa Mashiri | 30 March 2015 | 1847 Views

Canada challenge Zim govt to act on Dzamara's disappearance - Canadia...

by Stephen Jakes | 30 March 2015 | 1764 Views

'No to a flawed election,' says Zapu

by Stephen Jakes | 30 March 2015 | 1525 Views

Abstain from sex, varsity students told - The Great Zimbabwe Universit...

by Staff Reporter | 30 March 2015 | 1347 Views

Thrashed man avenges on friend's wife - A Zvishavane man Abiot Sibanda...

by Staff Reporter | 30 March 2015 | 1738 Views

Jonathan Moyo hits ground running - Zanu-PF Secretary for Science and ...

by Staff reporter | 30 March 2015 | 2773 Views

Mugabe urges Zim diasporans to emulate Ethiopians - President Robert M...

by Staff reporter | 30 March 2015 | 2436 Views

Cop demands to wed colleague's wife - A Chikombedzi Police constable h...

by Thobekile Zhou | 30 March 2015 | 3349 Views

Bev, Zoey videos go viral - Videos included - THE raunchy videos of d...

by Rest Mutore | 30 March 2015 | 4017 Views

'Magic' ring causes stir in court - The trial of Abundant Life Ministr...

by Staff reporter | 30 March 2015 | 3890 Views

Tycoon gives a business lecture as politicians deliver engaging leader...

by Brian Kazungu | 30 March 2015 | 2023 Views

Tsvangirai, Welshman Ncube should resign and pave way for young genera...

by Musavengana Hove | 30 March 2015 | 1418 Views

Youths join Zapu as it gives them a fair and better deal - The move by...

by Themba Mthethwa | 30 March 2015 | 1320 Views

Kasukuwere says Tsvangirai is a Zanu PF commissar - his incompetence m...

by Wilbert Mukori. | 30 March 2015 | 1821 Views

'Centrally locked' man dies - A 'CENTRALLY LOCKED' Mbare man, who was ...

by Mercyline Hunye and Tsitsi Mubvumbi | 30 March 2015 | 5477 Views

Grade 5 pupil 'trades sex for bread and butter' - A 19-YEAR-OLD man ra...

by Thandeka Moyo | 30 March 2015 | 3727 Views

Gwandagate! Councillors and officials loot funds in housing deal - Nam...

by Staff Reporter | 30 March 2015 | 1472 Views

PSL match day preview - Dembare rules, still to concede

by Sports reporter | 30 March 2015 | 1997 Views

Elderly San woman dies at Tsholotsho hospital - One of the elderly San...

by Stephen Jakes | 30 March 2015 | 2509 Views

6 Zimbabweans kidnapped and tortured in SA, kidnappers demand ransom -...

by Stephen Jakes | 30 March 2015 | 3616 Views

Mother chases undressed boyfriend at night - A WOMAN from Pioneer vi...

by Thobekile Zhou | 30 March 2015 | 3504 Views

Prophet Magaya scared of vapostori - APOSTOLIC Christian Council of Z...

by Thobekile Zhou | 30 March 2015 | 2536 Views

Teachers want duty free cars - Zimbabwe's teachers, reeling from poor ...

by Staff reporter | 30 March 2015 | 1751 Views

Govt threatens Econet - Government last night gave Econet Wireless up ...

by Staff reporter | 30 March 2015 | 2186 Views

Disaster looming says Tsvangirai - Zimbabwe is teetering on the brink ...

by Staff reporter | 30 March 2015 | 2168 Views

Tsvangirai got significant funding from US - Opposition MDC-T leader M...

by Staff reporter | 30 March 2015 | 2489 Views

Biti, Mangoma in near fistfight - A fierce fight has reportedly erupte...

by Staff reporter | 30 March 2015 | 3465 Views

Entertainment

Comedian BRINGS new life to Cotton Country Inn

by Kadoma Directory | 28 March 2015 | 1552 Views

Buju Banton released early and deported, rumors untrue

by Staff Reporter | 27 March 2015 | 4777 Views

Mutodi praises Mnangagwa in new song - Flamboyant sungura musician-cu...

by Staff reporter | 26 March 2015 | 2292 Views

Tuku teams up with Bra Hugh for Cape Town Jazz Festival - The 16th Cap...

by Arts reporter | 26 March 2015 | 930 Views

ZimOnline Radio sponsoring the ZimCup Clash trophies - ZimOnline Radio...

by Staff Reporter | 25 March 2015 | 1281 Views

Kwaito legend dies

by Staff reporter | 25 March 2015 | 8278 Views

DJ Sbu in Forbes cover scandal

by Staff reporter | 23 March 2015 | 5738 Views

DStv to cut off SA subscriptions - Multichoice intends to cut off Digi...

by Staff reporter | 23 March 2015 | 9155 Views
iBlog

Rules Or Relationship

The dog does not need a lead to go for a walk. its owner can just speak a word and the dog responds. now, we are not comparing ourselves to dogs, we are comparing performance-based christian living to relationship-based christian living. big, big ... Read More
LindaDiokpa 30 December 2014 ago

Auslogics Boostspeed 7 - More Powerful And User-friendly Than Ever

Auslogics boostspeed 7 - more powerful and user-friendly than ever!wondering how to fix slow computer performance? experts recommend auslogics boostspeed 7 - the most comprehensive system optimization software! auslogics boostspeed 7 is here!the bran... Read More
ITnews 26 August 2014 ago