Breaking News

Can the MDC-T still win?

by Jason Moyo, Mail & Guardian
29 January 2013 | 3948 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 Tsvangirai's BIG TENT leaking?

Yes
28.35%
No
31.5%
Not bothered
40.16%
254

Comments

News Updates

Email:

Latest News

Mohadi threatens to kills foreign investor's employee

by Staff Reporter | 01 October 2014 | 217 Views

Gumbura case in limbo as High court postpones ruling

by Staff Reporter | 01 October 2014 | 124 Views

Politburo showdown looms on Gono, Mliswa today - Zanu-PF's Politburo w...

by Staff reporter | 01 October 2014 | 205 Views

Cop frees offender in return for sex

by Staff reporter | 01 October 2014 | 394 Views

Govt mulls regulating gold millers - Government intends to regulate th...

by Staff reporter | 01 October 2014 | 153 Views

Zim farmers thrown a lifeline - LOCAL famers can benefit from funding ...

by Staff reporter | 01 October 2014 | 200 Views

Mujuru's PhD mysterious appears at UZ library - THE mysterious appeara...

by Staff reporter | 01 October 2014 | 423 Views

Chamisa under fire - MDC-T organising secretary Nelson Chamisa has be...

by Staff reporter | 01 October 2014 | 196 Views

First case of Ebola diagnosed on US soil - The first case of the dead...

by Staff Reporter | 30 September 2014 | 1117 Views

Zimbabwean police now shooting to kill - In a new move that may curb t...

by Staff reporter | 30 September 2014 | 3043 Views

Chinotimba tells a joke about Mugabe's plane - https://www.youtube.co...

by youtube | 30 September 2014 | 3472 Views

Chamisa 'Not on my watch' - SG Nelson Chamisa must help the party to D...

by ZUPA The Presidium | 30 September 2014 | 2383 Views

Facebook group aims to expose absentee fathers - Launched two weeks ag...

by Guardian | 30 September 2014 | 1220 Views

Bosso coach Kaindu resigns? - SPECULATION is mounting that Highlanders...

by Makhosi Sibanda | 30 September 2014 | 1818 Views

Zim woman ends love affair with EPL Newcastle's Cheick Tiote - Newcast...

by Staff reporter | 30 September 2014 | 2031 Views

Philip Chiyangwa headlines - The popular animated comedy show, The B...

by Lesley Moyo | 30 September 2014 | 1865 Views

Man arrested for farting - 46-year-old Malcolm Gill, from Longfield Av...

by Staff reporter | 30 September 2014 | 1686 Views

Mugabe 'taken to court' over Grace's controversial PhD - The Zimbabwe ...

by Staff reporter | 30 September 2014 | 2821 Views

Wangoiravira hauyiregi - Poem Video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...

by School boy | 30 September 2014 | 924 Views

Botswana beat Warriors in an international friendly - Botswana 1 - 0 Z...

by Sports reporter | 30 September 2014 | 1223 Views

ZCTU prepare worker for unemployment a stupid Zimbabwean novelty for s...

by Wilbert Mukori | 30 September 2014 | 864 Views

Attempted Suicide At SCOAN? T.B. Joshua Fires Critics - Video - Dramat...

by Ihechukwu Njoku - freelance Nigerian journalist | 30 September 2014 | 2530 Views

Harare organizations continue to mutilate the Ndebele language

by Staff Reporter | 30 September 2014 | 3097 Views

Local car assemblies should get govt support - The recent statement ...

by Mukachana Hanyani | 30 September 2014 | 942 Views

Tshelanyemba Ex Students Association giving back to the community

by Tshelanyemba Ex Students Association | 30 September 2014 | 2172 Views

Jonathan Moyo, Kasukuwere CIA gay gangsters - Video - ZANU-PF Chairper...

by Staff reporter | 30 September 2014 | 3653 Views

MDC SA Welcomes SCA Ruling on the Rights of Asylum Seekers and Refugee...

by Kumbirai T Muchemwa, MDC SA Information and Publicity Secretary | 30 September 2014 | 2250 Views

Entertainment

Izithunywa Zezulu Gospel Group - Yizwa Imithandazo Yethu - Sekwenzakel...

by Staff Reporter | 30 September 2014 | 489 Views

Tuku releases lyrics for new album ahead of launch

by Entertainment Reporter | 30 September 2014 | 1290 Views

Mtukudzi to release new album - Music superstar Oliver "Tuku" Mtukudzi...

by Staff reporter | 29 September 2014 | 1402 Views

Parliament TV Channel in pipeline - PARLIAMENTARY debates might soon ...

by Staff reporter | 28 September 2014 | 1158 Views

Omkhula, the funniest guys I have ever seen - NOW that the Intwasa Ar...

by Christopher Mlalazi | 28 September 2014 | 2616 Views

Albert Nyathi collaborates with Shabalala Rhythm's Maqhinga Radebe - R...

by Bekezela Tshuma | 28 September 2014 | 908 Views

'Return of Mukanya' cancelled due to visa delays - THE much-awaited Th...

by Staff reporter | 27 September 2014 | 1792 Views

Thomas Mapfumo Leicester (UK) Show Cancelled

by Chimurenga Music Company | 27 September 2014 | 1562 Views
iBlog

Top 10 Causes Of Vaginal Bleeding After Intercourse

bleeding after sex can be rather alarming, and there could be many reasons why a woman would bleed after sex. though most women bleed after their first time having sex, if bleeding becomes frequent, there may be an underlying issue. below are the 1... Read More
adoniadennis 02 May 2014 ago

The Nsa Gets An Ok For Telephony Metadata Collection Yet Again

As much as we’d like to forget about the national security agency (nsa) and its mass surveillance program, it seems that there is no distracting ourselves from this unnerving reality.missing from the news for quite some time now, the issue has resu... Read More
SecNews 09 July 2014 ago