NOTWITHSTANDING the internal damage that the MDC’s infighting is causing, the party’s senseless wars are escalating — amid growing fears that the once formidable movement could soon implode altogether.
So bad is the MDC’s mindless bloodletting pitting two rabidly antagonistic groups led by Thokozani Khupe and Nelson Chamisa, that dejected senior party officials told the Daily News last night that they were losing hope about the future of the political outfit that was founded by the revered, but now late Morgan Tsvangirai.
This comes as political analysts have warned both Khupe and Chamisa that they risk becoming irrelevant due to their poor leadership and inability to resolve their differences — to the glee of the ruling Zanu PF.
“We are rudderless and leaderless. There is currently no strategy on how to get the party out of this mess or what to do as 2023 fast approaches. We can’t protect our officials from being purged by Khupe.
“To add to many people’s misery, there is a deep sense of a lack of support for senior party officials like Wiwa (MDC national deputy chairperson Job Sikhala) who are languishing in prison on spurious charges.
“The MPs and councillors who have been recalled feel very aggrieved because there hasn’t been any strong response and or counter plan to the current carnage,” one of the senior officials who spoke to the Daily News said.
This comes as Khupe has recalled 21 legislators, as well dozens of councillors around the country, as her feud with Chamisa plumbs new depths.
The recall of 11 more councillors from Harare City Council (HCC) this week, following the recall of former mayor Herbert Gomba and six other councillors last month, has led to fears that Zimbabwe’s biggest local authority will end up being run by a government appointed commission.
From the latest batch off 11 recalled HCC councillors, Khupe’s interim party leadership included deputy mayor Enock Mupamawonde among the scalps — in a not so subtle hint that new city mayor Jacob Mafume’s tenure in office will likely be very short-lived.
Respected political analyst, Eldred Masunungure, told the Daily News last night that Chamisa’s leadership was being tested severely, and he appeared not to have a solid plan on how to deal with the myriad crises bedevilling the MDC alliance.
“His supporters are clamouring for action, but Chamisa has limited options … Internal and external problems are besieging him.
“The State blocked demonstrations … and he has exhausted the legal route. He must now reconsider all his strategies.
“His supporters are justified in their despondency. They are piling the pressure on him because they don’t know what is happening.
“But it’s difficult for Chamisa to go out and explain anything because the State is out to liquidate the MDC Alliance,” Masunungure told the Daily News.
Namibia-based political analyst, Admire Mare, said without new political strategies Chamisa was “going nowhere”.
“I think he needs to re-strategise and come up with unorthodox plans given the insurmountable challenges facing the party and the nation at large.
“It is clear that Khupe and team have done their homework and are benefiting from the co-operation of key State institutions who want to create a pliable opposition in the country.
“So the MDC Alliance cannot afford to fold their hands and hope that the situation will resolve itself,” Mare told the Daily News.
“The best route is to galvanise the social base and explain to supporters how they (MDC Alliance) intends to continue outside this ‘choreographed opposition’ drama as exhibited by Khupe and her acolytes.
“He (Chamisa) is increasingly putting himself under pressure by failing to provide a clear direction for his supporters on the way forward, given the lawfare and political strategies that are being used against him and his party,” Mare added.
International Crisis Group senior consultant, Piers Pigou, said the current MDC infighting portended bad things to come for the country’s biggest opposition.
“The cards remain stacked against the MDC Alliance and Chamisa, compounded by a number of own goals and a paucity of clear and consistent messaging to domestic and international, especially regional, audiences.
“Much more effort is needed on the mobilisation, communications and lobbying front with clear illustrations about the deficits of a failing reform programme … including the fusion of party … and the military’s mission creeping into Zimbabwe’s economics and politics,” Pigou told the Daily News.
This comes as the senseless wars consuming the MDC continue to deepen, with neither Khupe nor Chamisa seemingly able to stabilise the troubled party — to the utter glee of Zanu PF.
The party has been consumed by its mindless ructions ever since its much-loved founding father Tsvangirai died from colon cancer in February 2018.
The infighting escalated after the Supreme Court’s judgment earlier this year which upheld last year’s ruling by the High Court that nullified Chamisa’s ascendancy to the leadership of the country’s biggest opposition party.
Chamisa and his lieutenants have appeared to be in disarray ever since that Supreme Court ruling which ruled that Khupe should be the party’s interim leader — with the mandate to organise an extraordinary congress to elect new party leadership using its 2014 structures. Daily News