The MDC Alliance; launched last Saturday 5 August 2017 with all the usual funfair, razzmatazz, chaos and confusion that the nation has learnt to expect from Tsvangirai and company; is off. The Alliance “has hit the ground running”, Luke Tamborinyoka, MDC-T President spokesman announced, with the usual theatricals.
“The MDC Alliance has hit the ground running when President Tsvangirai today convened the first meeting of the Coalition Principal’s Forum following the formation by agreement of the MDC Alliance on August 5, 2017 at Zimbabwe Grounds in Highfield, Harare,” Tamborinyoka announced in a press statement.
The one thing that emerged and was clear to all was that Alliance launch was premature because the parties had not agreed on any of the substantive issues. Sadly, the forum meeting glossed over the substantive issues and moved on to launching the Alliance at provincial level.
“The leaders agreed to proceed with provincial launches of the MDC Alliance, with the next one scheduled for Bulawayo on Saturday, 26 August 2017,” continued Tamborinyoka.
I can just imagine the likes of Welshman Ncube or Tendai Biti two of the principals in the MDC Alliance and gulping down a double-double straight whisky as soon as they walked out of that “hit the ground running” meeting.
“Lord, grant me the patience!” they must have sighed, even in their sleep. They must have known, after all the two gentlemen have been in the MDC for donkeys, it was going to be tough working with Tsvangirai in this coalition but a migraine headache, no one ever gets used to it.
What is it that makes Tsvangirai impossible to work with, you might ask?
Answer; he is incapable of understanding the detail of anything before him and hence his infuriating propensity to blunder from pillar to post. It was Tsvangirai’s idea to launch the MDC Alliance before the substantive issues were finalised and now he is talking of launching the Alliance at provincial levels!
Another double-double straight whisky!
Tamborinyoka told us the seven parties in the Alliance have agreed to cooperate on three areas namely:
1. Electoral Reforms
The parties agreed to work together in campaigning for electoral reforms to ensure that the next elections are held under free and fair conditions
2. Pre-election Non-compete Electoral Alliance and Post Election Coalition government framework
The parties agreed to form a non-compete pre-election alliance and a post election Coalition Government by selecting one Presidential candidate in President Tsvangirai and one Parliamentary and local government candidate per contested seat distributed amongst the parties on the basis of electoral strength.
3. Transformation Policy Agenda
The parties also developed and signed up to a comprehensive transformation policy agenda to address the political, social and economic challenges facing the country under the terms and conditions of the Composite Political Cooperation Agreement(CPCA) which they have executed.”
It is little wonder that MDC failed to get even one democratic reform implemented during the five years of the GNU; they had no clue back then and still have no clue today what the democratic reforms are, how they are to be implemented, etc. If they had any clue what they are talking about then they would know that there is no hope of getting an reform implemented now with a year to go before the elections.
If anyone in the Alliance fully appreciated the folly of contesting next year’s elections with no reforms in place then the single most important issue the partners would have discussed and agreed on by now is that they must boycott the elections until reforms are implemented.
Most of the partners in the MDC Alliance vowed not to contest future elections until reforms are implemented and hence the reason they have all boycotted all the by-elections since 2013. Why they are all now abandoning their “No reform, no election!” resolution is a measure of their collective inability to grasp detail and their greed.
“The worst aspect for me about the failure to agree a coalition was that both MDCs couldn’t now do the obvious – withdraw from the elections,” explained Senator Coltart as to why MDC leaders contested the flawed July 2013 election.
“The electoral process was so flawed, so illegal, that the only logical step was to withdraw, which would compel SADC to hold Zanu PF to account. But such was the distrust between the MDC-T and MDC-N that neither could withdraw for fear that the other would remain in the elections, winning seats and giving the process credibility.”
It is the same greed that is driving the MDC leaders and all the other opposition politician to contest next year’s election knowing fully well that Zanu PF will blatantly rig the vote as before. Instead of the coalition agreeing to boycott the elections, as Coltart is suggesting above, the Alliance is seeking to agree on how the few gravy train seats Zanu PF will throw away are to be shared amongst the opposition.
Biti and Ncube have no qualms in letting Tsvangirai be the Alliance’s presidential candidate; they two know they have no chance of winning even if they tried. What the two gentlemen want is for MDC-T candidate to stand aside and allow Alliance candidate to contest. Biti and his PDP have demanded they must be allowed to contest the 21 seats party member won in the July 2013 elections, for example. A very tall order!
Biti and Ncube know if they can get MDC-T to step aside, they chance of winning the contested seat will be significantly better. This is the only reason why the two gentlemen and their supporters swallowed their pride and joined Tsvangirai in this Alliance. MDC-T members below Tsvangirai are painfully aware of this and have already fired their warning shots to tell the MDC-T leaders they are not going to take this lying down.
MDC-T VP Thokozani Khupe and her followers pointedly refused to attend the Alliance launch. Tsvangirai supporters stepped in to discipline the group. The planned provincial launch of the Alliance is in Bulawayo – in Khupe’s turf.
How the contested seats, especially in the opposition strong holds, are going to be share out is a very substantive and contentious issue. Whether the MDC Alliance will stand or fall will depend on how this matter is resolved, if at all!
If the MDC Alliance was to win next year’s elections; wishful thinking, of course, given Zanu PF’s vote rigging juggernaut, well-oiled by the billions of dollars looted from Marange, is already in overdrive; how the cabinet position will be shared out is another challenge. The MDC Alliance would be one of the most dysfunction government in the country’s history.
Tsvangirai has a serious problem understanding the details and hence the reason why he is glossing over the make-or-break substantive issues in this coalition. He has certainly launched the Alliance prematurely with his usually bombastic and damn-the-consequences way. Instead of the Alliance uniting the opposition it was left the MDC-T itself even more divided than ever!
MDC Alliance is, at best, a political marriage made in hell! There is no love lost between Tsvangirai and his two former Secretary Generals, Biti and Ncube. Indeed, whilst the groom is keen to consummate the union the two bribes are pointedly shying away and have been going to great lengths to have it known they are still single – just in case they get another offer!
The MDC Alliance partners have not agreed where they are going but Tsvangirai being Tsvangirai – he is not bothered about detail – has started the engine and the show is on the road. He has left some of his own party members behind, others are being thrown off the bus and his partners are frantically asking him where he is going! No doubt the bus will stop when it has run out of gas and they are in the middle of nowhere.
MDC Alliance will not win next year’s flawed and illegal elections, of that we can be certain! It is sheer madness to keep contesting elections knowing Zanu PF will rig the vote and expect a different result, an opposition victory!