Leadership struggles dog MDC factions
The two MDC formations held their congresses this year. Deputy Prime
Minister Arthur Mutambara was booted out as leader of the smaller faction of
the MDC which elected Welshman Ncube as the new party President at its
congress held in January.
Mutambara challenged the election of Ncube and is now leading his own
faction but the courts have ordered him to stop masquerading as a GPA
Tsvangirai was re-elected as the MDC-T leader at a congress held in April.
Zanu PF held its annual national people’s conference in December and
endorsed Mugabe as the party’s candidate.
As the year progressed, there was also a sustained attack on the democratic
forces such as the media and human rights defenders as Zanu PF tried to
tighten its grip ahead of planed elections.
The Editor and reporters of The Standard were arrested several times under
the notorious criminal defamation laws which human rights activists maintain
infringe on the freedom of expression.
Senior officials of the two MDC formations also complained about the
selective application of the law where only their members were targeted by
law enforcement agents.
Political commentator, Blessing Vava had mixed feelings about 2011. He said
it was a bad year as nothing much was achieved in terms of making tangible
political, electoral security sector and media reforms, but was good in that
Zanu PF attempts to force an election hit a snag.
“The violence we witnessed was not desirable and it increased fear in the
citizens,” he said. The year also saw Mugabe making at least nine trips to
Singapore for medical checkups as age and health problems took their toll on
the 87-year-old leader, in power since Zimbabwe’s independence 31 years ago.
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