MDC-T needs strategy and ideological clarity

April 7, 2013 at 4:43 pm Leave a comment

It is sad that the mainstream MDC is losing focus in terms of strategy and ideology. The costly blunders it is making need rectification as soon as possible, if it still harbours ambitions of forming the next government. The sooner the party stops playing into the hands of Zanu PF, the better for all patriotic and progressive Zimbabweans.

Sunday View by Fanuel Mabhugu

I am one of those who strongly think that the mainstream MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai lacks strategists, despite a plethora of accomplished lawyers in its fold. Sometimes, I end up thinking that the “workers’ party” was infiltrated by Zanu PF’s intelligence operatives, who have successfully turned the party upside down or the party’s top brass is impervious to advice. Whichever is the case, the party needs to go back to the drawing board if it still has any hopes of being the ruling party any time soon.

One area the party needs improvement on is ideological clarity, which is something Zanu PF is good at. Right now, it is difficult to tell whether the mainstream MDC is capitalist, socialist or worker-oriented. It is just a loose coalition of different groups with various ideological views, which were brought together by their common hatred of Zanu PF. It is like a ball made up of many layers of different materials with different melting points. Surely as the temperature increases, each layer will fall off until the core remains. If the party had a clear ideology, this would not be the case.

Currently the party is trading insults and vitriol with its former allies like Lovemore Madhuku’s National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) and Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), which were not happy by its failure to push for constitutional provisions which would protect their interests. The unwarranted cold war with its former allies will not help it at all. This would not have been the case if the party had a clear ideology. It is, therefore, prudent for the mainstream MDC to swallow its pride and extend an olive branch to all progressive forces whose feathers it has carelessly ruffled both in words and deeds.

One would have expected a more tactful approach in dealing with the group interests of civil servants by this “workers party” since they form a large chunk of enlightened voters. However, the party did not only perpetuate their suffering, but also worked in cahoots with Zanu PF to draft and campaign for a draft constitution that is seriously discriminatory to their cause. Again, this is caused by a dearth of ideology in the mainstream MDC.

My other respectful submission to the mainstream MDC is that its information department needs fine-tuning and re-alignment. Arrogance will not help the MDC’s cause. For its spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora to brand civil servants union leaders like Raymond Majongwe who, in consultation with their constituencies, had registered their displeasure with the lack of labour rights for civil servants in the Copac draft constitution, as “unintelligent and dull” was at best careless and at worst, unwise. They must remember arrogance was Zanu PF’s pitfall and it can be MDC’s waterloo as well.

Who will benefit from these blunders, one may ask? Zanu PF, of course! The party should realise that their days of relying on a protest vote are over, hence the need for introspection, insight, hindsight and foresight by its inner circle and think tanks.

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