Zimbabwe’s elusive electoral pact against Mugabe…who is to blame: Welshman Ncube or Tsvangirai

Posted: January 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

When MDC was formed in September 1999, Zimbabweans had hope that a new democratic dispensation would be ushered in by the men and women who had taken a bold step to challenge one of Africa’s last dictators, Robert Mugabe and his ZANU PF. Almost 14 years later, we are still battling with the struggle for change and freedom. As years pass, the fight is seemingly compromised by the diverse views that have emerged amongst us, even causing an unnecessary split.

Today, we are faced with realities that if we don’t present a united force against Mugabe, chances of removing him completely from power are very slim. This is because Mugabe has been able to capitalise on our weaknesses of fighting each other while at the same time, slowly but progressively portraying himself as a hero of the poor who has managed to take land from our former oppressors and also managing to redistribute wealth with his equality and ownership calls. In short, Mugabe has managed to get the once opposition parties talk more against each other than them talking about forging a united front as was the case in 1999 to democratically oust him

Unity in Deversity

Unity in Deversity

from power in the next polls the ZANU-PF strong man wants held in March this year.

A perusal of media products and other social networks show an opposition leadership spending valuable time attacking each other instead of investing their efforts in horning strategies to defeat Mugabe in the next election It is my humble submission that we have lost the plot and we need to get our act together before it’s too late. History has it that countries fall into civil war because people tend to lose confidence in leaders and take matters in their own hands – fighting fire with fire. Zimbabwe is not unique to this possibility especially if hope was to be lost in the upcoming elections. The failure by progressive political parties (mainly the MDCs) to forge a united pact against ZANU PF in the next elections has once again exposed our inability to coordinate each other for a greater good.

Matters of national importance get brushed aside by possible distortion of facts and every day we find ourselves slating each other, passing the blame without possible solutions and positivity. News of parties uniting have been doing rounds in the media since late last year and today, some Zimbabweans have already written off this possibility. We have handled this matter so badly and this sensible pact is most likely to be thrown into the dustbins of our shameful history whereby generations to come will blame us for failing to see greater goods for our nation. While there has been no official communication from the parties involved, some statements by individuals have served only to confuse people and in many cases, there seem to be some deliberate distortion as to what has been said. For example, many people have already concluded that the MDC led by Welshman Ncube is against unity. The media has even reported that Senator David Coltart and Welshman Ncube have sharp differences about this issue, saying Coltart is for unity while Ncube is against it.

Analysing information of what said by these two individuals, it is a bit confusing to understand how the public has been made to reach the negative conclusions that Ncube and his party are against progress. Below are statements extracted from the website http://www.newzimbabwe.com on what Welshman Ncube and David Coltart said about the unification of MDCs

Coltart wrote:

Welshman Ncube and I are not in fact at odds on this issue. Both of us agree that in an ideal world we should have a single united opposition against Zanu PF but we both recognise that that is well-nigh impossible. In the circumstances we should strive to agree on an electoral pact so that we do not split the vote as happened in 2008.We both know this will be very difficult and if there is any disagreement between us it is in how we rate the chances of obtaining an electoral pact. He is very pessimistic that this is possible whereas whilst I am also fairly pessimistic I think it is still possible. My views in this regard should not be taken as any fundamental disagreement between us or any loss of faith by me in his leadership.

Ncube responded:

David Coltart is correct. We all believe that it would be easier to defeat Zanu PF if we had a united democratic opposition to Zanu PF and that such a democratic united opposition is desirable and necessary. We differ only in respect of whether conditions for the creation of such a united democratic opposition to Zanu PF exists in Zimbabwe today and on whether given the objective conditions on the ground it is possible to achieve such a position. I believe that the reunification of the MDC is impossible for reasons too numerous to detail here. I also believe that given the things which divide the two MDC formations and what has gone on between the two parties since the split, it is equally impossible to construct any coalition agreement that would receive the support of the respective National Councils of the two parties.

What this means

For me, the most important thing to read from these statements is that they are made by individuals who were asked for opinions on what they think would happen. Having been individual statements, there is no indication that their views represent their political party and as Ncube puts it, the issue will have to be decided by the national councils of the two MDCs not them as individuals. The other thing to note is that everyone is focusing on what the MDC led by Ncube is saying but we haven’t heard deeper details of what the MDC led by Tsvangirai. In his speech last year in Manchester, Tendai Biti, just like Welshman Ncube acknowledged that Mugabe would lose against a coalition of progressive parties. His comments about whether it is possible to achieve this unity are still not known. The same goes with other people from MDC T who all say they desire the coalition but none has committed themselves to give a detailed answer of how this is going to be achieved. It will be interesting to hear the views of what they think about this and moreover, we haven’t heard what Prime Minister Tsvangirai thinks about it.

I personally believe that the issue of this electoral pact is sensitive and needs sober approaches because last time it was tried; it got rejected by the MDC T. The reasons for that rejection have not gone away and thus it is easy for some to conclude that the MDC led by Ncube is against it because of their leaders’ comments which to me, the said individual thoughts are result of past experiences.

My conclusions therefore are that it will be foolish for parties to stop trying the possibility of an electoral pact as experiences of 2008 tell us that Mugabe could have been easily defeated if we rallied behind one presidential candidate. Moreover, the security threats posed by the military and other ZANU PF fanatics will be greatly reduced if there was unity of purpose between progressive parties. The main thrust of my observation would be that while it is up to us to conclude what might happen, we must also give a chance to proper procedures to be followed by parties involved. This is not a matter of Welshman Ncube or Morgan Tsvangirai but rather one of collective decisions taken by national councils of their parties who are there to decide for the rest of us. We must then avoid making conclusions based on distorted truths as we doing now and allow democratic desires to unfold collectively while reporting them responsibly without sensitising the facts.

  1. Matshobana Ncube says:

    A sober analysis indeed.

  2. Rejoice Ngwenya says:

    There are people in MDC-T who have a history of not adhering to agreements. My worry is that in the event that an Electoral Pact is ‘signed’, it may be difficult to enforce it when elections have been won, unless if it is a legally enforceable agreement. Leaders who violate their own party constitutions have a higher propensity to ignore agreements. This time, we must be thorough.

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