By Mugove Tafirenyika
Political analysts have blamed the country’s opposition parties for authoring their own downfall in Monday’s national harmonised elections by failing to set aside their differences and contest the ruling Zanu PF as a united front.
Zanu PF thumped the fragmented opposition in the National Assembly where only the main opposition MDC Alliance and National Patriotic Front (NPF) managed to secure parliamentary seats.
Independent MP for Norton, Temba Mliswa, retained his seat after he hammered his main rivals who included President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s advisor, Christopher Mutsvangwa.
Zanu PF amassed a huge majority in the 210-seat Parliament.
Political analysts, said as a result of the heavy shellacking that the opposition had received in the general election, it was unlikely that MDC Alliance presidential candidate — Nelson Chamisa who had already declared himself a winner before results had been officially announced — would prevail against his main rival, Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Political analyst Maxwell Saungweme said the opposition had made a mistake of going into the election fragmented as underlined by former vice president Joice Mujuru’s party and ex-MDC deputy leader Thokozani Khupe who fielded candidates in areas that the opposition was expected to win.
“The Khupe factor cannot be underrated, it did not only affect the MDC Alliance numbers in Matabeleland it also tilted everything in Zanu PF’s favour in other constituencies and may have also accounted for some people not to turn out at polls as they were sure Khupe would lose but did not want to vote for an MDC Alliance that lacked internal democracy.
“The other parties, if you look at other constituencies, actually took away votes which if you add them up with MDC Alliance’s, the opposition would have won. The Khupe factor and the other parties landed Zanu PF victory. It’s a big lesson for 2023,” said Saungweme.
Former civic society leader McDonald Lewanika blamed lack of unity especially in the MDC which led to the catastrophic fallout between Khupe and Chamisa.
“It was always going to happen that Khupe would spoil the party, doing harm to Chamisa but not enough to win herself. This is what we have seen in Chegutu and some parts of Matabeleland. It has lost the opposition some seats.
“At the end of the day our leaders in this case Chamisa and Khupe must own this situation and reflect on the extent to which their personal ambitions may have impeded the attainment of the aspirations of a lot of Zimbabweans and given Zanu PF a new lease of life .
“This is not a Chamisa ( alone) is to blame situation, we need collective responsibility and reflection and hope that everyone learns not only about the dangers of line battles but the real costs of unbridled personal ambition which doesn’t carry everyone with,” Lewanika said.
Former MDC MP for Bulawayo South, Eddie Cross told the Daily News that the MDC Alliance’s failure to deal with disgruntled members who were not happy with the outcome of the party’s primary elections was a contributory factor to Zanu PF’s only win in Bulawayo.
Incidentally, Zanu PF won the Bulawayo seat after the MDC Alliance fielded two candidates — Virimai Francis Mangwendeza and Kunashe Muchemwa — who benefited Raji Modi by splitting the votes.
Mangwendeza polled 2 214 against Muchemwa’s 1280 both (MDC Alliance) while Modi got 2788.
“I warned MDC leadership some time ago, both verbally and in writing, that if they imposed a youth candidate and allowed multiple candidates, that we would lose the seat.
“The youth candidate imposed on our structures has court charges for political violence against him and this coupled to the split vote resulted in MDC losing a seat I held in 2013 with a large majority.
“However, I wish Modi all the best and full cooperation in seeking to develop Bulawayo South,” Cross told the Daily News. – DailyNews