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Tambanavo Chamanyawi: MDC Alliance has no clue of how to glue members together

By Tambanavo Chamanyawi

An organisation left by the late icon Morgan Tsvangirai in good shape is routinely failing fitness tests. The health of the Party is deteriorating very fast due to wrong political prescriptions.

Supporters of Zimbabwe's main opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa listen to his speech at a gathering in Harare, Tuesday, Jan, 21, 2020. Chamisa said his party will roll out street protests against the government, as efforts by local churches and regional political leaders to resolve electoral disputes have failed. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
Supporters of Zimbabwe’s main opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa listen to his speech at a gathering in Harare, Tuesday, Jan, 21, 2020. Chamisa said his party will roll out street protests against the government, as efforts by local churches and regional political leaders to resolve electoral disputes have failed. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

MRT seems to have gone to the grave nechinhu chake.

The Party is limping from one disaster to another as those who found themselves in the cockpit seem to have no clue of how to glue members of the MDC together.

The party lacks internal mechanism for conflict resolution, management and prevention. The MDC A is deficient of dexterity, resource mobilization capacity and intelligence gathering prowess.

The Party is hemorrhaging both leaders and supporters at a rate which is faster than the speed at which a jet fighter drops missiles in a war zone. No organisation can survive such a bloody implosion unless it is powered by services of a Tsikamutanda.

This week the Party fatally again shed off two founding and respected members of MDC, Dr. Tapiwa Mashakada and Paurina Mpariwa. Demoralized and unpaid MDC A workers are turning into a fertile ground for rebellion and sabotage.

Arbitrary firing of Party members started as soon as the Harare Polytechnic brigade managed kubvuta chinhu ichi from unionists and peasants, turning MDC A into an elite organisation of lawyers and businessmen.

The violent muscling in by the former student leaders to the top of the Machinja pyramid, left a trail of broken hearts, who felt deceived. Instability was made worse by the Supreme Court judgement which returned the party leadership to Thokozani Khupe.

All those who felt used and dumped by the new crop of ‘toddler’ leadership ye pwere zvadzo dziri kubuda hwamu pamhino are slowly grouping around Khupe to fight off the Chamisa induced redundancy. Of course Zanu PF is capitalising on the infighting for its own political survival, but the major challenges lies with the caliber and texture of the party’s current leader.

The MDC A leaders who define themselves as democratic and constitutionally sensitive has been scoring own goals since the demise of Tsvangirai. Chamisa failed to resist the temptations of refusing to accept the Supreme Court judgement when he could have temporarily submitted himself to Khupe and contest her at the Extraordinary Congress which he would have surely won.

Unfair as the judgement appeared to be, but outright refusal to abide by a Supreme Court ruling is both counterproductive and dangerous. An opposition leader with such a high appetite to exercise powers that he doesn’t possess is frightening.

One can just imagine how he would flagrantly disregard the state constitution considering his disregard or his own Party constitution. To make matters worse, it looks MDC A is operating without any constitution, but occasionally refers to MDC T constitution whenever it suits them.

Isn’t this shocking! A party led by lawyers, but without any constitution? A blesser without money scenario! How then do they define themselves? What regulates their rules of engagement?

Chamisa gleeful embraced powers to appoint, disappoint, reshuffle and fire members of the standing committee. One would have expected a democratic party to shun appointments by an individual and celebrate electoral appointments.

Leaders must be elected and not appointed. An individual can’t be paraded as an appointing institution. The quality and sincerity of the decision making process are compromised by appointees who avoid any stance that doesn’t suit the tastes of the appointing authority.

The majority of Standing Committee members owe their allegiance to Chamisa than party structures, which is an unhealthy state of affairs. Appointees are compelled to be praise singers of those who appointed them.

The appointment of the affluent Fadzayi Mahere, who comes from a privileged Zanu PF family, serves as a reminder of how dangerous it is to rely on one man’s decision.

Chamisa was warned against fishing for leaders outside the MDC basket when he initially appointed Mahere Secretary of Education ahead of respected educationalist and unionist in the party like Dr. Takavafira Zhou, President of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe.

So it was obviously not about capacity, because he never exhausted the list of capable Party members who could have served with distinctions in that portfolio.

Mahere only joined the Party recently, more probably just before being appointed Secretary for Education. Longtime serving MDC members are looking for answers as to how someone who contested as an independent contender against a Party candidate in 2018 leapfrogged them to land one of the most powerful party positions.

If capacity and expertise was the criterion employed, she would not have snatched the position from Luke Tamborinyoka, one of the finest communicators and prolific writers to emerge in the history of Zimbabwe. Mahere is neither in the youth nor women structures of the Party

Barely a month after being condemned by the Supreme Court for failing to uphold his party constitution, Chamisa repeated the same transgression by appointing someone who is constitutionally unqualified to be the party spokesman.

The constitution of the party prescribes a five year membership for anyone to qualify for a Party leadership position. Mahere’s appointment is prone to a successful court challenge.

Chamisa also committed the blunder of surrounding himself with adolescents, who have no experience in anything apart from engaging in abstract academic research.

The majority of MDC cadres who are older than Chamisa, above are being sent into early political retirement in the name of giving fresh blood a chance.

Those who also served in Tsvangirai’s inner circle are being slowly purged or moved to insignificant positions. The latest casualties are Jameson Timba and Tamborinyoka who were given trivial Presidential Affairs portfolios whose duties are as opaque as their positions.

“The tragedy is that the majority of people around him are praise singers. Tendai Biti and Welshman Ncube are not also doing much for fear of being accused of plotting Chamisa by his praise singers,” said one member of the party.

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