The Sunday News
Khumbulani Vodloza Sibanda
THE just ended, Bulawayo Cowdray Park Ward 28 by-election was a rude awakening for the MDC-Alliance that always prided itself as the sole beneficiary of the urban constituent.
Too much talk and no action, lack of service delivery and imposition of candidates became their Achilles’ heel.
People have refused to listen to empty rhetoric about what the MDC-Alliance will do, while they languish in filth, dirty water and poor sanitation due to lack of service delivery.
The people of Bulawayo have indeed said NO loud and clear and it’s just the beginning of an end to the MDC- Alliance’s urban dominance and therefore existence.
Recently the MDC-A has been riddled with internal fights as Nelson Chamisa has been pulling every undemocratic string to hang on to power to impose himself as the sole presidential candidate in the upcoming MDC elective congress in May.
The MDC restructuring exercise has been marred by too much interference from the faction leaders within the MDC who are keen on securing their positions in the upcoming elective congress, a situation that contributed significantly to the fielding of two candidates during the by-election in Bulawayo’s Ward 28.
The latest violence that happened in Chitungwiza over the weekend leaving MDC youth assembly leader and former deputy Mayor of that town, Jabulani Mtunzi nursing a broken neck and spinal injuries and the drastic loss by MDC-A to Zanu-PF in the Bulawayo Cowdray Park by-election, has caused staunch MDC supporters to call for a renewal in the current leadership citing undemocratic and violence tendencies that have escalated within the party.
Mtunzi has pointed out that the amount of violence in that party has escalated to dizzying heights and that with the current set up no one is safe within and without the party.
It should be recalled that political analyst and MDC-T spokesperson Linda Masarira revealed that during the violent attacks that broke out on 1 August 2018 after the harmonised elections and on 14 to 16 January during an industrial action, the MDC-Alliance had invested in training its vanguard security section in the art of creating violence in an attempt to undermine the President and to cause civil unrest in the event MDC-Alliance lost the election.
After the MDC-Alliance violence trained vanguard, failed to unseat a constitutionally elected Government through violent attacks, it seems to have shifted the attacks on its own supporters in an attempt to consolidate political positions for Nelson Chamisa and his close allies.
Self-exiled political analyst Professor Jonathan Moyo has termed the violence clashes being experienced in the MDC party as a direct consequence of leadership failure to observe constitutionalism, while political party flip flopper, Jealousy Mawarire, has called Chamisa and other MDC officials to order and to stop violence which is against the route to democratic change.
Mawarire condemned violence in the strongest terms and linked it to MDC’s waning political support.
Meanwhile, MDC-Alliance performed dismally in the by-election that took place in Bulawayo’s Ward 28 in Cowdray Park, losing to Zanu-PF in what it terms its urban stronghold. This is a sign that people are wide awake to the MDC-Alliance shenanigans and are not willing to be used as pawns on a chess board.
The truth is, it has suddenly dawned on the urban constituency that the calamities they are facing are because of their misplaced emotional vote that has caused them a lot of suffering and misfortune under the MDC-Alliance watch. It has become very expensive to live in the urban areas with problems emanating from council mismanagement, blocked sewer pipes, dirty water coming from the taps have forced residents to buy bottled water or to dig up unsafe wells that breed waterborne diseases, potholed roads that damage their vehicles in an already expensive and unsustainable economy that the MDC-Alliance through its call for sustained sanctions has inflicted on the ordinary people.
The MDC-Alliance had gotten into a habit of pushing a negative narrative that Zanu-PF cannot win elections without rigging, but this time around has been blasted by the people through their votes that their assertions are wrong, and further buttressed by other MDC-Alliance leaders who took to social media dismissing any possible rigging by Zanu-PF rather citing MDC-A’s undemocratic processes within the party.
David Coltart dismissed the claim from some sections of the MDC-Alliance that Zanu-PF had rigged the Bulawayo elections, saying the MDC-A by-election loss cannot be blamed on rigging, but on the disorganisation of the MDC party itself.
Prof Moyo reiterated by adding that, the results in Bulawayo are an indication that the MDC-Alliance has disconnected with the Bulawayo voters. Prof Moyo added that gone are the days when for every three registered voters in Bulawayo, two were MDC- Alliance. The writing is on the wall, if the MDC- Alliance leadership does not introspect on this and reconnects with Bulawayo voters, trouble lies ahead.
Other MDC supporters such as Partson Dzamara insist on the re-engineering and recalibration of the party itself. As he insists on what he terms “old shoes that need to be rested”.
Dzamara insists on the overhaul of the whole MDC- Alliance leadership for young and more vibrant leaders through democratic processes without imposition of candidates or sacred posts that cannot be contested.
People have begun to see the MDC-Alliance for what it real is, a money making project where they supplement their lifestyles through donor funds by fabricating fake news and stories that win them support from donors and countries such as the United States of America.
Zambilo Mzambani who is an active social media user concluded that in these contemporary times it has become profitable to remain in opposition politics than to govern a strategy that Chamisa and his cronies have adopted as they continue to refuse to cooperate with the Government on nation building and constructive dialogue.