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OPPOSITION DIVIDED ON TRIBAL LINES

CALLS for opposition parties to join forces are increasing on daily basis. What is clear is that all these parties are pushing towards removing Mugabe and his Zanu-PF in power but they are all shooting from opposite sides.

The leading opposition parties, MDC and MDC-T which are led by Professor Welshman Ncube and Morgan Tsvangirai have a long history which I think will make it impossible for parties to unite. The united MDC which was formed in 1999 was very vibrant and its members were geared to topple Mugabe as a united front.

Welshman Ncube

Welshman Ncube

However, a dark cloud hung over the party which led to its split in 2005. Reasons for the split are many and chief among them are tribalism and Tsvangirai’s dictatorship tendencies. Prof Welshman Ncube has long said that Tsvangirai does not have leadership qualities and some of the Tsvangiari’s blue eyes boys are still playing tribal cards as they don’t want to form a coalition with MDC.

October 25 2005

The MDC split on October 25, 2005, after a national council meeting at which party leader Tsvangirai was accused of dictatorially vetoing a vote to field candidates in Senate elections due later that year.

Morgan Tsvangirai

Morgan Tsvangirai

But the report compiled by a three-man commission comprising Dr Tichaona Mudzingwa, Moses Mzila Ndlovu and Giles Mutsekwa into violence that erupted at the party’s Harvest House headquarters in May of that year suggests the party was still heading towards a split anyway – plagued by tribal mistrust and competing political ambitions.

In a key conclusion, the commission said it had “established beyond any reasonable doubt that there is a strong anti-Ndebele sentiment that has been generated, fanned, orchestrated and marketed to innocent party members by a senior party leader under the guise of sheer hatred for the secretary general at a personal level.”

With tribalism being one of the major causes of the split, the vibrant opposition which every person dreams of will remain a pie in the sky. The opposition which will take the government to task, as what used to happen in the early 2000 will also remain a pipe dream. The handwork of founding members who include Gibson Sibanda will go down the drain, as their efforts have been wasted.

“I am sorry Gibson”

“The political developments in this country will never be the same again after the formation of the MDC but the saddest thing in my life is the split of the MDC. It represents the saddest part of my relationship with Sibanda.

The late Gibson Sibanda

The late Gibson Sibanda

“What we said after the split, I regret it. I am sorry Gibson for what we said at that moment, it was a moment of weakness and it was not worth it,” Tsvangirai said during the funeral of Gibson Sibanda.

This apology was very strong but the apology must go further and fulfill his wishes by closing ranks and forming a united front which make the political discourse interesting and more interesting. Opposition parties must close ranks. United you stand, divided you fall.

WHERE IS MUTAMBARA?

FORMER deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara has made an unceremonious exit from the grand political stage. Mutambara went into political oblivion in the run-up to of the 31 July harmonised elections  and he is still hibernating from the political radar.

Ever since the expiry of the unity government last year, Mutambara has gone quiet. The robotics professor should never have been in politics in the first place if he did not have the stamina to last the distance.

Arthur Mutambara

Out of the game: Arthur Mutambara

Some people believe he was more of a political accident as he has the brains, but he was victim of irrelevance. Others say Mutambara was an “opportunist” and this has been exposed by his lack of relevance in the political scheme of things in the aftermath of last year’s elections.

Mutambara, a former student leader, stepped onto the political stage in the aftermath of the MDC’s split in 2005 and took up the leadership of the smaller formation of the labour-backed party, now led by Ncube.

Welshman Ncube and Arthur Mutambara

Welshman Ncube and Arthur Mutambara

Mutambara had to be headhunted to lead and “sanitise” the splinter group, which was being viewed suspiciously through tribal lenses. In 2009, he rose to take up the deputy premiership as one of the signatories to the power-sharing agreement that took the country to last year’s elections. His time in the inclusive government was however, punctuated by controversy.

After being ousted from the helm of the MDC at a party congress, Mutambara refused to recognise the outcome of the congress by taking his case to the courts. He remained in government after the court processes dragged on until the expiry of the inclusive government last year.

Throughout the lifespan of the unity government, President Robert Mugabe was accused of shielding Mutambara from being stripped of power.  The Zanu-PF leader continued to recognise him as a principal despite increased pressure from the courts and regional bodies to strip him of the position.

President Mugabe and Arthur Mutambara

President Mugabe and Arthur Mutambara

Mutambara also ga-ined the reputation of lending support to Zanu-PF’s positions in the unity government, fuelling speculation that he had become a reluctant ally of President Mugabe’s party. It was, however, clear during Mutambara’s time in the coalition that he was without any political party under his leadership.

Many people were expecting a robotics professor to be given a ministerial position in the Zanu PF-led government as a reward for being loyal to Mugabe during the tenure of the shaky coalition government during which Mutambara sided with Mugabe in times of disagreements with Tsvangirai.