MDC-T succession battle hots up as 4 senior officials gun for ailing Tsvangirai’s post


The fissures emerging within the members of the most powerful opposition political party MDC-T are likely to derail the freedom train which had proven to be the only cyclone to challenge and dismantle the ruling party.

There are sections of groups in the camp who are calling for resignation of Dr Morgan Tsvangirai citing his battling with cancer of colon. Its true that the MDC-T leader has lost weight and cannot continue with such a strenuous job of leading a political party where rallies and meetings are supposed to be attended to. This has frustrated a certain clique of members to take a reactionary move of and calling the leader to reliquish his post as a matter of urgency. Reality has now sunk in the MDC-T camp that there is need for leadership renewal. Morgan Tsvangirai has been the leader and face of the labour party for nearly 19 years. Some staunchly supported him through thick and thin and have been very proud of his leadership qualities but feel that the man must hand over power to somebody amongst his executives or deputies.

There are certain people in his camp who feel that its high time he should pack his bags and go. Some are arguing that he is no longer insipiring like he used to be long back. They have lost all the hope and the electorate can longer trust his leadership anymore.

Just like the Mugabe must go mantra, the opposition party members have also started pushing their leaders to hold an emergency elective congress that will pass a vote of no confidence on him. Some MDC-T members within the party said the party has now been hijacked by corrupt cadres who do not have people at heart. The party has been frothed by corruption and divisions. If real change is to be enacted that will give an opportunity for the party to chart a new path towards positioning itself to win the elections.

In the event that the leader Morgan Tsvangirai goes as suggested by disgruntled supporters, alternatively there are some staunch supporters asking who actually can fit into the shoes of Morgan Tsvangirai and take over the leadership amongst his three deputies.

Maybe that was the reason why Morgan Tsvangirai came up with three Vice Presidents so that there would be continuity in the event that he is incapacitated and no longer fit to lead the party. Could this be the end of a once vibrant and promising opposition party? I think the answer is no. The likes of Hon Nelson Chamisa, Hon Douglas Mwonzora, Thokozani Khupe and Engineer Elias Mudzuri all have shown willingness to takeover from the frail leader.

Should he decide to step down then an extra ordinary congress should be held and pave way for an elective congress to choose the next party’s president before the party splits again , its clear that MDC-T leader always makes unilateral decisions, besides he has served his time. MDC-T has been struggling in terms of leadership that whoever criticised the person of the President or his decisions were ejected from the party the likes of Welshman Ncube, Job Sikhala, Authur Mutambara, Tendai Biti and Elton Mangoma. The party has splitted nearly five times.

The intra party supporters are still pushing for change of leadership.

MDC- T is a democratic party and they should go for a congress to choose who should lead them. Some feel that Engineer Elias Mudzuri is the right candidate to take over the reigns of MDC-T whilst some are pushing for the charismatic Hon Nelson Chamisa. There is also another name which is coming in the box of Douglas Mwonzora who stands a better chance and he is mature and all his public service record is impeccable.

Its going to be a tricky one if MDC- T is to change it’s president ahead of the harmonised elections and this could negatively affect the preparations of the party so badly as far as popularity of the candidate is concerned.

Noone would want to vote for someone he doesn’t know. The electorate has faith in Morgan Tsvangirayi more than they have in Nelson Chamisa , Thokozani Khupe or Eng Elias Mudzuri.

Of late very few rallies have been conducted because the leader has been incapacitated and could not meet the demands of that job.
His health status however needs peace not to stress too much.

However that is the problem of people who have faith in a person than the party. Policies should make people want to vote for that party not a person. We still need to interrogate the dynamics of African politics where people follow the person than the policies.

If Tsvangirai goes the Mugabe way then there will be a problem as this will create a great rift within the party. This is the right time for leadership change unless Tsvangirayi will voluntarily resign.

Popularity plays a pivotal role in politics. So many cadres are very scared to speak the truth and are afraid to even discuss about leadership change or they risk being thrown under the bus. Dr Morgan Tsvangirayi is no longer fit for the purpose and has been in and out of hospital struggling with colon cancer and that’s not a secret.

There is going to be a lot happening in the next few months and certainly , part of the activity is the progress and completion of major projects that have long been hanging.

There will be closure of the political era and the new economic era will emerge and dominate the political space.
MDC has a plan to campaign for free and fair elections.

ZANU PF has a plan to prove themselves and manage the election the army way not the civilian way. On the other hand if the party leader is changed, ghe probability of persuading new and virgin voters will be high and will also attract some people since people need change.

The ball is now into Tsvangirai’s court, whether he should appoint and anoint his successor or he goes it alone. Now that Tendai Biti and Welshman Ncube are back through the MDC-Alliance. The best he can do is being an elder of the party.

It looks like the opposition is now clueless and needs real transformation and renewal of their strategy if it is to make an impact in next year’s harmonised elections.

The euphoria of winning the elections has slowly drowned. The party now needs critical thinkers within their leadership who can see beyond borders and should be canvassing for serious mobilisation in order to win the electorate.

Hero worshippers and bootlickers in the party will cause more harm and damage. They must not be given any room in this modern geo-political world.

Frontiers of democracy are crying for change and would like to see a complete overhaul of the Zimbabwe’s political chapter. People in the party must work together and agree on who should take them to a new political dispensation that will cement and synthesize their vision through a common goal.

Is the opposition ready to usher in a new Zimbabwe or it is stuck in total confusion or maybe. it is currently enjoying the prevailing political environment?

Some are arguing that Morgan Tsvangirai has now become a political liability. All what the people want is an organised opposition that will stand against whoever is in the ballot box. If the opposition loses this election in 2018 then that would be the end of it and must kiss goodbye. If somebody no longer perform their duties according to the statutes then they must be relieved of such duties.

I do understand MDC -T was found on democratic principles and the people must go through the right channel and vote between Elias Mudzuri, Thokhozani Khupe and Nelson Chamisa , that is democracy and let the people choose.

MDC is broke and their failure to separate the party ownership and their President Morgan Tsvangirai will lead to succession battles which will lead also to many factions coming out of MDC-T and a properly laid out term of office could have helped the party and could have positioned itself to a more rejuvenated opposition. If one contests and lose for two terms then someone should take over.

This is the same equation that the former President failed to solve and ended up being forced to leave the office by his own people. We should take a leaf or draw some lessons from our neighbours South Africa who had a smooth transition of power from Jacob Zuma to Cyril Ramaphosa. Political leaders are like diapers if they stay too long they stink and must be changed.

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