The Sunday Mail
Wendy Nyakurerwa-Matinde Assistant Editor
While elections are the embodiment of democracy, it is crucial that they be prefixed by “free and fair” to achieve their true objective feat, otherwise they become soiled with non-credibility.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa is aware of this, which is why he has already pledged a free, fair and credible election on numerous occasions.
But his Government will have to pass through a huge barricade in achieving this, and has to move very fast to nip this problem in the bud.
Herein lies the problem.
The opposition MDC-T is well aware sure that it stands no chance of defeating a rejuvenated Zanu-PF following the resignation of former president Robert Mugabe in November 2017.
With the old man long gone, and having noted that the ruling party has no appetite for factional squabbles as it prepares the ground for its 2018 electoral victory, MDC-T members have resolved to throw stones at each other.
And they will try to blame Zanu-PF for their own defeat and their lack of popularity with the majority of Zimbabweans.
Apparently, self-destructive violence is the opposition’s new strategy.
Instead of clean polls, the opposition is itching for violence-marred elections. The objective is to make the elections as bloody as possible, such that they will appear non-credible.
Harvest House is the epicentre of this “Operation Discredit Elections”.
But the chaos currently devouring the opposition was long in coming.
The internal democracy of this “democratic” movement has always been called into question. Relations between the party’s godfather, the late Morgan Tsvangirai, its members, as well as that of its structures, brought about the dearth of its internal democracy.
While the party fervently seeks to sell democracy in its relationship with society, it has not escaped many people that democracy, which has to come from within, has always been elusive in the mother of the several MDCs that have afflicted Zimbabwe over the past two or so decades.
The recent Buhera pact, for example, which disgustingly declared that no “Ndebele girl” can ever lead the MDC-T, might have raised a lot of dust but it is definitely not an isolated case of non- democracy.
For the past 20 years in which the MDC has fallen and fallen, members have always been discriminated upon on the basis of tribe and gender.
It has been a tradition that the party unleashes violence and bigotry on anyone who challenges its tribal and patriarchal narrative.
The fog is starting to dissipate from Madame Thokozani Khupe’s eyes now, in the same way it did from the eyes of Mr Elton Mangoma, Mr Tendai Biti, Ambassador Trudy Stevenson and Professor Welshman Ncube.
This is a political party that has always been democratically inclined externally but undemocratic internally.
We are talking of a party that cannot practise what it preaches, and we will see more of the same before and after the harmonised elections this year and well into the future.
Therefore, the predicament of the MDC-T is that its naïve members are gradually waking up to the reality that the democracy that was being sold to them was a dummy and that the people leading them are power-hungry violence-mongers.
Everyone can now see that the MDC-T is nothing more than an assemblage of self-interested people who operate against the public good and do not care about those they claim to lead and those they say they want to lead.
The MDC-T knows that it cannot have the cake of national leadership, and it reckons that as such no one should have it. Where I come from, they call it “shayisano”.
The leaders of the opposition will besmirch their internal rivals and also excoriate their external rivals when the inevitable 2018 electoral loss comes to pass.
We have already started seeing the MDC-T’s blood ways long before the President has even declared an election date.
We are going to see more blood as the elections draw closer.
The international community is going to see even more gory pictures as this despicable charade goes on.
Be prepared for more MDC-T violence when Advocate Nelson Chamisa loses in the harmonised elections and his internal enemies try and replace him.