Since its formation, the MDC generally identifies itself as fighters for democracy and democratic change
Its, however, critical to interrogate whether the main opposition under the leadership of Nelson Chamisa has convincingly exhibited democratic political leadership with prospects for change.
After almost two decades of a de facto one-party State in Zimbabwe’s post-colony, the new millennium’s arrival of the MDC coincided with citizens’ desperation for a new generation of leadership that is young and vibrant, which could meet their needs of a thriving economy.
Opposition parties give alternative policies that aggregate and respect minority interest; they are part and parcel of the nation-building exercise.
Despite a challenging political environment in Africa, in general, and Zimbabwe in particular, the opposition parties’ critical role cannot be undermined.
Zimbabwe’s charismatic and youthful opposition leader Nelson Chamisa rose to fame after succeeding the MDC founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai. Chamisa’s seizure of power was marred with constitutional violations and party irregularities that continue to haunt the party to this day.
He is widely identified as an orator and very articulate in laying across appealing arguments. Chamisa’s shortcomings, however, remain largely in getting over-excited and lacking the political mettle to wage spirited protests that can drag Zanu PF to the negotiation table.
Whispers in the corridors of power and ‘‘social media streets’’ daily mock Chamisa’s lack of spine in confronting the Zanu PF beast and leading protests from the front.
There is not much involvement of Chamisa at the forefront of party demonstrations.
The opposition leader’s attitude towards supporting the protests staged by his supporters and sympathisers does not match the warrior spirit of fearlessness in the Zanu PF ruling elite.
A tweet is not something the regime is about to fear. More robust measures backed by action are required in confronting Zanu PF authoritarianism.
It is something that should be clearly articulated in form of a vision.
The vision of the opposition leader and ideas that are innovative and a transition to a developed country is more than welcome to the Zimbabwean citizens.
Any sensible citizen would applaud Chamisa as a visionary for a developed Zimbabwe, especially in terms of infrastructure which has become rotten in all corners.
At the centre of the socio-economic decline in Zimbabwe is the decay of the political leadership. This is something that requires vibrant opposition to address.
Whereas MDC Alliance is very clear on the need to reform the State, the reform should start from within.
There is need for party reforms in order to convince of an alternative that is truly different and organised.
Many Zimbabweans do not go out to vote and this is because the opposition has neither given them a reason to. For them both ruling and opposition party(ies) are the same.
Although, the voting arena can be seen to be in favour of the ruling party, in which it has dismantled opposition within the country’s vicinity, the political leader has to impose a strong movement for triumph.
The onus is on the MDC Alliance leader to penetrate the traditional Zanu PF strongholds and preach an alternative gospel for change and prosperity which Zanu PF has failed to deliver over its four decades in power.
A party recognised by the majority of supporters as anti-Zanu PF has historically imposed a tailspin of continuous criticism towards its nemesis and it is the leader’s duty to change the dogma. — Tadiwanashe Mawunganidze & Colleen Rinemhota
lMawunganidze and Rinemhota are International Relations students at Africa University. Daily News