Opinions Politics

Zimbabwe wants and deserves a robust opposition

Zimbabwe wants and deserves a robust opposition
Nelson Chamisa (pictured), Zimbabwe's opposition leader joins Crisis Coalition in condemning demolitions

By Farai Chirimumimba

Nature abhors a vacuum, and MDC has become a giant vacuum machine, sucking the air out of opposition politics and leaving the government to roam the centre ground at will.

One obvious consequence is that ZANU-PF is not being constantly challenged and made to justify their decisions at such a crucial time where the future is Now! Another consequence is that it sows discord elsewhere, whether in ZANU-PF party, because it is not forced to unite against an effective opposition.

MDC’s weakness leaves the media without a clear alternative to redeem Zimbabweans from continue à (to) souffrir (suffer) as the deepening economic crisis is forcing  government to punitive tax regime for their prosperity. It further means the imminent Constitutional Amendment Bill may not get adequate scrutiny from MDC in the National Assembly and Senate, and the ZANU-PF may emerge winners.

The solution should be simple: ZANU-PF doesn’t have two thirds majority in either National Assembly (180 seats) or Senate (54 seats). In the National Assembly, ZANU-PF has 179 members out of 270 that is one (seat)  short of
two-third majority. This is a clear advantage for MDC because for ZANU-PF to pass a Constitutional Amendment it will require at least one vote from National Patriot Front (NPF)’s Masango “Blackman” Matambanadzo or MDC-Khupe’s Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga or independent member Temba Mliswa. MDC can simply have these three members to their side and force ZANU-PF to the negotiation table.

The situation is the same in the Senate. ZANU-PF has 35 seats out of 80. They will require support from  the traditional chief’s 18 seats and at least one vote from the two Senators representing the Disabled Persons to reach two-third majority (54votes).

If MDC fails to stop some of the ridiculous imminent proposed amendments such as removing the running mate clause or allowing traditional chiefs a free passage to continue interfering in politics, then it’s only fair to remove MDC’s Nelson Chamisa and his supporters and replace him with a moderate, left-of-centre leader who can speak for the vast number of people disenfranchised by the party’s lurch to the left and its sheer incompetence.

That, however, looks unattainable in the near future and could stay that way for years if disarray consolidates its hold in the MDC by deselecting moderate leaders. At some point the moderates will have to stand and fight, and join the party in large numbers. But as in the previous elections, it will probably require another “resounding  Cowdray Park council by-elections in Bulawayo, defeat” to make MDC come to its senses, root out unnecessary momentum and retake the territory that Morgan Tsvangirai so successfully occupied.

About the author

Byron Adonis Mutingwende