Opinion - Lloyd Msipa
Both factions of the MDC have run out of steam and a third political party is needed to envigorate the political process in Zimbabwe in the run up to the make-or-break 2008 Presidential and Parliamentary election.
The SADC extra ordinary summit in Dar salaam, Tanzania has come and gone and Zimbabweans are not any better off than before. All the expectations of possible censure of Harare have disappeared into oblivion. What we have is a promise of an undertaking by the South African President to mediate between the feuding parties in Zimbabwe.
There seems to be a lot of faith from both MDCs in this process of mediation judging by the media reports. Both camps seem to genuinely believe since President Mbeki has been given this task by the SADC heads, he is likely to carry it through.
The naivety of both MDC camps was aptly put into context by the NCA Chairman Dr Lovemore Madhuku who seems to be the only person who’s head seems to be screwed on right, when he stated in no uncertain terms that 'Thabo Mbeki’s negotiation initiative is not in good faith'.
Folly is sometimes defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. The Thabo Mbeki initiative or initiatives has been relied on in the past and, it seems, how soon we forget. The MDC initiative is now eight years old and it seems as the years go by its prospects of becoming the governing party are slowly drifting away.
The MDC, it seems, has failed to transform from its civic movement status that saw it draw its membership from academics, trade unionists, students, professionals and others into a properly constituted political party. What then is the way forward? Fellow Zimbabweans it seems we have put all our eggs in one basket.
We are ten months away from the next decisive election in Zimbabwe and under the current political scenario what are the prospects of an MDC victory? I put them at zero. I think it is time we came up with a more viable, militant political party that will meet Zanu(PF) at next year's polls and win.
Both MDCs are over reliant on the goodwill of President Thabo Mbeki and the International community. We currently have the Secretary Generals of both parties shuttling back and forth from South Africa all in the name of progress and negotiation.
What they do not seem to realise is that no prospects of any Constitutional reform exist in Zimbabwe without the masses. Both MDCs have failed to launch a people’s revolution within Zimbabwe its self. That is the source of Constitutional reform, not South Africa. Power comes from the people, not the International community. Prime Minister Tony Blair has come and gone, and of course he did not assist the MDCs in its ambition to replace Zanu (PF).
President Thabo Mbeki it appears is playing for time and before the MDCs know it the elections will be a few weeks away. It is not difficult to see that the two MDCs have run out of options. Why would they be bickering over a name for instance if they where serious political players, besides the speeches they give now are largely rehearsed and repetitive.
The factions have become elitist with both leaders spending their time abroad instead of being in Zaka, Gwanda, Murobedzi and other rural locations. It is common knowledge that 70 percent of Zimbabweans live there. We should read between the lines.
A new political party properly constituted at this juncture of Zimbabwean politics has the potential of causing an upset. This new political party should be prepared to take advantage of progressive former Zanu PF parliamentarians who are already knowledgeable about the machinations of the governing part(After all who among us can claim they were never affiliated to Zanu or Zapu at some point in their lives)
They will use this information, plan within this new political party the downfall of Zanu (PF) in the March 2008 poll. The MDC has failed to take advantage of this resource covertly or otherwise. We have currently a situation where civic groups agitating for a new Zimbabwe have no other political party to work with except the two factions of the MDC.
What is required is a wider choice of political organisations to jerk the MDC and Zanu PF off their comfort zones. Surely there are more potential players out there.
Lloyd Msipa is a Lawyer resident in the United Kingdom and can be contacted at email@example.com.