“Opposition politician Jacob Ngarivhume sees a bleak future for opposition politics in Zimbabwe, and has resigned to the fact that the ruling Zanu-PF will win again in the 2023 elections,” reported Zimbabwe Voice.
“I think more disappointing than fighting Zanu-PF is the lack of unity amongst the opposition,” Ngarivhume wrote on social media, adding that now was the time to act and to “tell it like it is”.
Poor Ngarivhume, even now with the benefit of hindsight, he still does not get it! MDC A lacked leaders with the intellectual prowess and vision to implement the reforms and thus stop Zanu-PF rigging elections. Zanu-PF will win the 2023 elections as long as the party retains its carte blanche powers to rig the elections, even if all the 130, not just the six as in 2018, opposition political parties were united.
It is not the lack of a united opposition that has kept Zanu-PF in power, but rather lack of a competent and quality opposition.
You cannot make a silk purse out of sower’s ear!
The 2008 elections were a watershed in Zimbabwe’s history, Zanu-PF’s cheating and use of wanton violence was so blatant that not even SADC and AU leaders, known for turning a blind-eye to dodgy Zimbabwean elections, were forced to condemn the elections. SADC leaders forced Mugabe and Zanu-PF to agree to the implementation of the democratic reforms designed to stop the party rigging elections.
During the 2008 to 2013 GNU, Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends had the golden opportunity to implement the democratic reforms. They failed to implement even one token reform in five years – proof they are breathtakingly incompetent and corrupt.
It did not make any sense for any one in the opposition camp to contest the 2013, especially the MDC-T given its popularity, elections knowing fully well without reforms Zanu-PF would rig the elections. And yet MDC-T participated in the flawed and illegal elections, turning victory into defeat; Zanu-PF was never going to lose an election in which the party has carte blanche powers to rig.
David Coltart, one of the MDC ministers in the 2008 to 2013 GNU, argued the opposition would have boycotted the 2013 elections in they were united; same argument Jacob Ngarivhume is making now.
“The worst aspect for me about the failure to agree a coalition was that both MDCs couldn’t now do the obvious – withdraw from the elections,” wrote Coltart in his book.
“The electoral process was so flawed, so illegal, that the only logical step was to withdraw, which would compel SADC to hold Zanu-PF to account. But such was the distrust between the MDC-T and MDC-N that neither could withdraw for fear that the other would remain in the elections, winning seats and giving the process credibility.”
Just before the 2018 elections, the opposition did unite. Transform Zimbabwe led by Ngarivhume, MDC-N of which Coltart was a senior member and MDC-T led by Morgan Tsvangirai plus three other parties formed a coalition, MDC Alliance (MDC A).
Judging from the size of the crowds attending MDC A rallies, the party commanded a very significant popular support. The party participated in the 2018 elections; there was never any talk of boycotting the elections although it was clear, with no reforms in place, Zanu-PF would rig the elections.
MDC-T turned certain electoral victory into landslide defeat in 2013 by participating in flawed and illegal elections for the same reason MDC leaders failed to implement even one reform during the GNU – they are breathtakingly incompetent. As we saw, uniting the opposition to form the MDC A made no difference as the coalition too participated in the flawed and illegal 2018 elections.
United or not the MDC A and the rest of Zimbabwe’s opposition will participate in the 2023 elections, with not even one reform in place. Mnangagwa and his Zanu-PF cronies are counting on the opposition to participate and hence the reason the regime has ignored all calls to implement reforms.
Zimbabwe’s opposition leaders are so breathtakingly incompetent they are failing to see the importance of implementing the reforms, of free and fair elections, verified voters’ roll, etc.; even after these have been explained to them thousands of times. These simpletons have not only failed to comprehend the reality one cannot make a silk purse out of sow’s ear but are stuck with foolish notion that unity can and must supplant quality!
It is 40 years of corrupt and tyrannical Zanu-PF misrule that has dragged the nation into the economic and political mess Zimbabwe finds itself in today. However, the reason we are stuck in this mess these last decade is because MDC leaders are corrupt and breathtakingly incompetent. It is not so much a united opposition the nation is dying for but a competent one.