Wednesday, August 28, 2013

(TALKZIMBABWE) MDC-T should blame itself for losing
This article was written by Our reporter on 1 August, at 09 : 46 AM

The MDC-T party had a weak strategy and weak organisation right from the start. Besides, the disorganization and infighting at this election, the party concentrated on unimportant issues during their tenure in the inclusive Government as we saw with party leader, Morgan Tsvangirai’s shenanigans.

It is also now becoming glaringly clear that Secretary General of the MDC-T, Tendai Biti and party leader Tsvangirai are now two sides of the same coin, uncoordinated, suspicious of each other and not having a clear coherent strategy to beat Zanu-PF. For example, Biti announced on Al-Jazeera that he had “raped” government to get money for the election. Tsvangirai, on the other hand, was telling Violet Gonda on 1ST TV that he did not know where the money came from. How could such an incoherence occur at this crucial time?

The two were not seen in public on the same platform as a team, except in the picture where they are reading the Zanu-PF manifesto with organizing secretary Nelson Chamisa. They all looked pensive and that image was a public relations disaster, the hallmark of a disorganized group, contrasted with Team Zanu-PF. Their slogan “Bhora Musango” (Soccer ball in the Bush) based on Zanu-PF’s slogan “Bhora Mugedhi” (Soccer ball in the Soccer Gate) showed exactly what was going on in their camp. Rather than explaining their manifesto to the people, they were relaxed, reading a Zanu-PF one.

They also wasted time at the end of the campaign season, concentrating their campaign on Harare – an urban constituency where their support is higher than anywhere else. By calling for a rally at so-called “Freedom Square” the MDC-T thought they could replicate Egypt’s Tahrir Square. By campaigning till the last day, they lost crucial administrative time.

Compare this discord in the MDC-T with the strong, strategic and focussed campaign of Zanu-PF, with President Mugabe, Vice President Joice Mujuru and the rest of Team Zanu-PF Live 2013 focusing on the campaign, with sheer determination.

In the inclusive Government, they worked against the government, rather than try and outshine Zanu-PF to connect with the people. They thought by discrediting the work of the government, they would undermine Zanu-PF; but they undermined themselves because people saw their incompetence and their corruptibility. They then compared them to the original Zanu-PF government which had delivered in the 1980s and 1990s without the influence of the MDC-T, offering free education and free primary health care.

Tsvangirai wasted time on issues that had nothing to do with governing and he changed advisers many times, thus disrupting continuity in the MDC-T strategy, if they had one.

In entering into these elections, the MDC-T went in more as auditors of the Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) and not as participants. Since morning of the election day, Tendai Biti was complaining, calling for many press conferences, rather than urging MDC-T supporters to go and vote. The MDC-T was busy watching how ZEC was doing its job.

They had no trust in the African Union, SADC, Chinese, and other election observers. They had their own observers, people who they could have used to encourage their supporters to vote.

They wasted time concentrating on bringing lawsuits and lobbying SADC, rather than mobilizing their support and consolidating their campaign.

The ferrying of supporters to vote is not illegal, especially where the road systems are not great – thanks to the sanctions they called for. No party would allow its supporters to walk on foot a distance of 5km to the polling station because the MDC-T would complain.

The MDC-T had the same right to ensure their supporters got to the polling stations, as long as these people were on the voters roll? Why should parties punish their supporters by not providing a conducive voting environment? Ferrying supporters to vote is not tantamount to campaigning on election day, which is illegal under the new constitution.

lnfact, it was the MDC-T that was fighting against disenfranchising the people. That means voting should have been facilitated as much as possible and besides they could still vote for the MDC-T being ferried to polling stations. How would Zanu-PF know they had voted for them? Again this is weak and un-strategic thinking by the MDC-T.

It was supposed to be ZEC’s responsibility to assist people to vote by providing them facilities like transport. The body was underfunded – thanks to Biti in his role as Finance Minister.

Now the chickens are coming home to roost. Zimbabweans have already made their choice by casting their vote.

Change, which the MDC-T wanted is coming. It’s not the change they envisaged.

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