Opinion & Columnist

MDC-A continuous defections signal red flag . . . it’s time to skip ship!

President Mugabe and Vice President Constantino Chiwenga welcome former top officials of MDC-A Zvishavane Senator Lillian Temvoes and former legislator Blessing Chebundo after they skipped ship to Zanu PF.

Daphine Zulu

Correspondent 

International relations speak of no permanent friends or permanent enemies, but only permanent interests. The origins of this pragmatism is generally attributed to Lord Palmerston (John Henry Temple) of Great Britain, and most world leaders have invoked it at one time or another to justify their policies and actions. Same applies to political parties.

There is no better way to describe the current situation prevailing in the Zimbabwean political landscape which has seen the MDC-A house crumble like a deck of cards.

Also another old adage says, politics is but a dirty game, and when one gets into it then all hands should be on the deck.

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When Chamisa forged an alliance with a number of political parties in the country, he quickly developed a thick skin. The youthful leader was deceived by the imaginary power he yielded. Little did he realise that an alliance is always out of convenience, and nothing else.

To be more blunt, he just led a treacherous grouping of mercenaries in search of political power. 

Studies attest to the fact that a declining economy provides elites with a platform around which they can mobilise support to challenge incumbents in elections. As a result, the likelihood of defections from hegemonic parties increases as income declines, unfortunately that is no longer the situation in the country, surely Chamisa can see that, hence the fall from glory.

If two nations had interests that were exactly the same, then they automatically would be the same nation. Hence, friends will not always be friends. It’s a matter of nothing but two parties finding it more expedient to their interests to cooperate than to squabble.

In the same vein, enemies are enemies because their interests directly oppose each other’s. It’s not always going to be that way, and a party whose entire existence is based on opposing a great enemy will inevitably fall apart when there is nothing left to oppose from that great enemy.

If initially the fight was centred on economic woes and bad governance, the minute that phase passed, Chamisa should have seen the possibility of the alliance crumbling, and supporters skipping ship. 

Yet no, typical naïve, he kept pushing and pushing, opposing the ruling party jut for the sake of opposing. Did he have anything tangible to offer the electorate, or fellow small parties he coaxed into an alliance, NO!

No reasonable political party has therefore ever united itself solely based on destroying another political party because it risks lacking value and its own worthiness, the MDC’s dilemma. 

Not sure what the MDC-A really stands for, many party cadres skipping ship to Zanu PF have left many sympathising with Chamisa. But like what Margret Thatcher said, “There are no personal sympathies in politics.” Once sympathy is involved then it ceases to be politics but charity or something else. It’s what one offers that will make people stay or leave, be it money, ideologies or anything. But when all has gone to the dogs, then clearly one has no incentive to stay.

As if his worsening irrelevance is not enough, Nelson Chamisa is grappling with an enormous human resources flight with the latest exodus of James Makore, hardly a month after top MDC-A personnel Blessing Chebundo and Zvishavane Senator Lillian Temvoes skipped ship to Zanu PF. And again the likes of Tongai Matutu, last November, with Zanu PF Masvingo provincial chairperson Ezra Chadzamira reported to have confirmed that former provincial commissar Jeppy Jaboon had expressed willingness to rejoin the ruling party as well.

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This exodus speaks volumes of the party’s ideological bankruptcy. It’s time the MDC supporters get the wakeup call that Chamisa has nothing to offer save for riding on the fame that Morgan Tsvangirayi created for the party and also abandon ship before it sinks.

Whilst others have argued that these defections are tailored by the ruling party, intended to cripple MDC A, there certainly is nothing wrong with Zanu PF pushing to decimate the main opposition party — as that is part of the political game. If at all MDC is strategic, it should be doing likewise, how can anyone expect Zanu PF to work to strengthen the opposition, their rival?

Having failed to meet its one million new voter registration target, it has likewise failed to keep the few top loyalists who have been serving the party. Again, having embarked on a failed massive membership and fundraising campaign to shore up its finances, what else can it be entrusted with? Food for thought!

HERALD