Home » Governance » Fallacy of Renewal in the MDC-Team [opinion]

When one hears of renewal in an organisation, you expect some reconfiguration of the institution to reflect a new dimension being infused through new policies or by a new leadership. Renewal conjures images of a better brand and a philosophical realignment that will position the concerned organisation on a better pedestal than before.

In this regard, the emergence of an MDC-T faction purporting to be pushing for the renewal of the Morgan Tsvangirai-led opposition party evokes expectations for a better MDC-T, a realigned opposition party seeking to dissociate itself from its futile and muddled past.

One could imagine a new MDC-T divorced from the regime change antics and salvaged from the grip of ideological cluelessness associated with aancing Western political and economic policies.

But what one sees morphing in the MDC-Team, or the so-called renewal team, is a facsimile recreation of the MDC-T of the old.

It is a forlorn retracing of the electorally catastrophic footsteps taken by the Tsvangirai led MDC-T.

In other words, it is a reincarnation of the foreign steered opposition entity that has been indisputably rejected by the electorate in all previous elections.

Although the afore-stated assessment could appear harsh, a simple analysis of developments in the embryonic party could reveal that it is poised to become a parody of Tsvangirai’s MDC-T.

For a start, could it be coincidence that as a springboard to its political life, the MDC-Team is seeking to form a coalition with both political and non-political organisations?

This cannot be a coincidence but a deliberate ploy by the “Renewal Team” to replicate the 1999 convention of civic groups, labour bodies and other like-minded forces that were marshalled into the MDC by the Westminster Foundation.

The MDC-Team wants to model its birth along the contours of its forbearer organisation led by Tsvangirai. It is seeking to draw support from a kaleidoscope of backgrounds represented by the various organisations as was done by Tsvangirai in the infancy of his party.

For all its worth, such a regurgitation of mobilisation tactics serves only to expose the MDC-T “Renewal Team” as an entity that is barren on the tactical front.

It has no new tactics to mobilise for support hence its flagrant reliance on Tsvangirai’s old tactic of forming a coalition of “democratic forces”.

Another factor betraying the MDC-Team’s bid to remodel itself along Tsvangirai’s party is its penchant to dine and wine with Western envoys.

On Thursday, May 15, 2014, the MDC-Team was in a puerile show of affection with Western diplomats at an event where former Harare Mayor, Dr Muchadeyi Masunda was bestowed with the Federal Republic of Germany’s Cross of Merit.

The event was attended by all the bigwigs from the rival MDC-T factions with Tendai Biti and Morgan Tsvangirai heading the respective teams.

When it became apparent that the donation-splashing diplomats had snubbed Tsvangirai and his sympathisers while spending the rest of the event exchanging phone numbers with the Biti camp, the MDC-Team could not help but gloat about its “diplomatic coup”.

When contacted later about the snub of Tsvangirai, a high-ranking Biti camp official childishly told the media that, “You saw what happened. We are playing the game of chess, while Tsvangirai is playing draughts.”

Such a pre-school display of excitement over its camaraderie with the Western diplomats became a useful cue that assisted us in deducing the source of funding for the MDC-Team.

It later did not come as a surprise that despite not receiving any allocation from Government through the Political Parties (Finance) Act and notwithstanding the fact that business, civil society and other political parties were squirming under a biting liquidity squeeze, the MDC-Team declared that it was financially fluid.

The interim chair of the renewal team, Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, unwittingly declared in the NewsDay of May 20, 2014 that “we are trying. We are doing fine financially”.

Although Sipepa Nkomo did not divulge the source of his party’s funding, it is clear that the “Renewal Team”, like the Tsvangirai team before it, is feeding from the same Western trough.

On the ideological front, it is becoming apparent that the MDC-Team has done nothing to drop the “Mugabe-must-go” mantra that had become the manifesto and election message of its rival Tsvangirai camp.

From the look of its presentations at Press conferences, workshops, seminars and at other platforms, it is patently manifest that the “Renewal Team” is ideologically bankrupt like its warring partner.

If its officials are not parroting the tired “Mugabe-must-go” bunkum, they would be busy badmouthing the popular ZANU-PF land reform and indigenisation policies.

What is worrying is that after rubbishing the ZANU-PF policies, the MDC-Team, like the Tsvangirai camp, does not proffer any workable substitute to the people-centred policies.

Zimbabweans should not expect any locally grown policy prescriptions from the MDC-Team.

The hallmark of the “Renewal Team”, just like the Tsvangirai team, is its lack of independence to come up with locally grown policies.

The “Renewal Team” is a docile recipient of economic and political prescriptions from the West.

It is bound by the neo-liberal Western philosophy that prioritises the capitalistic interests of the Anglo-Saxon world at the expense of the indigenous interests of the local people.

As a result of this lack of conceptual capacity, all the factions have resorted to calling for mass actions, demonstrations, boycotts and all other undemocratic means to illegally remove Government from power.

Since the MDC-Team has realised that it has nothing new to offer the electorate, it has confined its activities to a cheap contest with the Tsvangirai camp for party properties and officials such as MPs, National Council members, or Guardians’ Council members.

It has set itself for a tug of war to see who controls more party property or opposition officials. It should be noted that these are the same old MDC-T officials who have dismally failed to democratically take power in 15 years.

Nothing new!

With this in mind, it is apparent that the “renewal team” is offering nothing new from ideology, policies or politicians.

The faction is merely a zealous carbon copy of the Tsvangirai faction and it would be a misnomer to call it the “Renewal Team”.

Source : The Herald