Divided opposition making things worse in Zimbabwe

MDC-T President Morgan Tsvangirai and his secretary-general Tendai Biti have agreed to one-on-one talks

Tendai Biti and Morgan Tsvangirai during happier times

By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
25 June 2014

The country’s political and economic meltdown is being exacerbated by a divided political opposition which has failed in its main role, which is to question the ZANU PF government and hold them accountable to the public.

Political analyst Munjonzi Mutandiri said one of the most important jobs for the opposition is to constantly question the government. He told our weekly Hidden Story program on Wednesday that any government has to remain answerable to the public at all times, and a good opposition can put the spotlight on serious issues.

He said the blame game for the woeful performance of the opposition in last year’s elections should not only be laid on the MDC-T doorstep but the whole pro-democracy movement and the civil society.

‘In the years and months leading to the July 31st elections, leading opposition figures lost their focus on demanding reforms and concentrated on politics of positions and individuals, thinking they were going to form the next government.

‘A struggle for change quickly turned to politics of patronage, a system they copied from ZANU PF. In the civil society, donor access became the trend. It became very important to be known as a socialite who buys beer,’ Mutandiri added.

He said this effectively killed off the opposition and the civil society’s capacity to respond to ZANU PF’s misrule.

‘They literally became dysfunctional organisations and only became relevant during electioneering periods. While opposition parties are united in their goal to dislodge ZANU PF from power, political differences, influence of foreign backers and visions for the future continue to divide the groups,’ he said.

He added that a divided political opposition does not serve the best interests of Zimbabwe. ZANU PF has completely destroyed the economy but no party has stood up to them.

‘ZANU PF has become dysfunctional as a party, and without meaningful opposition, the country has become dysfunctional as well,’ said Mutandiri.

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