Anger Mounts Over MDC-T's Election Boycott

THERE has been an outpouring of anger from different quarters over the MDC-T’s stance not to participate in the by-elections in the 14 seats that fell vacant following the expulsion of MDC Renewal Team MPs from Parliament. 

Many on Wednesday accused MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai of being “petty” and vindictive, while others felt the move had the potential to cause another split in the opposition party amid reports that rival camps have emerged over the issue.

Impeccable party sources told NewsDay that the decision to push for the recall of 21 MPs and not to fight for the vacant seats had exposed the party and a serious rift had emerged in the movement.

Followers on social media said the development would weaken the MDC-T as the main opposition and given the growing animosity in the party over the developments, another split was imminent.

Analyst Takura Zhangazha, writing on his blog, said the MDC-T had acted out of anger and malice in the matter while the MDC Renewal Team had shown lack of confidence in standing alone as a political party.

“It can only be argued that in its actions, the MDC-T acted largely out of anger that borders on malice as opposed to principle.

“If it believes in parliamentary democracy and the new Constitution that it co-authored, it would have been a logical course of action for it to immediately then say we are still committed to representing our constituents as a party,” Zhangazha said.

“The political implications are another matter altogether. In the first instance, it is a huge contradiction to seek ascendancy over rivals and then not want to reclaim political space that all along they have been clamouring for.”

Commenting on various social platforms, several commentators attacked Tsvangirai and said would mark the end of opposition in the country.

“So what have you won? You were just vindictive for nothing. So donating seats to Zanu PF is better than leaving them in the hands of opposition? Are you saying (MDC Renewal Team secretary-general Tendai) Biti and company are worse than Zanu PF? You are a setback to democracy! You are being childish and petty,” fumed one reader on the NewsDay website.

Another reader who identified himself as Fabion Magamba said: “This is clear evidence that Tsvangirai and his friends cannot think strategically. All he wants is to take away food from Biti’s mouth. If he had any brain, he would have realised that Biti was a better devil. The move will only help in humiliating the residents of Harare and Bulawayo and make them shun opposition politics.”

Another reader said: “So what was the point of recalling MDC Renewal Team MPs from Parliament if the MDC-T knew they would not participate? National leaders are not mired in petty politics, they rise above it! This is childish and vindictive.”