PRO-DEMOCRACY group, Zimbabwe Vigil, has said the MDC-T would likely lose the next elections, blaming corruption among its top leadership as well as the party's failure to ensure full implementation of GPA reforms.
Members of the group’s UK chapter said at the weekend the MDC-T leadership was tainted by corruption adding this would hurt the party’s chances in elections for a substantive government expected next year.
“Our monthly action forum concluded, almost unanimously, that the MDC was unlikely to be in charge after the next election,” the group said in a statement.
“There are many reasons for this, of course, not least the prospect of Zanu PF skulduggery, but speakers felt that the MDC had lost the trust of many people whose support it had taken for granted – partly because its leaders were tainted by corruption.
“The expulsion from the party of the Harare Deputy Mayor, Emmanuel Chiroto, and disciplinary action against a number of councillors from other local authorities was welcomed but, at the same time, confirmed the perception that many party officials had joined the Zanu PF looting frenzy.”
Members also expressed concern over the party’s failure to ensure full implementation of the GPA, the political deal between the MDCs and Zanu PF which facilitated the formation of the coalition government in 2009.
The group said little had been done to ensure new elections would be free and fair adding the MDC-T had failed to press for a new voters’ roll, an independent electoral commission, security sector reforms and fair access to the airwaves.
“There was puzzlement why the MDC had simply given up on what it had said were key issues three and a half years ago: the positions of (Central bank governor Gideon) Gono and (Attorney General Johannes) Tomana and President Robert Mugabe’s refusal to swear in Roy Bennett and MDC governors etc. Their main interest now seemed to be how much money they could make,” the statement added.
“We at the Vigil don’t doubt the confusion of the MDC. After all (Finance Minister) Tendai Biti has been touring the world expressing his admiration for Mugabe and saying how the economy is poised to power ahead.
“Yet now he tells a luxurious conference at the Victoria Falls that Zimbabwe has a per capita income of about $320 – scarcely half the amount considered to be the poverty line. He went on to point out that 37% of the population had no clean water, 45% no access to lavatories and less than 50% access to electricity.”
Zimbabwe Virgil’s damning assessment of the MDC-T electoral chances comes at a time recent survey by US-based group Freedom House also showed that the party had suffered a huge collapse in support over the last few years.
The survey showed that support for the MDC-T had has fallen from 38 percent in 2010 to 20 percent this year. By contrast, backing for Zanu PF grew to 31 percent from 17 percent, over the same period.
In addition, the survey found that Mugabe would command the support of 31 percent of voters in a presidential election, compared to 19 percent for MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
MDC-T officials have however, questioned the validity of the survey findings.
“A sample may give you one direction or another. One of the notable factors in that assessment is of course a very valid assessment that of 50 percent of the people in this country cannot say which party they belong to,” Tsvangirai said last week.
“What does that mean? It means that the fear factor is a very dominant factor in our politics. We can not run a credible assessment of people feelings when 50 percent of people can’t speak or can’t even say their names.”
Biti added: “I respect the right of any person to carry out an opinion but if anyone thinks that the 1,180 people that were polled are a true reflection of an election then let’s go to … the actual election and let’s see who will win.”