Justice Benjamin Paradza the leader of the opposition party, Zimbabweans United For Democracy (ZUNDE), has warned the MDC to get its house in order as a matter of urgency to stand any chance of defeating Zanu-PF in the 2018 elections. Paradza warned the opposition party that if it does not change itself it will be defeated as Zanu-PF has been rejuvenated and is getting stronger after the fall of former President Robert Mugabe in November 2017. Paradza also said that instability in the MDC-T was weakening the opposition coalition, the MDC Alliance. The MDC-T appears to be having its own succession battles , after longtime President Morgan Tsvangirai, hinted at stepping down.
In a statement, Paradza says:
ZUNDE is deeply concerned that there seem to be some of our colleagues in the opposition who are only interested in power for themselves and not in serving the people. I take this opportunity to remind them that politics is a vocation, neither a profession nor a career. There is no place in politics for those whose hubris and ego drives them to fight for positions and power.
…The widely reported bickering in the MDC is both disappointing and retrogressive. It must be condemned with the contempt it deserves. The current discord can easily derail the coalition project if not managed carefully and in a timely manner. When you are faced with change, there are only two options available: either you manage it or it manages you. I call upon the antagonists in the MDC to give careful consideration to how they will manage the imminent change of guard as the post-Tsvangirai era looms.
One would imagine that, for a mature movement that has been around for nearly two decades, leadership change should be a natural, painless and smooth process for the MDC guided by their constitution and their values. If the party has not had a clear succession plan for the past 18 years, then it is likely to suffer the same fate as ZANU PF which once believed that Mugabe was indispensable and immortal. It was the absence of succession planning that brought about his disgraceful exit.
ZANU PF has just transformed, seemingly getting stronger in the process. It is folly for anyone to think that the opposition must stay the same. It has to realign to the new realities on the ground. I take this opportunity to urge all those proclaiming to be fighting for democracy to come together and march forward as one. There is need for Dr Noah Manyika, Dr Nkosana Moyo and Dr Joice Mujuru amongst others, to march in sync. It is time to demonstrate that we are leaders who have national interests at heart. 2018 is upon us — there is no time to waste!