“Zanu-PF and MDC risk losing relevance”


Farai Mabeza

ZIMBABWE’s two main political outfits – Zanu-PF and the MDC-Alliance – risk losing relevance if they don’t heed calls to come together and resolve Zimbabwe’s economic and political crisis, the Zimbabwe Council of Churches has said.

ZCC general secretary, Reverend Kenneth Mtata, told the media that any resolution of the Zimbabwean crisis would require some form of dialogue and engagement adding that the two parties should read the national mood correctly and work together.

“They (Zanu-PF and MDC) have an opportunity to work together for a common good or they will become irrelevant. The conversation in the nation is moving on. Soon after the elections, there was so much antagonism.

“People were very angry with each other. But if you listen now people are starting to get angry with their own political parties.

“Listen right now to the conversation in Zanu-PF. The same in the MDC. There are disgruntled voices in MDC. People are saying we can’t continue going to rallies saying rino gore Zanu inoenda chete (Zanu will definitely go this year) or in Zanu saying zvekuiti zve opposition zvichafa (the opposition will die a natural death).”

He said the rhetoric from the parties was now redundant.

“Many people are saying this narrative is no longer working. So I hope there are intelligent people in both parties who can say we can’t continue like this,” Rev Mtata said.

He, however, acknowledged that there were people in the two parties who were working to scuttle any talks for selfish reasons.

“There are people who benefit from the crisis we have in Zimbabwe and these people are going to be a challenge. These people are found in both Zanu-PF and MDC. For some the current crisis is a huge opportunity for enrichment.

“There are some people in MDC who feel entitled and think they have the right to run Zimbabwe. They don’t see any future which includes Zanu-PF. But we can’t wish Zanu-PF away. The future will have Zanu-PF  and the future will have MDC. One way or the other,” he said.

Zimbabwe has been locked in a vicious power struggle between the two political formations since 2000 with a brief respite coming in 2009 when South Africa’s Thabo Mbeki brokered a power sharing agreement between them.

The deal ended with the elections of 2013 whose result was disputed leading to worsened rivalries.

The situation has deteriorated further since the last elections in 2018 which has seen the two leaders – Zanu-PF President Mnangagawa and Nelson Chamisa of the MDC-A in a virtual standoff despite calls from different sectors and from the region for dialogue between them.

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