MDC Alliance’s biggest undoing

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By Saul Gwakuba Ndlovu

AT the time of writing this article, ZANU PF was leading head and shoulders in the harmonised elections.
It had won 143 House of Assembly seats compared to MDC Alliance’s 64.
ZANU PF has now over two thirds majority in the National House of Assembly and can form a Government.
Of the 144, rural constituencies were by and large won by ZANU PF while urban constituencies were shared by the two major political parties ZANU PF and MDC Alliance.
Considering the fact that this time we have not heard as many complaints about violence and blatant intimidation in the rural areas as was the case during former President Robert Mugabe era, we are bound to give different factors for the electoral support ZANU PF has in that region.
First, rural areas are usually conservative, showing much respect and loyalty to traditional leaders than to fly-by-night quasi-revolutionaries.
Rural communities want a political leadership that promotes security, not only in terms of food and water, but also concerning social services such as education.
While some parties called for change, they did not say what and how they would change the current socio-economic situation.
Meanwhile, ZANU PF has given rural communities land on which rural people depend for their livelihood.
They get not only food and water, but building material and energy from the land.
To them, ZANU PF is a provider, unlike the MDC, a party supported by white people whose former land ZANU PF has given to those communities.
That has created a very big question among the rural communities of Zimbabwe, and that question is: If the MDC were to win general elections, would it not take that land and give it back to the white people?
The MDC Alliance is doing better in urban centres because it is, first and foremost, a trade union-based political organisation.
Its immediate objectives are relevant to urban-based black communities whose livelihood is wholly dependent on commercial and industrial development.
Simply stated, urban communities depend on formal employment to meet their rates, rents and social services and the MDC was formed primarily to form a Government that would create an economic environment conducive to employment creation.
However, we have heard the MDC’s Nelson Chamisa say should his party get into office, it would build spaghetti roads, introduce bullet trains and construct cities on such places as the rocky Matopo Hills, a few kilometres south of Bulawayo.
No one in a right mental frame can take such talk seriously.
It was utterly out of touch with reality in terms of the country’s financial capabilities as well as the ordinary people’s needs.
The MDC Alliance’s rallies created an erroneous impression by large numbers which comprised people, some of whom were probably not registered voters.
That is a very, very big possibility.
Whatever the case, the results indicate a more or less common pattern throughout the world where a worker-based political party wins in urban and loses in rural areas.
The economic interests, social and cultural values of those two communities, urban and rural, are different.
In Zimbabwe, the majority of the voters live in rural areas and ZANU PF targeted and has won in those areas.
If there will be complaints by the MDC, and they are likely to be made, they will hardly be listenable as they will not be based on scientific analyses of the elections.
We are all obliged to accept the outcome of the elections.
What is now facing us is to put our heads together and work out and then put our backs to development programmes to uplift the country.
We just have to identify the factors that caused the country’s socio-economic failures, eliminate them and forge ahead minus them.
Some of those factors are either internal, extraneous, human, climatic, technological or were caused by ignorance.
We must certainly identify them and replace them with positive factors to rectify the country’s socio-economic environment.
It is necessary to carry the country’s political maturity that prevailed during the electoral process to the next stage, that of acceptance of the results.
A violent and rowdy rejection of the results as we witnessed in Harare by the MDC Alliance tarnished the good image created by the peaceful election process we experienced on July 30 2018.
It was MDC Alliance’s biggest undoing.
Saul Gwakuba Ndlovu is a retired, Bulawayo-based journalist. He can be contacted on cell 0734 328 136 or through email. sgwakuba@gmail.com

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