MDC president Nelson Chamisa’s alleged Machiavellian deals with party rivals have drawn mixed responses from political analysts.
Chamisa reportedly made secret deals with his likely challengers at the May Congress, secretary general Douglas Mwonzora and vice president Elias Mudzuri.
The deal entails that Chamisa retains his post unchallenged with both Mwonzora and Mudzuri retaining their posts.
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MacDonald Lewanikwa is of the view that such deals are not bad at all since politics is no longer a zero-sum game. He said:
Democracy is not just about to contest it is also about compromise and accommodation, and carrying everyone along.
This way the MDC preserves its best and brightest in leadership after all leadership is not about positions it is about the disposition of leadership and real leaders can lead from anywhere.
At least this way the MDC will have sound leadership at different levels.
A social analyst, Precious Shumba is not enthused by backroom pacts, which he considers compromise principles, values and beliefs. Said Shumba:
They always come after a protracted contest for supremacy, and when you see protagonists negotiating and sharing positions and promising each other certain things, it means that the democracy has been compromised to the extent that it becomes an elite pact to be on the feeding trough.
Power by all means necessary is a major worry in African politics, and the MDC Alliance should be the leading light in promoting democracy that promotes freedom of choice, right to contest for its membership, and guarantee freedom after speech.
If however, the negotiations took place at the instigation of their different sets of followers, it means that the MDC Alliance leadership of Mwonzora, Chamisa and Mudzuri timely responded to an expressed need for compromise to maintain the party’s unity.
There is apparent intolerance in the rank and file of the followers as shown in the different reports of violence against perceived enemies of their respective leaders.
In politics, there are vested interests to pursue and protect, and I am certain that Chamisa was the one who was under more pressure to be uncontested at their congress because if he was going to be contested by Mwonzora or Mudzuri, it would have meant that a significant portion of the MDC Alliance base has divided loyalty.
Shumba added that Mwonzora and Mudzuri may have saved their political careers by agreeing to the deals. He said:
My expectation was that since the MDC Alliance is always very critical of Zanu PF, they would invite such electoral bodies like the Zimbabwe Election Support Network and the Election Resource Centre and their close ally Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions to conduct their elections in a free and fair manner to demonstrate what they really desire for Zimbabwe so that we all appreciate what we are missing as citizens without them as the ruling party.
In another view, Mwonzora and Mudzuri are being saved from their political dustbin.
The negotiations may be seen as a way of saving their positions from being taken by other party officials who have been nominated to those positions.
Because if they do not manage to hold any position of leadership, they will be forgotten outside the movement and will find it difficult to mount a formidable comeback.