Alex Tawanda Magaisa has said opposition MDC Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa needs to reform from within if it has to win elections in Zimbabwe.
He cautioned against expecting that the ruling ZANU PF will reform and create a level playfield for elections to be free and fair.
Magaisa who is the former Chief of Staff in the office of the late former Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, said usually, the focus is on what ZANU PF should do which robs the party of the opportunity to self introspect. He said:
A few years ago, I explained the meaning of the notion of “discovery of ignorance”, also in the context of electoral politics. It is a concept I borrowed from Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. The argument is as follows: human progress is based on the admission of ignorance, because when you admit that you do not know, you invest in research to discover what you do not know, and armed with that knowledge, things are more likely to improve. If, however, you begin from the position that you know everything, you are unlikely to discover the things that you do not know and you are, therefore, less likely to improve.
After every election, the outcries over rigging are so loud that all too often, the weaknesses that may have impacted the campaign are ignored. The result is that the opposition parties go for another 5 years, demanding reforms from ZANU PF, but never attending to the weaknesses that may have affected their performance. The dominant narrative is that there was rigging. The dominant narrative obscures other narratives of the election. The problem is that any strategic errors that affected the electoral performance will be repeated in the next election.
He added that if the opposition was to go through a process of discovering ignorance, it would invest resources in researching and reviewing the previous election and identifying the things that went wrong and things that went right.
Magaisa also warned that although MDC Alliance was enjoying support as the main opposition in the country, the party must know that support was not permanent.
He also indicated that MDC Alliance needs to reform its structures to ensure that they are in good working order across the country, especially in some rural areas where there have been weaknesses.