By Wisdom Mumera
MDC-T which is the biggest opposition party in Zimbabwe by support base has been castigated for harbouring a false sense of entitlement to urban voters at the expense of carrying out effective and convincing voter campaigns during elections.
Members of the public are however of the opinion that this false sense of entitlement can be dangerous for the opposition in 2018 elections as it is falsely assuring itself of owning the urban votes.
This is, however, unlike Zanu PF which is reportedly hard at work campaigning in various areas around the country.
Commenting on Twitter, former Herald Parliamentary reporter and columnist Lloyd Gumbo said this will be the pitfall for the opposition.
“With elections next year, the biggest challenge facing the opposition is a false sense of ownership of the urban vote. They think it’s God-given. Their MPs & councillors have failed to truly represent the change they claim except a few such as my MP @JessieFMajome. @ZimMediaReview,” he said.
Others concurred and said even the opposition’s track record in power, as part of the government of national unity (GNU), did not augur well for them as they had failed to deliver and should not be so assured of winning urban votes.
“Well said. It’s not guaranteed this time around that urban votes are for the opposition. The new political dispensation is a huge blow to the MDC.
“There was nothing exceptional about MDC in GNU, they became embroiled in self-enrichment and lost relevance. The verdict was delivered by a barely coerced electorate in the previous election,” said one Magwadhla.
However, Jessie Majome refuted the allegations and said such a narrative is a propagandist manufacture of Zanu PF.
The opposition has of late been floundering in the aftermath of the Zanu PF cleansing exercise that deposed long-reigning strongman Robert Mugabe leading to suspicions of a possible transitional government coming into play.
However, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s snubbing of such a move preferring to wait for the impending 2018 elections appears to have left the opposition, previously beguiled by Zanu PF’s factional politics, at sea and fumbling for direction.
The created coalition, MDC Alliance, has of late been enmeshed in squabbles with discordant messages about seat allocation, betrayals and a general apathy in direction.
This forebodes a disastrous performance by the opposition as Mnangagwa’s deposition of Mugabe has heightened public expectation and trust in him.
Over the years, the MDC-T has lost key seats in previous urban stronghold as the mainly poorer citizens in towns and cities are frustrated with opposition politics.
An Afro barometer survey suggests that 30% of urbanites do not trust the opposition at all, compared to 15% in 2005 and 11% in 2011. Meanwhile, support among the middle-class has also dropped as many have left the country in response to the declining economic conditions.