EDITORIAL COMMENT: It’s sausage time for out-of-touch opposition

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EDITORIAL COMMENT: It’s sausage time for out-of-touch opposition

“How do you choose which donkeys are made into sausage?” a BBC journalist once asked in Serbia. The donkey farmer explained that male donkeys sometimes become interested in their daughters and then “it’s sausage time for them”.

A dramatisation of this interesting story on donkey meat would read as: “How do you choose which political parties are made into sausage?” a ZBC journalist once asked in Harare. The political analyst explained that political parties sometimes lose focus and then “it’s sausage time for them”.

In yesterday’s issue, we carried a story under the headline: “Zanu-PF more visible on the ground: NGOs.” In the story, by our Bulawayo Bureau, non-governmental organisations said “Zanu-PF is more visible on the ground, compared to opposition parties that are caught up in internal fights, instead of conducting voter education programmes ahead of the forthcoming elections”.

Addressing journalists at the Bulawayo Press Club on Monday on observations made during the ongoing Biometric Voter Registration (BVR), the NGOs said Zanu-PF was the only party visible on the ground urging people to register to vote.

Women Institute Leaders for Development director Ms Samukeliso Khumalo said: “The opposition political players seem to be concerned about their party problems, the alliance, the coalition which up to now they are yet to agree on candidates. For me, political parties, except for the ruling party, have disappointed us in this process.”

Ms Khumalo further said opposition party members seem not to know the purpose of voting or the people to vote for. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has been conducting a mop-up BVR programme which ends tomorrow, with over 5,2 million people having registered so far.

It is a fact that the opposition is at sixes and sevens. The MDC Alliance which was aimed at uniting opposition parties against Zanu-PF has only succeeded in doing the exact opposite. Bickering over which party gets what constituency has furthered the poles between opposition parties.

And as if that were not enough, internal fighting in all opposition parties are increasing prospects for imminent splits. Events in Mr Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T make sad reading for a party that has surpassed its sell-by date. Is it now sausage time for MDC-T?

The BVR exercise has come and gone and the country’s largest opposition party was too busy to notice. Co-vice presidents Thokozani Khupe, Elias Mudzuri and Nelson Chamisa’s brutal fight over control of the MDC-T have exhausted and disillusioned party structures. With general elections only a few months away, the writing is on the wall.

Only one party was “on the ground” during the BVR exercise. Only one party sorted out its internal mess in time for the BVR mop-up exercise. Only one party is ready for elections. Opposition parties must not take Zimbabweans for fools. When they inevitably lose the elections, no one will forget that they were never ready.

President Mnangagwa has already promised a free and fair election and excuses of an unlevel playing field or intimidation will not hold. It is an exhausted tactic for people of Zimbabwe who have seen better prospects in a rejuvenated Zanu-PF. Of course, some have already started crying foul, but those are just the last kicks of a dying donkey before sausage time.

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