By Daniel Chigundu
THE year 2018 is around the corner, there is no doubt about that and preparations for the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) exercise are also an indicator that we are already in an election mood.
Those that know what they want in 2018 have already started hitting the ground running putting things in order or in place.
Zanu PF to be specific has already embraced the election mood and they have started organising meetings and rallies across the country, forget about who is funding what or where there funds are being taken; the fact is they have started.
But again as has been the case in the past four general elections (2002, 2005, 2008 and 2013), it’s not yet clear if the main opposition party in the country MDC-T will participated in 2018.
Morgan Tsvangirai and his party have kept the electorate guessing in each election, whether for the love of surprises or lack of wisdom nobody knows.
This lack of clarity has resulted in shambolic preparations and has even gone to the extent of causing problems during primary elections as the grieved parties have no time to seek redress or to have their issues heard.
For all these years that Tsvangirai has been in politics especially from 2000 up to now am sure he is aware that Zanu PF is consistent and does change and therefore the so-called reforms are not coming and he has to make up his mind.
His chameleon nature of constantly changing goal posts about his participation in elections is not helping anybody, and has never helped before.
Zanu PF youths in Manicaland Province have made it their mandate to deliver about one million youth votes to President Robert Mugabe in the 2018 elections and by whatever means they will come close or even surpass the pledge.
What about Happmore Chidziva the MDC-T youth assembly leader, he is in the dark and cannot promise Tsvangirai anything and like everyone, he is also wondering whether they will participate or not.
This time around the situation is actually more dangerous because if they don’t encourage their members to register then that its, President Robert Mugabe will be wheeled into an easy victory.
The other thing is that while Tsvangirai is still undecided and still wailing for electoral reforms, a new generation of new and different minded political parties has risen and some have already fished from Tsvangirai’s tin of supporters and officials.
These Christian-centric and youth-centric parties are already causing havoc in the high density suburbs and some have even mastered courage and went to the rural areas as well.
So for Tsvangirai to think electoral reforms and President Robert Mugabe are his only enemies in 2018; it would be the greatest misfortune in the country since the Rotina Mavhunga diesel issue in Chinhoyi.
What worries me the most is the fact that MDC-T has an ocean of wisdom, in terms of personnel, talk about your Nelson Chamisa, Jessie Majome, Douglas Mwonzora, Thokozani Khupe, Tapiwa Mashakada, Ian Makoni and many others that can give advice to the dear leader?
But then maybe what some other people have been saying to us is true, that Tsvangirai doesn’t listen, especially if the ideas are in contrast to his own.
People in the MDC-T should not fool themselves into thinking that the general disgruntlement in the country will automatically translate into MDC-T votes in 2018, let’s not easily forget 2013 when everything looked red in the country but it was later proven to be the other colour instead.
If anything, Tsvangirai should be more worried about 2018 than anyone else, because this is his “THI IS IT”, and if he produces the same results as the last four times, then he is finished both politically and financially, we hear he is broke and all his children are swimming in debts starting from the eldest to the youngest.
If Tsvangirai loses 2018 then he will be faced by that Elton Mangoma letter, and Tendai Biti’s call for leadership renewal in MDC-T.
So the onus is squarely upon him to prove both Mangoma and Biti wrong by winning 2018, because if he fails this time he will face another round of revolt and this time it’s not from the secretary general.
In his Africa Day message, Tsvangirai said Mugabe has reached the twilight of his rule and on the same token Tsvangirai is likely reaching the end of his relevance to the country’s politics, unless the guys and former colleagues in MDC-T decide to create another Mugabe in him.
MDC-T is also running out of time to come up with a salable election manifesto, and according to Tendai Biti the previous one didn’t sell better to match the one from Zanu PF.
So as President Mugabe kicks-off his campaigns, meeting the youths and the masses, making promises, whether they will be honoured or not, we are left wondering why Morgan Tsvangirai keeps repeating this mistake over and over again.
Why waste this precious time that could be used to gain ground in those hard to reach areas and plant your seeds there.
If Tsvangirai doesn’t change his ways (maitiro) then I repeat what Raymond Majongwe said, “Zanu PF will win 2018 general elections” and the majority of the electorate will lose faith in Tsvangirai, and then Mangoma and Biti will have been justified beyond doubt.
By Daniel Chigundu