SW Radio Africa News Story -Crisis Group analyst tells MDC to reconcile or bust

January 13, 2006 at 5:02 pm Leave a comment

By Lance Guma
12 January 2006

An analyst with the International Crisis Group (ICG) has told feuding factions within the opposition MDC that they need to reconcile their differences or sink into oblivion.

Sidney Masamvu who covers the Southern African region for the ICG warned the MDC that the international community and other pro-democracy institutions were slowly drifting towards working with a reformed Zanu PF instead. Many people were uncomfortable with this option but the more the squabbles in the party persisted, the more this route becomes a viable alternative.

Speaking on ‘Behind the Headlines’ Masamvu said that Zanu PF itself was neatly tying up its succession plans alongside developments in the opposition. A weak MDC would mean a Presidency under the current VP Joyce Mujuru, while a strong opposition will tempt Zanu PF to field former Finance Minister Simba Makoni. Although constitutionally a Presidential Election is due in 2008 analysts believe that the constitution will be changed to allow for a combined Presidential and Parliamentary election in 2010.

Masamvu says its now likely that in 2008 Mujuru will be elected via a vote of both lower and upper houses in parliament. She will then have a head start of 2 years over any opposition opponent.

The ICG analyst dismissed attempts at creating the much talked about ‘Third Force’ saying Tsholotsho independent MP Jonathan Moyo was a tainted politician whose reputation had in fact undermined attempts at launching the party. The development of political leadership in Zimbabwe, according to Masamvu, is still very limited given that only Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai had the clout to address rallies in any part of the country. Both the MDC and Zanu PF rely on their Presidents as the public face of the party. He pointed out that this is why anyone outside those two will struggle for acceptance within a very sceptical electorate.

For the full interview with Sidney Masamvu, tune in to ‘Behind the Headlines’ with Lance Guma.

SW Radio Africa News Story – News story

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