The MDC-T needs to reassure dissenting voters

Zimbabwe opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporters show old worthless bank notes at an election rally in Chitungwiza, near the capital Harare, March 27, 2008. REUTERS/Howard Burditt (ZIMBABWE)

By Tawanda Nyamayaro

With elections coming up next year, there have been many resonating messages coming from Zimbabwe. The first being from ordinary Zimbabweans saying the are tired of the current and only government they have known, a Zanu Pf led government.

The second coming from political parties and political activists, who now realise that the youth are the key. We have seen Robert Mugabe and Zanu Pf going around the country meeting the youths via their “Youth Interface Rallies.”

The various opposition parties have been urging youths to register and vote, and a significant number of young people have decided to take the bull by horns and participate in active politics and run for office.

However during my occasional interactions with various colleagues and friends, a couple of things have come to light and the question: How many young people feel likes this? Comes to mind.

Of the various interactions I have had some young people feel that while Zanu PF and everything it stands for have become an evil that must be removed, they do not trust the opposition with their vote.

Various concerns have been raised among them what will happen if there is a repeat of 2008, will the opposition fight for their result or just let Zanu steal the elections again.

As such some youths then ask the question why bother voting if Zanu is going to win anyway. If this is the case one can only wonder how many young people feel like this and how this will affect the outcome of the 2018 elections.

Now while Zanu has been on the offensive with their youth interface rallies, we can al but wait for the response of the opposition parties and it seems this response is so near with the Tsvangirai led MDC announcing that they will hold a rally on the 5th of August unveiling the parties they will work with in the much anticipated opposition coalition.

However one can only wonder if the MDC is going to unveil their “chosen few” what happens to the rest who are not the  chosen ones and the voters that resonate with their message? Many have alluded to the fact that there is need for the opposition to field one candidate to go head to head with Mugabe, will this be the case in 2018 or will it be multiple candidates and a repeat of the 2008 scenario.

One thing that is certain is the opposition need to unite and produce one message that is not ‘Mugabe must Go’ in order to achieve the much needed change. So while it is good to mobilize the young to register and vote, there is need to make them understand what they are doing it for and what it means but most importantly for the likes of Tsvangirai he has to assure voters that there will not be a repeat of 2008 and also help and make people understand why he has chosen his so called coalition partners.

And if he has chosen to work with former Zanu Pf members like Mujuru, Mutasa and others, he needs to help make people understand this move.


  • Tawanda Nyamayaro is a Political commentator.