Students, one of MDC-T’s main strategic pillars in the democratisation movement, are disgruntled by their exclusion from activities of the party. Zimbabwe National Students’ Union (Zinasu) recently said it had suspended ties with MDC-T after its leaders had an altercation with its party’s organising secretary, Nelson Chamisa at the party’s 12th anniversary.
The students are also at loggerhead with Tsvangirai over the buying of luxury cars while they have no textbooks, accommodation and food at schools and universities. But University of Zimbabwe political scientist John Makumbe, who is an MDC-T activist eyeing a constituency in Buhera, said the party still enjoys massive support.
He said the split in Zinasu and the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) were machinations by Zanu PF to weaken the populous party.
“This is why there is a split in Zinasu and ZCTU,” said Makumbe. “There are those who want to cause confusion in the party.”
Another political analyst, Brian Raftopolous said despite organisational problems in the MDC-T, the party remains a force to reckon with. He said it would not be in the interest of MDC-T or the country to hold polls early as issues of security sector reform, media, electoral reform and political violence have not been addressed.
“The conditions are not yet ready for elections in Zimbabwe,” he said. “It’s better to wait a little longer. However, the party remains strong despite its organisational problems here and there.”
Mavhinga said delayed polls would give the MDC-T time to re-organise itself. “The MDC-T is favoured by a delayed election because it gives them time to reconnect with key allies and constituencies and the greater the delay, the higher the chances that President Mugabe would not be a factor in that next election,” said Mavhinga.