There is widespread despondency in the MDC-T party following the July 31 election loss that gave President Robert Mugabe another five years in office.
The Standard Editorial
The agony of yet another electoral defeat, coming as it did after the 2002 and 2008 elections, appears to be too much to bear for the party supporters and senior officials, who only a few days ago were in government.
As members of the opposition, former ministers will have to watch from the sidelines as members of the new cabinet assume office anytime this week.
Amid this seeming doom and gloom, the party should however not forget that the electorate bestowed on it an important task, to administer the affairs of the country’s major cities in dire need of a revamp.
The party won municipal elections in the capital city, Harare, and in the second largest city, Bulawayo. It also took control of Chitungwiza, Gweru, Mutare and Masvingo, and has a mandate to run the affairs until 2018.
Sadly, this crucial victory has over the past week been overshadowed by reports of serious squabbles over mayoral positions, pitting losing MDC-T bigwigs against councillors.
This unnecessary distraction will compromise MDC-T’s ability to govern the urban centres badly affected by lack of running water, uncollected garbage and bad roads, among other things.
At his inauguration on Thursday, Mugabe laboured to tell voters what his administration would do for them in the next five years to fulfill their expectations.
In the same manner, the MDC-T should be communicating how the new councils will govern cities in a way that would transform them into world-class establishments.
Instead of investing energies in dogfights over positions, the MDC-T should find an amicable way to select mayors and start championing a programme of action that should bring back the shine to our cities.
The MDC-T must also maintain a presence in the communities in preparation for future elections as five years is not a long time in politics. Failure to do that, the party will die a natural death like other opposition parties such as Zum, Forum and ZUD, among others.
Quote of the week Where we can, we can go it alone. Where we cannot do so, we seek partners on a 51/49% shareholding principle. Genuine partners should find this acceptable.” President Robert Mugabe speaking on the Indigenisation policy as part of his inauguration speech on Thursday.