MDC-T gives away Bulawayo


For the first time in 15 years, the opposition will lose control of Bulawayo, one of the few provinces that had remained steadfast in rejection of Zanu PF since the formation of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in 1999.


MDC-T on Friday reaffirmed its decision not to contest the 14 by-elections on June 10 across the country after the main opposition party recalled 21 legislators from the National Assembly last month.

Five of the constituencies are in Bulawayo and represent more than half of elected parliamentary seats in the province.

Two other MDC formations led by Welshman Ncube and Sekai Holland will not contest the by-elections, meaning that seats could go to Zanu PF on a silver platter.

The province has seven seats and Zanu PF would be the major party in the city after the polls if it wins.

Analysts said the stance by the MDC-T was a betrayal of the electorate and could backfire in future.

“For the first time in 15 years, Zanu PF will have seats in Bulawayo and psychologically, it will send a message to all and sundry, boycott or no boycott, that the ruling party can win seats in opposition strongholds.

“It’s a huge blunder by the MDC-T,” Dumisani Nkomo said.

Nkomo is chief executive officer of the faith-based Habakkuk Trust, an independent organisation.

He said the MDC-T had failed to see the bigger picture in its fight against the MPs aligned to the MDC- Renewal faction led by Holland.

“They have surrendered representation.

The people of Bulawayo want representation but the MDC-T with this move is literally saying, people do not deserve representation,” Nkomo said.

“They should have allowed those MPs to continue being in Parliament as they were part of the broader democratic space, but the party has given that space away.

“Parliament is a site of struggle, a front in which the struggle is fought.

“You cannot withdraw forces from the front and not have an alternative strategy,” he added.

“Amendments go through Parliament and the opposition voices are needed to block those that close the democratic space, but the MDC-T has given that away.”

Bulawayo Agenda director Mmeli Dube weighed in saying the MDC-T scored an own goal as Zanu PF would not let go of the seats once it wins them through an election.

“Zanu PF will create a perception to the international community that they can win seats in opposition heartlands,” Dube said.

“What will stop them from manipulating the 2018 polls to ensure that they keep the constituencies for good?

“This means that it will not be a surprise if Zanu PF wins all seven seats in 2018 in Bulawayo.

“The boycott fails to realise that the common enemy is Zanu PF, and as such it lacks strategic thinking as it is all influenced by bad blood, hatred.”

Mthwakazi Liberation Movement chairperson Mqondisi Moyo said the boycott was not strategic.

“The boycott is disturbing. The MDC-T has failed the people of Bulawayo after Zanu PF never won a seat since the party’s formation,” he said.

“The boycott does not benefit Bulawayo, or even the MDC-T, but Zanu PF only.”

MDC -T leader Morgan Tsvangirai defended the boycott on Friday saying participating in any election without electoral reforms would be fatal.

“Council was unanimous that, as MDC, we will uphold the congress resolution (to boycott elections),” he said.

“It will be fatal to take part in by-elections or any other form of election until reforms are done.”

Zanu PF has welcomed the by-elections. It has already won the

Welshman Ncube and Morgan Tsvangirai
Welshman Ncube and Morgan Tsvangirai

and Mt Darwin West polls held recently.


  1. Zanu is on its way to the grave. Whether there is opposition in Parliament or no opposition the people’s suffering remains the same and certainly about to come to an end if the opposition does not participate in these mock elections anymore. Fielding candidates by opposition has never benefitted the suffering zimbabweans except creating jobs for the few MPs. Zanu PF always has its way, opposition or no opposition.

  2. You cannot withdraw forces from the front and not have an alternative strategy kkkkk unless if only the aim is to surrender strategically to your friends.

  3. Politics died in Zimbabwe in 1980 and so all along we have been playing kids game with Mugabe going nowhere and planning nothing but destroying the economy by stealing and plundering. So let Bulawayo wait for politics to come she will be sorted out. Now Mugabe and his cronies are playing the lie hypocrisy game. unfortunately until he dies..

  4. I beg to differ with the lot that says MDC has surrendered seats to zanu.Instead i think the MDC guys have presented the Renewal team with an opportunity to legally take back the seats.Actually its good that mdc does not participate in any election until meaningful reforms to even things have been undertaken.Big things are about to happen the winners are the people of zimbabwe.

  5. i love how mdc t are so principled at present. yes, let zanu take all the seats and see if the economy will improve. never. i see them tying a ropes to hang themselves because of this elections. in fact dont blame mdc t, ask yourself what welshman did by spliting in 2005 over a simple thing like that. it was because of selfishness and pride. do you remember what happened in that election, no one went to vote meaning that morgan was listening to the people more that the leaders themselves. morgan still has a huge following and people he tries to hear what people are saying.

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