Despite vehement public denials by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party in the wake of the Freedom House survey which claimed the party had been upstaged by Zanu PF in terms of support, the MDC-T has privately admitted the survey was true and attributed this to its blunders while in government.
From our top partner Radio VOP
The party held its national executive council meeting on Friday which was chaired by Tsvangirai. A senior party official and member of the MDC-T national executive told Radio VOP on Saturday that the party spent time introspecting about its blunders while in the inclusive government.
“Members were frank with each other that we have made a lot of blunders during our time in government,” said the source. “It made sense to think that the public had lost confidence with the MDC since most issues that affect the general public fall under our ministries.”
The MDC-T member further said corruption that has been witnessed among its councillors has also dented the image of the party.
Another senior MDC official said party leader Tsvangirai was not amused by the party’s information chiefs who ran into denying the genuineness of the report instead of spinning the contents of the outcome to the party’s advantage.
“Tsvangirai took Mwonzora to task for opposing the contents of the report when in the past the party has never had problems with reports by the same institution which came in the party’s favour. Tsvangirai feels Mwonzora ran into shooting the messenger who was delivering bad news to the party,” said the source in reference to the survey.
According to the survey made by the highly respected institution, the MDC-T’s support base dwindled from 38% to 20% in the last 18 months, while support for ZANU-PF went up from 17% to 31% in the same period,” said the source.
Party deputy spokesperson Joel Gabuza admitted the party discussed the matter but insisted they were still questioning some of the issues in the document.
“What we were saying basically is that we were not involved in the survey and we do not know the methods used and the sample size," said Gabuza. "Given this scenario, we told ourselves that we would not want to kill the messenger who comes with bad news.
“Yes, we don’t want to give 100 percent to the survey but we resolved to analyse findings and where possible improve.”
He said during the deliberations, the party found itself at crossroads on whether to accept the survey outcome in its totality as it was apparent that claims that the generality of Zimbabweans displayed confidence in the country’s abusive security organs.