MDC plans for the future

The July 31 election result has weakened the MDC-T to a point where the party will be unable to influence Zimbabwe’s policy direction, according to analysts.

In announcing a shadow Cabinet, party leader Morgan Tsvangirai said in addition to his line up, he was appointing a five-member planning commission that would start work immediately to proffer policy options for Zimbabwe.

Headed by former Mt Pleasant lawmaker, Jameson Timba, the commission’s other members are: Elton Mangoma (formerly the Energy and Power Development Minister), Theresa Makone (Home Affairs), Tongai Matutu (Youth Empowerment and Indigenisation) and Douglas Mwonzora (party spokesperson).

Mangoma told The Zimbabwean that their main role was to come up with a plan for the future of Zimbabwe. Mangoma would not give more details but said the commission would complement the shadow cabinet.

“The shadow cabinet focuses on specific areas but planning is a long term thing,” he said.

He said the commission would be working with the Medium Term Plan which was authored during the lifespan of the Inclusive Government under the former Minister of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion, Tapiwa Mashakada.

Economist, Takunda Mugaga, told The Zimbabwean that he doubted the effectiveness of such a parallel structure. He said the opposition party was too weak to make an impact. “If it was the MDC of the past, then I would take this seriously,” he said.

With a comfortable Parliamentary majority, Zanu (PF) was likely to chart its own course and push through proposals without any impediments. However, economist Eric Bloch disagrees. He said that even though the party was weak in parliament these structures would enable it to coalesce around policy issues.

“It will unify their stance on policies,” he said.

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