THE fracas surrounding the MDC-T’s candidate selection ahead of this year’s harmonised elections need to be handled properly so that it allows the party to inject new blood into its system while ensuring that bankable experience is not thrown out the window.
Given that hundreds of party members from all the provinces have expressed willingness to represent the party in the forthcoming harmonised elections, it is important to strike a fine balancing act and ensure that whatever decisions are made and candidates selected would not compromise the party’s stability.
The battle for Harare West pitting sitting MP Jessie Majome and aspiring candidate, Joanna Mamombe is a case in point. Given the traction that Majome has in Harare West, it may be unwise to seek to replace her with another candidate.
It is important to avoid unnecessary conflict within the party and perhaps confine primary elections to those constituencies where the MDC-T is not in charge.
It is a strategic move not to temper with the situation. In fact, the MDC-T could consider using the women’s quota, which is filled by proportional representation, as a means of introducing new candidates, who still need time and experience to build their profile until they can command enough capital to stand in elections in their own right.
Sitting MPs, especially those whose popularity ratings are high in their constituencies, should be allowed to continue rather than scatter all the work they had done in the past.
The forthcoming elections will likely be tightly fought and there is no need for the MDC-T to create, on their own, opportunities that Zanu-PF would exploit to their disadvantages.
There is no need to risk the careers of veteran MPs, even though at face value that may be democratic. Sometimes democracy needs to be managed for the ultimate good of the party.
The MDC-T needs as much capital as it can use to ensure that it doesn’t spoil its opportunities.