If it does, the party could mobilise sufficient support to raise the prospect of another government of national unity, said Mdzungairi. But if it fails to reinvent itself, the MDC-T’s influence may wane, and it could “end up becoming a pressure group,” said Ndlovu of the Zimbabwe-South Africa Forum.
“If you have nothing to offer the electorate, you are buried, you are history.”
For the moment, there is little the opposition can do to quell the sense of optimism created by Mnangagwa’s elevation.
Without doing too much, he has elicited a great deal of goodwill even though questions have been raised about the inclusion in his cabinet of ZANU-PF officials deemed to have under-performed in the previous administration.
“We expected him to do better in terms of his team,” said Nyoni. “But if you look at the extent to which the economy has been destroyed, anyone who comes in and behaves differently to Mugabe is likely to do better. That does not mean that we can’t have even better.”
*This report was produced by Alaco, a business intelligence firm, but has been updated by The Insider.