Is Zimbabwe entering a post-opposition phase?

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Continuing problems within the main opposition MDC-T party and NCA, the newest political party may indicate the beginning of a new political cycle in Zimbabwe, that of complete Zanu PF dominance and a politically disinterested populace leading to voter apathy and back to the 1990s.

RASHWEAT MUKUNDU

This scenario is being thrust on society not so much by Zanu PF actions, but by those of the opposition parties which seem to have a problem identifying who their opponents are and who its allies are.

Despite the challenges of the past decade, the MDC-T has somewhat managed to push Zanu PF right to the edge, withstood severe blows that cost lives and property and in the end forced Zanu PF to change and go into a unity government.

For the first time since 1980 Zanu PF appears to realise the centrality of pushing a people’s agenda no matter how unrealistic, unplanned and failing that agenda might be.

Politically, Zanu PF appears to have gained and learned from the opposition that it faced over the past decade. Zanu PF has adapted and has come up with new tricks and messages to survive.

Instead of re-strategising and maintaining the pressure, the MDC-T bus is speeding towards the cliff, with as many cheering and oblivious to the real danger of a self-inflicted mortal wound.

I maintain my position that the nature of our politics is such that any opposition has to do far more to beat Zanu PF, for what the opposition faces is not only Zanu PF, but the whole State machinery.

The MDC had its head-in government during the Government of National Unity (GNU), and by admission of some of its members, the party did not utilise this window of opportunity as expected or as much as to be of concern to Zanu PF.

The MDC-T had the arriviste mentality and yet the journey should have begun not ended with the GNU. Now that MDC-T is so much focused on internal fights and not challenging Zanu PF and the NCA appears unravelling even before its structures are in place, Zimbabwe faces a real danger of complete dominance by Zanu PF and this, for a long time to come.

Without any threat to its hold on power Zanu PF will revert to its usual self and the democracy reform agenda will slip backwards. The hope is that whoever takes over Zanu PF after the current leadership will be human enough to see the necessity of developing Zimbabwe rather than maintain ing the current primitive looting and unbridled selfishness.

Zimbabwe faces a post-opposition politics that will see many not bothering to vote and the contestations over elections will become a thing of the past. Results will be known beforehand because the outcomes will be so obvious. Politics, so central to Zimbabwe’s national psyche for the past 13 years will slowly be eroded away.

I maintain that the MDC-T and other fledgling parties are to blame for this unfortunate political scenario; for they take their supporters for granted, more pathetically they take the mission for granted.

Opposition political parties must be organised to win power otherwise over time they lose their relevance and direction. Even in our difficult circumstances, it is not enough to be beaten, jailed, killed, tortured and face all sorts of harassment. These challenges, unwelcome as they are, are vicissitudes to be confronted in the course of winning power.

The suffering the MDC-T and other opposition parties has faced will be remembered only in history books if the mission is unfulfilled, and victimhood is never synonymous with winning political power, far more is needed in organising, boldness and strategy.

Now we hear from Lindiwe Zulu, South Africa President Jacob Zuma’s International adviser that the MDCs were not organised in the SADC-facilitated dialogue. Not only that, the MDCs were not organised in keeping their grassroots support base intact in the course of the GNU.

The MDC-T did not do enough to protect the political interests of its support base, hence many failed to vote. As I write, MDC-T is collapsing under the weight of internal fights. The party is failing to live by the ideal of its motto, the party of excellence.

Violence, threats, social media attacks and name-calling are flying all over and one can only pity those who hope that by some miracle they will find themselves in power, simply because they oppose Zanu PF. The MDC-T risks becoming truly, ‘MDC-Morgan Tsvangirai’ moreso with the kind of threats and calls by party leaders like Lovemore Moyo and Charlton Hwende that those asking MT to step aside must instead be the ones to leave or form their own party.

Morgan Tsvangirai will likely keep his band of loyalists, but these will continue singing “Morgan Tsvangirai ndizvo, achasunungira Zimbabwe” till the donkeys grow horns. The party is in short supply of magnanimous leaders who see beyond individuals and are driven by a sense of mission.

The same is happening in the NCA where some members have resigned over strategy issues. And of course one hopes that when the party was formed strategy was discussed and agreed upon, hence should not be a cause for divisions at this moment.

As things stand citizens of Zimbabwe are fast losing hope in the capacity of the opposition to be organised and focused enough to dislodge Zanu PF. One questions whether there is enough seriousness within the so called opposition groups to craft coherent policy propositions and strategies to counter Zanu PF.

And indeed strategies to deal with and disentangle the tight network that Zanu PF has created within the security sector, which is the real power behind Zanu PF’s hold on power. As things stand it is up to Zanu PF to make such grave mistakes, momentous errors indeed, to lose power. Outside of that no threat exists, but pretenders and clowns.

12 COMMENTS

  1. we fought gallantly 4 ova 33yrs 2 dislodge a zanupf dictatorship only 2 create tha most feared dictatorshp in MT. U wl hear those dull supporters saying Tsvangirai 2 stay 4 lyf ryt in ths platform

  2. You are talking of NCA when it didnot contest in any national elections we know off???the two opposition parties we know of are Mdct,Mdc Green and maybe Zapu.since even if it was 3% they still have 4 mps in parliament.My guess is this writer is a tribalist.period.

  3. They should not have allowed the MDC constitution to be changed to permit multiple terms by the president. That is where everything went bust. The individual became greater and bigger than both the Party and the mission.

  4. Its really up to us the people of Zimbabwe to change the politics of the country. Its you and me who should force the parties to change how they conduct their business. No political party will do it for us. We have to change the politcal parties in order for them to change how they operate. Evil prevails when good men do nothing.

  5. You are right on one score..the people of Zimbabwe are fed up with their polticians, the whole sorry bunch of them. In your effort to disagregate the players I am surprised to mention the NCA. The NCA is a one man and his dog tuckshop not a political party..ZAPU. MDCN,MDCT,ZANU and ZANU ndonga are political parties and sadly none of them is in tune with the feelings in the street. The only way for people to have interest in the political future of their country again is for the two main players to form a gentleman’s pact and exit tthe stage for their respective deputies as happened in Madagascar, then we can start DREAMING of moving forward.

  6. The real political movement of the future in Zimbabwe is yet to emerge. We now have a generation of Zimbabweans who demand openness,development,justice and equality and who are driven by nationalitic ambition and cognisant of the role of information and technology in development.

    We really do not need the type(s)/generation(s) of leadership of the calibre of the Mugabes,Tsvangirayis,Mujurus,etc. In fact we dont want politicians per se but managers. People who understand that state/company resources are not for personal advancement even to the extent of being ashamed of buying a dollar airtime for themselves using such money.

    All these politicians have had their time. The next real great leader for Zimbabwe is currently between 30 and 40 years old and when he emerges he/she will rule for 10 years and leave Zimbabwe on a path of such growth and development that we will be the envy of not only our regional neighbours but of the world. We will have Zulus jumping the Limpopo to come and work in Zimbabwe but they will clean our streets because we will only want graduates!!

      • @Nick- Why is this fantasy? Mozambicans use to come to be abused here by train loads now Zimbabweans are going ino Mozambique by the same train loads..why not South Africans in the future?

      • Maybe so but as the man says Mozambicans used to trek to Zim and now it is us…Zambians used to be the laughing stock in Zim for their currency now we don’t have even have our own currency…File this away somewhere in your memory….South Africans will trek to Zim for employment….and I will pray to my Living God u live to see it.

  7. I see a new-look united opposition movement more devolved and relying less on personality cults emerging and challenging for power more meaningfully.It is nolonger possible to go back to the era of political apathy.

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