HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsHas Zanu PF gone bonkers?

Has Zanu PF gone bonkers?


ZANU PF is taking final steps from being a political party belonging to all its members to being an entity owned by one family, President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace.

Rashweat Mukundu

This is a sad development for the politics of the country as Zanu PF, one of the oldest and prominent political groups, grapples with its succession and seemingly failing to hit the right note and things falling apart.

A friend remarked in despair the other day that how can men and women, some with more than four decades in the party, and as many who dodged bullets and suffered hunger and depravation liberating   this country, sit under tents to be insulted by the First Lady, have their intellect and courage challenged and insulted by the wife of the leader, an unelected and ordinary card carrying member of the party and a nominee for one of the party positions?

The senior officials are told their political careers are wholly dependent on the Dear Leader, that they were made by him and without his support and benevolence they are nothing.

They are told as many careers will end at the December congress, if they don’t behave. Like school kids, they are being lectured on how to behave in the company of the leader.

Is it not true that as many who lead Zanu PF are self-made political leaders, many who left for the liberation war at young ages, and were duly elected into leadership because of their competencies or perceptions on such competencies?

Even if the leaders in Zanu PF have made as many mistakes, as many are corrupt, have caused violence and all sorts of mayhem, the question is can they be insulted and allow one family to run away with the party?

On what basis is the First Lady being given this wide berth to insult fellow party members, calling others names, making threats and being celebrated as a pop star in the State media and lauded as a peacemaker and loving mother when she is none of the above?

The ruling party has surely gone bonkers with as many officials, Cabinet ministers, and thousands leaving their desks and work stations to follow the First Lady on her so-called Thank You rallies.

Thank you, for what? Has she been elected, one can ask?
Instead of focusing on the ZimAsset programme which Zanu PF says will deliver us from this economic malaise, ministers and senior government officials are spending as much time trailing the First Lady.

And does Oppah Muchinguri not have a ministerial job that she is paid for every month? Is she on leave or simply abusing her position, literally abandoning the station for self-serving political rallies?

The developments in Zanu PF mean that as much energy is being expended on personal fights and positioning oneself instead of addressing critical national issues.

This madness in Zanu PF is akin to being driven by a speeding kombi driver with a bottle of illicit beer in between his legs. This madness is putting Zimbabwe at far greater risk of political upheaval and far away from the peace and prosperity that Zanu PF says it stands for.

We have not heard any words of peace from the First Lady, but threats, warnings of doom and insults to as many old men and women, who sheepishly sit and listen.

One would not ordinarily care about the madness in other political parties, mainly the MDCs as these parties have been pushed to the fringe and are more akin to the village idiot who causes irritation from time to time but never a serious threat.

Zanu PF, on the other hand, is a village mad man with an axe or a box of matches in their hands, as the party seats on power and makes decisions that affect all of us.

And where is President Robert Mugabe in all this? All of a sudden we hear of moves to change the constitution of Zanu PF, as per the views of the First Lady, that the party has too many centres of power and senior party officials must be appointed. Really?
One asks: Does Zanu PF not have a constitution, does Zanu PF not have procedures on leadership?

Are we being told now that the party is a family affair whose decisions are made by one family?

It is not ironic that the same State media was attacking Morgan Tsvangirai for wanting more power and control, attacking him as a dictator.

The same media now says it is okay for Mugabe to appoint senior party officials since that will stabilise the party.

Is it wrong to contest for power in the party? Does Zanu PF not contest for power against other parties at national level?

What happens to the party’s membership when the First Family is given imperial powers to decide who is in which position?

Zanu PF and all political parties are important for Zimbabwe and what happens in Zanu PF affects all of us and it becomes our business at this time to remind Zanu PF to take its anti-stress and depression pills and sober up.

The greatest threat to the values of the   liberation is exactly what is happening in Zanu PF now, the centralisation of power, attacks on internal democracy and demeaning of fellow party members.

What is wrong is contesting for power using corrupt means and violence.

Campaigning on the basis of policies is not wrong and putting oneself upfront, be it by Vice-President Joice Mujuru or Justice minister Emmerson Mngangwa, is not wrong, it is called democracy.

The First Lady has not brought a new approach in all these matters, but instead is taking our politics to the Stone Age.
Now we wait to see if the real Zanu PF members can stand up and we can only say come on, Zanu PF.

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