It’s domination, domination, domination


The outcome of Zanu PF’s so-called elective congress was as predictable as a one-horse race, not because those who “won” were particularly better than the “losers”, but because the outcome was predetermined through disqualification on the most partisan and cheapest of grounds.


Elections were done, undone and redone to ensure a “favourable” outcome — like a rugby game which does not end until the home team wins.

So, pro-Zanu PF weekly The Patriot’s editor-in-chief Professor Charles Pfukwa praising President Robert Mugabe for further tightening his already firm grip on Zanu PF by, as Pfukwa put in Shona, “kutema nedemo,” (“expunging”, as he put in English) any dissenters cannot be in the service and enhancement of democracy. The terminology itself is anti-democracy. There is nothing to celebrate about Mugabe getting rid of his opponents by hook and by crook.

What we have been having since independence in 1980 is Communist-style so-called democratic centralism which has nothing to with democracy, but has everything to do with concentration of power in the fewest of few people — the top leadership. Democratic centralism is the Leninist principle that policy should be decided centrally by officials, who are nominally — that is, in name only, not in the real, true sense — democratically elected. It is decision-making practice and disciplinary policy adopted by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) and subsequently followed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and by communist parties in other countries.

In such set-ups, a party congress — like we had last week in Zimbabwe — serves as little more than a rubber-stamp for legitimising party policies and directives conceived by the few at the very top to the detriment of democracy.

To remind Pfukwa, all communist countries were or are either de jure or de facto one-party states. In most cases, voters were or are presented with a single list, which usually won or wins 90% or more of the vote. In some countries, those who vote against the sole candidate on the ballot face serious reprisals. This is blatantly and nakedly what happened in the run-up to and during Zanu PF’s so-called “elective” congress where there were no elections as such. The congress did little more than approve decisions already made at the highest level of Zanu PF — the politburo.

Mugabe’s own wife has come into the equation.

Is it going to be two-person rule with the First Lady having access to the President 24/7? A duumvirate — a coalition of two people holding real power — could be in the making.

The First Couple appears to be the new top two in Zanu PF. That is why all those opposed to Grace Mugabe’s elevation have been thrown out.

All indications are that she is on the verge of becoming the second most powerful politician in Zimbabwe not only because of her proximity to the seat of power, but on account of her own political ambitions. She could be the de facto Prime Minister if not also de facto co-President alongside her husband because there is no doubt that she has his ear.

All those wanting to deal with Mugabe will have to come through her. This gives her immense power far beyond her official roles as First Lady and Zanu PF Women’s League boss.

But it didn’t take long for newly-appointed Industry minister Nkosana Moyo to realise he had thrown himself into wrong company. He secretly left Zimbabwe soon after his appointment in 2001 and surfaced in South Africa, from where he announced his resignation.

He became the first minister in independent Zimbabwe to do so, saying he was frustrated by lawlessness and attacks on farms and businesses by Zanu PF activists.

A somewhat angry Mugabe retorted: “I do not want ministers who are in the habit of running away. I want those I call amadoda sibili (real men), people with spine.”

Replied Moyo succinctly some 11 years later back in Zimbabwe: “If you look at me, do I look like a dissident? If I disagree, I got to be put in a bucket where I am said to be disloyal to the State. So, it goes back to the notion of what is a nation State.” Indeed.

Moyo is not a quitter, but a stayer in the sense that he has remained true to the facts and the truth about the state of the nation. That those in charge are in the habit of turning a solution into a problem.

Contrast this with comments from university lecturer Qhubani Moyo after Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s dismissal this week: “Mugabe’s actions were commendable because a President needs lieutenants that he can trust and work with for the country’s benefit.”

This sounds more like apologism — a lame defence or excuse made in justification of anyone; than analysis — an examination of data and facts to uncover and understand cause-effect relationships, thus providing the basis for problem-solving and decision-making.

One of the reasons why Qhubani Moyo’s sojourn into politics ended in dismal failure on July 31 2013 is that voters could not exactly place where he and his party stood. There was no clarity of message vis-a-vis the ruling class that could resonate with voters fed up with the status quo.

Has he considered the distinct possibility that Mugabe himself has become the problem, not the solution? In political parties, fissiparous tendencies — divisions into distinct and separate groups — always rise, more so after 34 years of virtual one-person rule. We should be looking at the politics surrounding these allegations. Some people have kept on pushing back expiration dates to their political careers through various tricks and subterfuges.

Combine this with the fact that some young, inexperienced and excitable journalists who think they know it all when they are functionally illiterate and historically ignorant that they write necessarily narrow and shallow stories fed to them by manipulative politicians, then it’s misrepresentation galore. (This is not to say all young journalists are like that as there are also some brilliant ones and there are also excitable senior editors.)

Last week marked a year after former South African President Nelson Mandela’s death. Wrote Richard Stengel, an American editor, journalist and author who collaborated with Mandela on Madiba’s autobiography Long Walk to Freedom: “He (Mandela) became the rarest thing in African history: A one-term President who chose not to run for office . . . he understood that every step he made would be a template for others. He could have been President for life, but he knew that for democracy to rule, he could not

. . . Two democratic elections have followed his presidency, and if men who have succeeded him have not been his equal, well, that too is democracy.”
In Zimbabwe, most sadly, it has not been about democracy, but domination.


  1. Conway you may be on point in your other articles, however you seem to be wrong on this one. Firstly a congress is made up of the various provincial components who elect membership to desired structures through either one man one vote or as a group. In the case of ZANU PF 2014 congress that was the case. Unfortunately journalists may want to prescribe how ZANU PF party carries out its business and froth on what they perceive to be violations of the party’s constitution. It will remain a cardinally sin for ZANU PF to behave and please the whims and caprices of people who oppose it. Heads up to that efficient ZANU PF machinery.

    Secondly Tata Mandela’s example does not make sense here. The Guru of South African politics came out of prison without much energy. You know that the man had been committed to long term prison with hard labour. So it is unfortunate that when people look at good democratic practice they refer to Mandela’s departure from politics. The big man was wasted when he left the prison and that is the fact.

    Finally when examples of a kind are peddled from a situation it is important make similar inferences all the way. Take for instance departure of Mai Mujuru, I find it strange that you or any journalist is not plucking examples from similar expulsion such as that of President Jacob Zuma from being deputy President of South Africa before he bounced back. Be on point and we will continue to read you stuff.

    • i dont know whether to laugh at you or to sympathise. Conway wrote an analysis – you reply by an opinion – a shallow one at that matter. u have no facts. what legal similarities exist between zuma and mujuru cases? humwe hudofo haudi kuratidza paruzhinji. ur kids will be ashamed of u.

    • Joseph, you are joking right? It is laughable that you want to compare Mujuru’s sacking with Zuma’s. Shabair Shaik was convicted for bribing Zuma by a competent court of law. Mujuru was sacked because Grace wanted it.

      Mandela was of extremely sound mind when he left jail. In fact, if he had wanted to take care if his popularity, he would have ruled SA til death, senile or not. I hope you are not suggesting Mugabe is of sound mind.

      No, Joseph, provinces did not put forward names they wanted but were forced to list only those perceived to be Mnangagwa supporters. That is why Mash East was forced to revise it’s list.

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  2. mr kaundura thats a simplistic, how were the delegates chosen, how abt shamu, mavhaire, bhasikiti and nguni who were voted by popular vote but were still removed by a cabal few seeking a determined outcome ? How abt mai mujuru who was threatened not to submit her papers let alone attend the rally by the youths like chipanga only for mugabe to hypocritically lie that noone had prevented her ? My friend your shallow look at things is utterly deplorable, the reality is that mugabe’s pre determined wishes always carry the day and if your definition of democracy is centred on the wishes of one man then may the Good Lord help us, Conway is spot on in his analysis

  3. huyai mundionerewo mugwere aripano. you perfectly fit the technically illiterate legion mentioned by Conway. Mugabe was wasted long back, and is past overdue for retirement. I don’t have the energy to argue with morrons like you unfortunately, save to shake my head and move on to read more sensible commentaries.
    @Conway, you never cease to write well researched and mature articles, keep it up mdara

  4. Mr Kaundura is another sorry example of a zpf brainwashed zealot. Anyone who doesnt realise what truly transpired at the recent zpf congress must have a brain the size of a peanut. To further try & belittle Mandela’s great legacy in the face of Mugabe’s is ridiculously futile

  5. After two weeks with foot off the gas the man has gone back to his niche. When he writes like this there is no one comes close from Zambezi to Limpopo. Ukaona munhu achishora analysis yakadai wongoziwawo kuti ane maproblems. Q Moyo is a confusing and confused individual. Well-written sir. Please stay in these safe waters. This is your area of specialty not religion

  6. Domination indeed, you reminded me of Nkosana,he is the only minister who didn’t approve of Zanu and its ways,unlike these ministers who wait to be fired and cry foul.All theyare crying for is the loss of a pay cheque, not serving the ordinary citizen.This Lecturer Qhubani is very calculative,he knows the kind of comments that can get him a ministerial position,which judging from his comments is interested in.He did catch the attention of the Chief,just like who thought a EX-radio presenter would be minister?Not that he can’t do the job but is he qualified for it or its a case of praising the Chief and make money?It makes me feel being a Mugabesia minister doesn’t require intellect,you can’t survive if you question policy,you just need half brains and be a stooge,soon it will be Chinos turn.If were are all going to be greedy and ruthless like Zanu,no-one will wish to change the course of events.

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  8. Another simplistic piece from an old man berift of any new and freshideas. You are Newsday’s equivalent of Daily News’s Gift Phiri. Both of you clearly get your pieces from Dead MDC-T’s Information Department’s equally pathetic Obert Gutu. You know nothing about Zanu (PF)’s workings at all. Stick to your Tsvangson please.

    • Every Zimbabwean knows about the workings of Zanu P.F., Sikhosana for the simple reason that it is the ruling party and government is sustained by our taxes. Where does Tsvangirai come in since he did is not responsible for ministerial appointments?

      We all know that Zanu p.f. is now being run by the former copy typist and husband snatcher, Grace and all in Zanu p.f. have been lining up to pay homage to her in the hope that they can be given positions on the feeding trough.

      And of course you have to be reminded we are all familiar with the workings of Zanu p.f. because we have been pauperised by its disastrous policies which saw Zimbabwe being transformed from a prosperity to indescribable penury.

  9. I find your comment silly and poor too. If you are an intelligent person why would you talk about my kids and why would you argue on the basis of my post. Dofo ndiwe

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  11. Kaundura is now lashing out like a rabid dog, at least you read the analysis and your passive acknowledgement of its well researched arguments will not go unappreciated. take it easy these guys don’t know you its you input that they are challenging. unoundurwa ukasara wava musvuu shamwari.

  12. Sikhosana you must wake up do you know that you could be a tenant in a mass grave somewhere in the Matebelaland countryside and do you know who the drivers of that project were.? Mugabe and his Zpf.

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