Opinion: A call for opposition parties to be serious

I find Robert Mugabe to be the most powerful political party in Zimbabwe, given that he determines the political patterns developing in Zimbabwe.

BY GEORGE MAKONI

His control of both the ideological and repressive State apparatus has sustained his almost 35-year reign. He stumbled between years 2000 and 2008, but he has seemingly regained his grip following the end of the inclusive government on July 31 2013.

The July 31 harmonised elections saw Zanu PF gaining a two-thirds majority in Parliament, scooping the Presidency and the majority of councils. Since then much of his headache hasn’t been coming from his usual rival, Morgan Tsvangirai at all.

He has shifted his attention to his party, hence the uprooting of Joice Mujuru and her allies. Factionalism within Zanu PF has intensified and subsequently overshadowed the opposition in Zimbabwe.

The talk about Tsvangirai and other opposition leaders has reduced greatly. This view is based on media analysis on these issues, utterances by Zanu PF heavyweights and views by political analysts/scientists.

On the other hand, opposition parties are spending more time fighting among themselves and nothing much is being done to fight the dictatorial Zanu PF party.

A lot of talk on the opposition is based on their current fights, particularly MDC-T and its break away factions led by Senator Sekai Holland and Professor Welshman Ncube.

In Zanu PF the fights between the Mujuru and Mnangagwa factions has of late been hogging all the limelight. The way the fights in Zanu PF are being escalated creating more interest than anything else on the local political spectrum.

For instance Didymus Mutasa is arguing that he is still the only legitimate secretary of administration for Zanu PF, Mujuru is said to have imported witchdoctors from Nigeria, Temba Mliswa, the expelled Mashonaland West chairperson, is running as an independent against a Zanu PF candidate in the impending by-elections.

Mugabe is threatening to throw the likes of Didymus Mutasa in jail and there are threats to invade farms which belong to Mujuru and her allies.
There is a lot which is happening in Zanu PF which is of political interest.

It is also at this time that the majority of progressive democrats are urging the opposition parties to bury their selfish interests and unite so that they can defeat Mugabe in the 2018 harmonised elections.

The union of opposition parties into one formidable political party would certainly give Mugabe a torrid time in the next harmonised elections.
Civil society, a critical pillar in the fight for democratisation, is also at its weakest due to donor fatigue and fights as a result of accusations of corruption and nefarious activities.Mugabe is at his peak politically.

He is the current Sadc chairperson and holds the same post in the African Union (AU).

This is translating to a positive image for him, as a continental leader. His supposed rivals in the opposition are at each other’s throats.

One wonders how such seemingly irreconcilable differences will be put aside to ensure the people’s victory. At this rate, Mugabe will have a walkover on his political rivals.

This is exacerbated by the reality that he is in control of all the ideological and repressive state apparatus.

The most important institution in this vein is Zimbabwe Election Commission which is hugely a Zanu PF government conduit to rig elections.

The opposition would have easily defeated the Mugabe regime, given how the economy has collapsed under his rule.

The unemployment rate is skyrocketing whilst industries are closing, imbalance of trade against Zimbabwe is widening corruption, politicisation of distribution of resources, poor working conditions and standards for civil servants etc.

This is a window of opportunity, provided the opposition unites to fight the Mugabe regime. Mugabe’s recent birthday bash exposed how extravagant and inconsiderate he is to the citizenry of Zimbabwe.

The over $1 million extravaganza was held against a background of starving citizens in most parts of the country. With inadequate rains currently being received, there is most likely to be a drought this year.

An organised opposition would take advantage of such political blunders. As a parting shot, it is necessary for all genuine democrats to put heads together and put the people of Zimbabwe before everything else.
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Fights in the opposition parties and civil society organisations will only work to the advantage of the Mugabe regime which has overstayed its welcome!

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