When opposition politics takes leave

2018 is election year. Notwithstanding challenges that befall the process. Elections give an opportunity to choose or maintain leadership. This process is preceded by a season of campaigning. It seems it is going to be a busy season for Zanu PF. Will Zanu PF sustain the two campaigns at the same time?

Develop me Tapiwa Gomo

The campaigning season is a time to sell ideas and lure the electorate into your corner. It is a time to convince people that as an opposition party, you have better solutions to the problems the electorate is facing. It is time to build hope through blueprints and manifestos. In advanced democracies, campaigns are not about attacking or focusing on personalities, but explaining and expounding on policy positions and introducing new ideas that promise solutions to current problems. Despite that political campaign is an organised effort which seeks to influence voters by selling ideas, it also takes advantage of moments of weakness of those in government.

This seems to be in contrast with realities in the Zimbabwean and South African political landscapes. During last week’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) in South Africa, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) once again helped President Jacob Zuma get away with an otherwise flat speech by heckling him and chanting “Zupta must fall”. They gave Zuma’s show the dramatic punctuation that it needed to spice up the Sona. Zuma assumed a different image altogether. He became the victim of political heckling who needed security to rescue him from rogue politicians.

some-of-the-Zanu-PF-supporters-who-thronged-the-party-headquarters-denouncing-vice-president-Joice-Mujuru-and-Jabulani-Sibanda-001 Voters don’t need to be part of Zanu PF infighting, but have to look elsewhere for solutions

The EFF became the face of anarchy that vaporised content from Zuma’s speech. They denied South Africans the chance to focus and dissect Zuma’s speech. And for sure, it is their uncalculated moves that dominated news headlines than the content of the Sona. More people remember what EFF did than what Zuma said.

It is almost similar across the Limpopo where several dozens of opposition political parties seem to have gone on leave or taken a back seat as they watch the Zanu PF drama unfold. Zanu PF factional fights have dominated our headlines. These are internal party dynamics which have sadly and suddenly dominated our lives. Because our media has developed an insatiable appetite for the internal Zanu PF fights, we have lost grip of the bigger picture.The media have not only become mirrors of these political developments, but key actors. They are now part of Zanu PF succession drama to the extent that they have become an agenda item in their politburo. In the process they have lost credibility compromising their watchdog role on national issues.

National issues are now in the periphery of the media agenda. The media has become part of the drama.

But it is not only the media, but the opposition parties as well have not taken advantage of the current situation in Zanu PF to prop up themselves. They have become spectators of the soap opera as if they have lost interest in the national agenda. Perhaps this confirms the long held notion that some political parties do exist only to oppose Zanu PF and not to govern. Because if indeed, they were interested in governing this would be the ideal time to sway the electorate from Zanu PF infighting and convince them that there is a future beyond and outside Zanu PF.

It may be time to tell the voters that they don’t need to be part of Zanu PF infighting, but to look elsewhere for solutions. It is time to tell voters that perhaps Zanu PF has run its course and the country needs new ideas elsewhere to solutions. The media is following Zanu PF drama because of lack of alternative sources of better news. This would also be the opportune time for the opposition parties to give the media something different, something of national interest and to craft a national agenda different from what exists in Zanu PF.

Certainly if the opposition miss this opportunity, once Zanu PF has sorted its internal squabbles, it will turn the heat on the opposition as they often do. But if you have the electorate in your pocket, that would be insignificant.

There is no other better opportunity to work with the people without disruption from Zanu PF than now. There is no better time to sell development ideas especially this year of drought than now. Tell the people that Zanu PF cannot fight and feed the nation at the same time. Convince the people that they are not part of the succession drama.

3 Responses to When opposition politics takes leave

  1. WILLARD MUBVUMBI February 15, 2016 at 7:57 am #

    It wont make any difference. Its a waste of resources for the opposition to campaign becoz it wont change anything. In previous years the opposition campaigned a lot and after vote counting they cried foul. WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THAT THIS TIME AROUND THE OPPOSITION WONT CRY FOUL? You can campaign and campaign and campaign and campaign but the results will come out similar to the previous years. Even those who previously voted for the opposition will lose heart and this will create voter apathy. Vanhu vanopedzesera vadhiniwa.

  2. maita February 15, 2016 at 8:28 am #

    The problem is the media is so attached to the wars in ZanuPF and they think the opposition is sleeping, no my friend they are doing their own thing on the ground whilst you are following that woman. Mujuru is soon to launch her ZPF meaning she has been on the ground, soon she will be joined by ED, because from stories coming from Gay40 these guys had the same agenda to rest the old man, but the gay40 saw that they would be left exposed so they fight to death for a 92 year old man. Of late mt has been hitting the road with well attended rallies. So if you don’t follow them chosing to follow juice fiction stories in zanupf then you can be excused to think the opposition is dead.

  3. sek February 15, 2016 at 2:08 pm #

    Zanupf has and will always rule by diversion, they have mastered the art so much that the nation fails to distinguish whether they are being taken for a ride or not. while this maybe the long awaited implosion point of Zanupf I still think we should leave room of a rejuvenated Zanu. The nation currently have been swayed from the bread and butter issues of the nation with the 2 million jobs still missing and Dzamara still missing. Zambia yaramba ne chibage but people are worried about whether the lacoste trademark is being abused or the tweeter fingers should be cut.

    really Zims

© 2016 NewsDay Zimbabwe. All Rights Reserved.

DMMA logo