Zimbo limbo

We have never been in a much more confusing situation than we are in at the moment. A lot of political expectations and positioning have been displaced and confused by the recent change of administration.

By Tapiwa Gomo

Some people do not seem to know where to go, stand or what to do.

It is rare quagmire, which is pregnant with nothing but guesstimation.

The conundrum arises from the fact that some people’s political thinking was pegged on Robert Mugabe as the face of Zanu PF that needed to be wholesomely removed from power and replaced by Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC-T.

That Tsvangirai was not in good health did not matter because of Mugabe’s age.

Both camps were okay rallying behind their ailing horses.

As it now seems, nature had its own way of reshuffling the political cards — Mugabe is out of power, but Zanu PF remains and that has massively swung opinion.

It is clear that, for some, the dislike for Mugabe was not the same as the dislike for Zanu PF, judging by the number of emerging sympathisers.

On the other hand, the MDC-T, apart from losing its relevance, aura and political appeal, they are in a major leadership crisis, which needs to be sorted ahead of the elections.

Appointing a successor is much easier than selling that person as a candidate and time may not be on their side.

Faced with a renewed Zanu PF and a weaker MDC-T, there is undeniably a huge dilemma on whether to continue to invest in pursuing political change without a strong alternative political rallying face or to allow stability and foster development.

Each of these choices has its own problems.

The former — the futile pursuit for political change — in now exhausted and has been on the agenda for more than two decades and has been part of the destruction that took a toll on our economy.

While the hunger for change remains unwavering and relevant, some are getting tired of fighting Zanu PF and unsuccessfully supporting MDC-T in every election.

For that reason, there is growing withdrawal from politics and a sudden inclination towards allowing the country to move on and enable the economy to grow.

If your vote has failed to be your voice, then you might as well allow food on the table under whatever circumstances.

But moving on is not without its own apprehension and a fair share of justifiable disgruntlement.

There is no debate that the country needs to start rising from the rubbles of economic destruction caused by bad politics.

Doing so requires peace and political stability now.

But prioritising development at the expense of political change is a major cause of profound cringing.

It is like praising the devil for eliminating your parents’ murderers.

The current administration has a chance to prove itself, reaching out to people and apologising for their dark past, but the fear of precedence is their biggest barrier.

They are masters of violence and that tag is unshakeable, no matter the level of confession or repentance.

They did it in Matabeleland in the early 1980s.

They did it again between the 2000 constitutional referendum and 2002 presidential elections.

They also used violence in 2008 and were part of an electoral process that stole elections from the opposition.
They were at it again last year, leading to Mugabe’s ouster.

Their record on successfully deploying violence is both unquestionable, documented and unparalleled to the extent that prioritising development and allowing the country to move on under their administration is dwarfed by the fear of their violent side.

Nonetheless, there is an election this year and we still have, to make a choice, where there is none on who will take the country forward assuming the process is free and fair.

Traditionally, the race has always been between Zanu PF and MDC-T, but recent photos of Tsvangirai are not encouraging.

Change of leadership in MDC-T will also lead to changes in the political dynamics.

That is what it is in Zimbabwe because our politics has never been about policies but personality cults.

It is about Save, Gushungo, Ngwena and never about policies that address the challenges facing the country.

To address our deepening poverty, the economy has to grow and our people have to explore their potential in exploiting available opportunities and resources to improve their well-being.

Peace and stability have to prevail.

To address the political challenges that ensnare our democracy and progress, social movements have to be funded, but the international community is fatigued and are happy to see progress in Zimbabwe than finance political agendas.

And even if they want to fund, there is no one credible to support at the moment.

We will remain this way for far much longer and perhaps we must just learn to live with what we have.

5 Comments

  1. My guy, MT is tge hero and brand in our unique challenges. We have to recognise that stealing an election with violence and death is more of a setback than the Save change face fiasco. We are practically not ready to remove MT because his name carries forward the struggle…In a moment where Mugabe is gone…you think is the same moment MT must go? What is your suggestion in your article? What is it recommending? I saw nothing but to depress people. The struggle needs strongmen, dont worry about petty parties…they have no place

    1. Just like you saying, politics in Zimbabwe is about personality cults, not about policies. Presley did you even read the article or you just saw where it was said Tsvangirai is ill.

  2. Zanu pf people are talking about MDC’s slogan change today because Mugabe is gone from the political landscape,why talking about change now when they have been refusing to have it for decades of meaningless destruction?The Israelites lived in the wilderness for decades of suffering years,but god annointed Moses to lead them into Cannan because it was his project. Now its a must that zimbabwe change the governing party because investors do not come in where one governing party has been there for decades,they lack confidence as it is today in zimbabwe.We will not forge ahead as long as zanu pf governs.

  3. Is it not so that leadership in all politics is to an extent about personality, whether we are talking of a Mandela, a Clinton, a Blair, Putin or Xi Jinping? But these personalities rise or fall on the success or failure of the policies they implement. Mnangagwa has the good fortune that (as with Mugabe in 1980) he has ascended at a time the nation is weary, after going through a prolonged period of turmoil. But people may not be as long patient to see the changes they hunger for.

    The opposition should use this period like the old guerrilla tactic taught: “The enemy advances; we retreat.” The best they can do for the nation in 2018 is 1. Sort out their leadership and unity problems during this lull and 2. Push through for democratic reforms during an interval when Mnangagwa/Zanu PF are most sensitive to perceptions and therefor more inclined to respond. As with the missed GNU period, it will not always be this way….

  4. I am not privy to what the MDC-T constitution says (I’m not a member) but I would think Khupe is in line to takeover (being more senior/mature and seasoned than Chamisa) but she also has cancer….

    If time allowed, this would be a fitting moment for the MDC-T Executive to delve into this thorny issue, campaign as one and point out these uncomfortable truths during their rallies before the elections so their supporters will be prepared for the finite probabilities likely to unfold this year. It doesn’t follow that the oldest person will die first, neither does it follow that the sickly person will die first, death always remains unpredictable until each one of us dies (Learnmore Jongwe died at a very young age, MHDSRIP) but for political parties not to factor this in their plans is a gross disservice to their members.

    Isn’t it about time we had a party where these kind of issues are openly debated and put to members for discussion and adoption?

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