Endorsements and democratic processes or the lack thereof

“Cults while premised on personalities, eventually become established systems with entrenched beliefs. Removing the leader of the cult is thus not going to destroy the cult itself. To end a cult, one needs to dismantle the entire system that it is built on. It cannot be reformed.”

just saying with Thabani Mnyama

These words ring true especially in Zimbabwe’s situation where Zanu PF was a party centred on personalities which later became an established system, which to this day has proven almost impossible to reform.

Both Zanu PF and MDC are parties which identify themselves as democratic institutions. However, many past events have made this attestation questionable for both parties.

Firstly, Zanu PF has had many career politicians, whose lives, apart from politics, would not be as extravagant as they currently are.

These individuals include former President Robert Mugabe, who was a powerful Prime Minister for seven years and then President of the Republic of Zimbabwe for 31 years.

The late Morgan Tsvangirai was president of the MDC since its formation to the day he passed on in February this year.

This was normalised such that the former First Lady Grace Mugabe once said at a rally: “… President Mugabe is an unparalleled leader and because you have stuck to principle even in the face of sanctions, your people now believe you. We want you to remain our leader … we want you to lead this country from your grave, while you lie at the National Heroes’ Acre …”

However, irony knows no perfect timing as it did not take long before Mugabe was overthrown in one of the most unusual and rare coups.

On December 11, 2018 after a Zanu PF politburo meeting, it was announced that all provinces had endorsed President Emmerson Mnangagwa to be the party’s presidential candidate in 2023.

Kuwadzana MP Charlton Hwende (MDC Alliance) took to social media to comment: “The 2023 endorsements of @edmnangagwa is nothing, but just a dog’s breakfast. The same provinces endorsed Mugabe for 2018 elections and Grace to be VP. More interesting, they also endorsed the expulsion of ED from Zanu PF in 2018. The real candidate is [Vice-President Constantino] Chiwenga.”

This furthers the narrative that there are divisions within Zanu PF’s presidium, with Mnangagwa on one side and Chiwenga on the other.

Whether this is true or not is irrelevant at this point, what should be of concern is that this is still the politics of personalities where everything revolves around a certain individual.

Zanu PF has not yet delivered much for them to already be endorsing a candidate for 2023, which begs the question: is the endorsement an insightful merit-based one based on what he has achieved so far as President or it is based on the personality of the candidate?

Raising the Presidential age limit from 40 to 52 bad for Chamisa or Zimbabwe?

Zimbabwe’s population is largely made up of the youth and figures from the recently held elections show that the youth had the highest turnout during the voting period.

Zanu PF has been preaching that the time for the young is “now” whilst at the same time marginalising the youth from real issues of governance.

The war veterans, who have been notorious for making some ludicrous demands in the past, called for the amendment of the Constitution to raise the presidential age limit from the current 40 to 52.

It became clear that the mindset with the older Zanu PF comrades is to keep the young at the bottom, where they do not really participate in shaping the future they want for Zimbabwe.

This is in relation to his statements where he said they also believed that the ages for those contesting for council and MP positions should be 18 years and above while those seeking to contest for Senate must be 40 years and over.

The Zanu PF women’s league was also in support of the resolution which was handed over to Mnangagwa for consideration ahead of the ruling party’s conference this week.

The opposition MDC Alliance has also been guilty of personality politics as we noticed during the past election season that most focus and emphasis was put on the presidency of Nelson Chamisa than on other candidates within the MDC Alliance.
The intent by some Zanu PF members to raise the age limit shows how their politics revolves around individuals, and not competence, as should be the case.

It may also be a way of trying to stop Chamisa from contesting in the 2023 elections given how in 2018 he gave them a run for their money as he garnered a substantial number of votes, making the run for the presidency quite competitive.

What is shocking is how Zanu PF youths are divided on this, some clearly do not endorse this move and others are supporting it.

The thing to note however is how this would be furthering the tightness of the grip Zanu PF old guards have on the reins of power and how the youth will never be given a chance for as long as Zanu PF is in power.

One would have expected so much more to have changed under the new administration, but it seems we are mostly plagued with the same issues as we had under the Mugabe administration.

This proves true the opening quote, specifically, “…To end a cult one needs to dismantle the entire system that it is built on. It cannot be reformed.”

Now what?

Zimbabweans need to learn that there are solutions beyond President Mnangagwa, Nelson Chamisa, MDC and Zanu PF.

Failure to do so will result in us being stuck in the same manner of personality politics where we will support anything because it was said by the person we like or prefer, without critically analyzing the substance of what would have been said.

None but Zimbabwean citizens can free themselves from this quagmire…just saying!

The thing to note however is how this would be furthering the tightness of the grip Zanu PF old guards have on the reins of power and how the youth will never be given a chance for as long as Zanu PF is in power.

One would have expected so much more to have changed under the new administration, but it seems we are mostly plagued with the same issues as we had under the Mugabe administration.

This proves true the opening quote, specifically, “…To end a cult one needs to dismantle the entire system that it is built on. It cannot be reformed.”

Zimbabweans need to learn that there are solutions beyond President Mnangagwa, Nelson Chamisa, MDC and Zanu PF.

Failure to do so will result in us being stuck in the same manner of personality politics where we will support anything because it was said by the person we like or prefer, without critically analyzing the substance of what would have been said.

None but Zimbabwean citizens can free themselves from this quagmire…just saying!

2 Comments

  1. Spot on!
    Unless they

  2. I meant that unless the typical Zimbabweans realize their potential and the suffering induced by these self-serving politicians disguising as saviours, offsetting themselves from this yoke remains mere wishful thinking.

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