BY DR MASIMBA MAVAZA|We now know the price of infighting in ZANU PF is the depleted national economy and a battered nation. That’s the cost of restarting the government after the years of party infighting. We cannot lie that the public and twitter spat are just a stunt. They are surely destructive and totally inhuman.
Business leaders had plenty of lessons for politicians. But there is also a lesson in the shutdown for business: Infighting is expensive, time consuming and helps no one. Individuals will spend time trying to consolidate their positions and completely ignore their duty to the nation and government.
ZANU PF is a ruling party and the ruling gurus have abandoned their ruling mandate to engage in a fight for their factions and factional positions. No amount of denying will eradicate the ugly face of factionalism.
Last week I lost a dear comrade to factionalism. He was shot in the head and found three days later dead decomposing in his farm. Cde Nathaniel Garikai Mhiripiri. Mhizha. Mudhara Dhumukwa. He lost his life to factionalism having survived bazookas in the war only to be shot by a pistol.
ZANU PF IS SPENDING more time fighting with each other than thinking about how we are going to handle the opposition in the next few months. The whole time and through out the day we filtered decisions by our internal rivals through a political lens. Did the actions they are embarking on help or hurt us? Is the party now in a self destruction mode? Are we sending our enemies a signal by choosing to spend time in a particular place or to build a certain negative relationship? Should we retaliate by slowing the process of campaign down or building our own competing system?
We are keeping secrets about each other and so did our colleagues and every day was a battle for inches—only in this case, the inches we were taking were from each other rather than from our competitors. It is now tiring and, in the end, worthless. Great ideas never saw the light of day, others that did launch didn’t get the support they needed. And while we fought with each other, other parties came up with new ways to engage with the electorate stealing our future little by little. ZANU PF can no longer rely on the previous history we should face the reality and smell the coffee.
Of course, no political space is immune to infighting. The best parties hire the best people — and with those big brains they also inherit big egos, senses of entitlement, bad lessons from previous elections etc. And some parties instead of fighting the infighting — decide they’re going to champion it, figuring ways of winning and ways of improving our economy.
ZANU PF in its heyday, senior leaders would develop their own ideas and ignore rumours. They were not proud of their warring tribes culture. And, for a long time it worked. And then it all changed. The party is at war with each other.
In recent years, national leaders had almost total control of their operations, which meant they could compete or simply refuse to cooperate with other leaders. That culture worked well to destroy unity and create factions.
Now internal fiefdoms left divisions badly out of step. The other provinces and party organs wouldn’t make chips other organs wanted to use. The party becomes a one man band and people are busy fighting for their lives and not for the lives of the masses.
While they were fighting, a host of new political parties came to steal our electorate. We have leaders insulting each other in public. Leaders attacking policies in public and sabotaging party plans. The victim is the party.
Senior leaders fight each other to get their people promoted. Infighting and politicking is the only way to get ahead, Only a limited number of promotions are handed out every year, so if you get bumped up, someone else’s favorite subordinate might have to stand still. Anyone in the room can sink a promotion. Is this the party which we stand for. The party is now infested with new comers who are there to oil their dirty pockets.
When comrades are on the way up, friendly fire isn’t a particularly bad problem. If everything is growing, every division can still claim victory. So you lose a few battles, your budget still ticks up.the party gains. But this uncultured unprecedented behaviour of pulling each other down is destroying the party.
But when progress slows or stalls, the internal fights go from dust-ups to Thunderdomes.
That’s why the time to fix a broken culture is during times of growth.
What can senior leaders to do to keep infighting from turning toxic? In this case discipline has to be installed. Setting clear roadmaps and explaining changes can help. Perhaps even more importantly is to do whatever’s necessary to destroy silos, to make sure people don’t “see their job as their job,” If a leader feels like his fate hangs on the success of his particular project, of course he will view an internal fight as the most important battle to wage. But if a leader thinks he’s working to make the party and country thrive, no one particular project sink him.
It’s a lesson that might be too late for the party but not for most cadres.
Infighting is toxic and totally embarrassing. If a member errs it is wise to follow the constitution not to demonstrate. Why strip each other naked in public?
The party is doing itself a disservice. Trying to show individual muscle
only proves a level of stupidity and not strength.
If action is not taken urgently we will only have ourselves to blame.