Political commentators have blamed divisions within Zimbabwe’s opposition for the failed 31 July anti-government protests.
Renowned political analyst, University of Zimbabwe (UZ) political science lecturer, Eldred Masunungure, opined that divisions and lack of a strategy have hamstrung the opposition. He said:
The problem is that our opposition parties are hopelessly divided. They need to go back and re-strategise, and also speak with one voice. They have to reconfigure.
Zanu PF has not changed and … is still using the same tools that it always deploys, and the opposition parties are also using the same strategies.
The planning was poor … and the demonstration was announced nearly a month ago, thus giving authorities ample time to prepare. This enabled the authorities to continue with their repression.
Unfortunately, Friday’s events only work to embolden the authorities and to give them more confidence.
The opposition parties are speaking with different voices and are not united. So, it will be difficult for them to confront the government.
Meanwhile, Professor of World Politics at the London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), Stephen Chan, said there is enough suffering in Zimbabwe already and it was better that people were not put at risk of brutality.
The organisers of the 31 July protests initially said they intended to demonstrate against alleged rampant corruption in government circles, but they ended up demanding the collapse of the ZANU PF-led government.