By Patrick Guramatunhu- Zanu PF is a party of thugs who got into politics for the sake of securing political power, absolute power, and the influence and wealth it brings. They don’t care about anything or anyone else.
Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF cronies presented themselves to the nation as the champions fighting to end white colonial rule and securing freedom, justice and economic prosperity for all. This was but a necessary disguise, the wolf in a sheep coat. To the ordinary Zimbabwean, Zanu PF’s 41 year rule has been that of a wolf let loose amongst the helpless sheep.
Shared power, influence and looted wealth is the glue that has held Zanu PF thugs together and stopping them fighting amongst themselves. Wealth is finite and with time the nation’s wealth started to dwindle, especially given the insatiable appetite and wastefulness of the Zanu PF thugs; with the glue gone, the infighting in Zanu PF has gone up through the gears this last decade. It is now overdrive!
“Zimbabwe’s 2017 coup coalition collapses!” screamed the Bulawayo24/The News Hawk headline.
“The fact that Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga is contemplating challenging President Emmerson Mnangagwa for the Zanu-PF presidency at the party’s elective congress next year, while factions loyal to the two protagonists are slugging it out at various levels of the party, including at provincial and district levels, is testimony to the fact that the 2017 coup coalition has collapsed.
“Under the coup arrangement, Mnangagwa was meant to pass on the baton to Chiwenga in 2023, but no sooner had he assumed power than he started consolidating his grip by, among other tactics, purging Chiwenga’s allies, with the aim of remaining at the helm, setting the stage for a power battle between the two gladiators.”
Robert Mugabe had manage to pacify the demanding but wasteful Zanu PF thugs by doling out loot hand over fist. He was lucky in that he inherited the Biblical seven fat cows and seven fat ears of corn from the Smith regime. When the wealth from Smith ran out in the late 1990s, Mugabe turned to the only other asset left – land. The seizure of the white owned farms to give, mainly, to party loyalists led to the collapse of the country’s once very productive agricultural sector and it took with it the economy.
The Zimbabwe economy shrunk by a staggering 50% in the period 2000 to 2008 alone and it has never ever recovered to this day.
So Mnangagwa and his coup plotter inherited one thin cow and one thin ear of corn from Mugabe following the November 2017 coup. It is no surprise the dog-eat-dog factional fighting that resulted in Joice Mujuru and her faction being booted out in 2014 and then Mugabe and his G40 in 2017 continued unabated after the coup.
Soon after the coup President Mnangagwa promised “new democratic dispensation, a Second Republic” and even promised to hold free, fair and credible elections. Some people believed him whole heartedly whilst a few expressed their doubts.
Would the coup plotters risk their lives in staging the coup to seize power only to risk losing it eight months later in free, fair and credible 2018 election! It should be noted too that the coup plotters were the ones who had blatantly rigged elections in the past to keep Mugabe in power; it is naive, to say the least, to expect them to give up these dictatorial powers now when rigging the elections would secure power for themselves.
The sceptics were right; Mnangagwa and company blatantly rigged the 2018 elections and never even bothered to implement even one token democratic reform.
The dog-eat-dog infighting in Zanu PF today is proof, if proof was needed, that the party members are as hungry for absolute power now as ever before. There was no chance of Zanu holding free and fair elections in 2018 and nothing has changed on that front.
The opposition’s participation in the 2023 elections is only tolerated by Zanu PF purely for the purpose of giving some modicum of credibility to the flawed and illegal electoral process and, by extension, giving legitimacy to the vote rigging Zanu PF. The opposition are nothing more than jackals at a multi-clan hyena kill. Any foolhardy jackal caught between the kill and the circling hyena clan will provide a nice hors d’oeuvre.
For all their political posturing Nelson Chamisa and company are participating in these elections to win the few gravy train seats Zanu PF is giving away to entice the opposition to participate. As much as the people are desperate for real political change and a meaningful say in the governance of the country; that will never ever happen, not until the democratic reforms to dismantle the Zanu PF dictatorship are finally implemented.
What is so, so annoying about Zimbabwe politics is that MDC leaders wasted the golden opportunity to implement the democratic reforms and thus dismantle the Zanu PF dictatorship once and once for all during the 2008 to 2013 GNU. They failed to implement even one reform in five years! This was the nation’s get out of jail card and MDC failed to play it.
Worse still, MDC are the ones giving legitimacy to the vote rigging Zanu PF regime by insisting on participating in these flawed elections when everyone else has been calling for reforms before elections.
It was USA ambassador to Zimbabwe 2004 to 2007, Chris Dell, who said Morgan Tsvangirai was “a flawed and indecisive character who would become an albatross round the nation’s neck if he ever got into power!” Dell could have said the same of the MDC leadership and they have become the mile-stone dragging the nation into the crashing abyss.
We still have the challenge of ending the Zanu PF dictatorship, now emboldened by the MDC blundering incompetence, but first must cut ourselves free the corrupt and utterly useless MDC who were elected to deliver change but are frustrating all efforts to bring change.