By Ndinashe Mudavanhu- As the months, weeks, days and hours go by in the momentous countdown to the epic decisive Zimbabwe elections in 2023, many wait with bated breath for what has been touted as the most dynamic political season upon the nation.
The obvious expectations for many analysts and ordinary observers and participants is a bruising battle between the newly formed political outfit, the Citizens Coalition for Change’s Nelson Chamisa and the incumbent ZANU PF leader President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
But the reality will shock many.
The battle is far from the side shows provided by the so-called main opposition party which is yet to mature into a convincing political party which fancies any realistic chances of ruling the country. Far from it!
The opposition CCC which appears radar less, at sixes and sevens as to how to constitute itself, let alone have visible structures that can inspire confidence in it’s supporters and sponsors alike, can not miraculously win a national election with only 12 months into it’s formation. Lest that be a miracle next to the resurrection of Jesus.
The battle in 2023 will be fought within ZANU PF. Yes you heard right.
2023 is less about changing a governing party but about who leads a government party. That ZANU PF will be ruling is a foregone conclusion, but who will be at the helm is a matter to ponder.
Former National Political Commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere has hinted already as a serious contender to the throne, one who commands massive support within the party’s grassroots up to the highest structures. Kasukuwere has provided yet the clearest hint that he has got his sleeves rolled up already for a bruising fight for control of the ruling party come 2023. But isn’t he running behind time with his intentions?
“What is clear is that 2023 will be a lot of work. Maintain good health and fitness. Kulo msebenzi (there is a lot of work),” said Kasukuwere in response to a plea from a Twitter user who was pleading with him to come home, take over leadership and save the country from economic decline, corruption and mismanagement.
In effect the user was crying fowl over the imminent conglomeration of the Chilonga tribal lands into the Dendairy project which will see a displacement of thousands of families to pave way for Lucerne production.
For a man who never lost control of the party structures since the military coup in 2017, Kasukuwere who maintains close contact with the grassroots and main leadership of the party, speaks of what he knows when he says that this time there is “Drought! No water in the river.”
This Kasukuwere said in response to another Twitter user who had expressed fears that the crocodile is still lurking in the river and that it won’t be easy to cross back. For a man best known for few words and more action, every word that Kasukuwere says can only be ignored at one’s own peril.
This time around, reality is that President Mnangagwa is banking on the benevolence of the security sector which is only itching to avoid another army-aided disruption to social life by allowing him to complete his term peacefully. But the writing is clear on the walls that he has run his race.
The newly constituted party structures from the Youth League, Women’s League and the upcoming Liberation War Veterans Association are not ambiguous as to what they except in 2023. Only change of leadership can be inevitable and this will mark the end of toxic opposition politics in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe stands with arms wide open to welcome all exiled nationals who represent a whole generation of wasted talent, yet which can be recovered and put to productive use. The country is not at war against itself.
The likes of incoming Presidential aspirant Saviour Kasukuwere, Professor Jonathan Moyo, Patrick Zhuwao, and many others who are scattered across the region need not be muzzled, but be welcome home to consolidate the goodwill, economic expertise and political acumen acquired over the years in nation building