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Comprehensive analysis of the current political, socio-economic developments in Zimbabwe

14 Jun 2019 at 20:05hrs | Views
Politics requires strategy and there are several political and economic connotations evolving around our situation in Zimbabwe. Every aspect of politics or economics has its own indicators. Never make a mistake of brushing aside indicators, because those are the key drivers to any given situation in any political or economic context. The state of the economy is in the intensive care unit and it requires strategy and ideas to avert a crisis which can be of security concern. From my own analysis and point of view our situation has nothing to do with the economy or business aspect, but we must deal with our politics. Our politics is in bad shape. Looking at this from a political perspective point of view, President Mnangagwa has the economy aspect to deal with, internal rife, arch-rivalry in politics (opposition), factional politics to manage, regional aspects, and at the same time to manage perceptions on international platforms, and he is under immense pressure to save this country from total collapse. Our economic challenges are derived from the political question which spills into legitimacy issues. What this basically means is that, the aspect of confidence on the market is a thorn in the flesh. The issue of acceptance of leadership is a key question.

Key appointments

Politics is all about managing the face of reality and perceptions and outdoing your opponent. Mnangagwa's recent appointments from the Zanu PF politburo were strategic. Many people were quick to dismiss them, for him he played his cards close to his chest. He realized that his power is from the political base, grassroots politics and there was a dis-location of political connectivity between the hierarchy of the Government and the party. Political appointments being done from the politburo was a clear message to people that Zanu PF is in charge and anything for the central Government is managed by the party where power is derived from. What this basically means is to manage supporters, manage his ester while cdes in the struggle, manage those with political ambitions and at the same time to keep those who are at party headquarters in check. There were party heavyweights stationed at party headquarters and this required strategy by ensuring that they are scattered alover the show, by keeping them together it would also risk his presidency. He ensured that some are in parastatals, some in key portfolios and some are deployed somewhere. Remember those heavyweights have political experience and they could easily come up with other political strategies. By appointing Chinamasa to chair Air Zimbabwe board is a clear sign that ED is consolidating his support base. Remember Chinamasa was the finance Minister for a long time and he comes from Manicaland and this will assist ED to consolidate his support in Manicaland and also business links. Remember this is a transitional process from Mugabe era to his new so-called dispensation and there is politics and perceptions to manage.

Consolidation of power and support base

By making re-shuffles at party level, ED is sending a clear message that he is in charge of the party and he is already making 2023 plans. Those who are thinking ED will go before the 2023 aspects, it is a tricky sign. ED is already paving way for 2023 elections scenario. Rugeje was replaced by Matemadanda, remember the commissariat department is key to Zanu PF in terms of elections. This department deals with structures and existence of the party. Any political leader will always deploy someone who is loyal to the institution and the leader. Zanu PF is already working on 2023 elections. Rugeje will be deployed to other less important assignments. What ED is simply doing is to ensure that he maintains grip on both Government and party. He wants to re-affirm his presidency and grip on power.

Political contestation


The current political contestation the question of legitimacy emanating from disputed polls. The political question is the major key driver of our socio-economic and political developments in Zimbabwe. Never make a mistake of dismissing economic saboteur which can also be an internal matter or aspect within Zanu PF. The aspect of G40 should never be under-estimated. The role of the market plays a key role in blanketing the legitimacy connotation. Market reacts in every political aspect. There could also be people from within Zanu PF who played key roles in removing Mugabe and his cahoots and were not rewarded with anything. Opposition could be fronting political wars from within Zanu PF. The prices which are skyrocketing could be another signal that the center can't hold simply because of politics and confidence on the ground. The appointment of Muthuli Ncube plays a key role. I don't dispute his credentials as an economist, but my analysis and observation is that Muthuli is going by the book and our problems are beyond book aspect. Our issues socio-political, there is politics and social aspects to deal with in our economic scenario. Implementation process needs political strategy and shock absorbers.

Chamisa's utterances and MDC Congress

The MDC congress played a pivotal role on the ascendancy of Nelson Chamisa's Presidency. Zanu PF's idea was to ensure that his presidency was disputed to ensure that it will have legitimacy problems which then Zanu PF will give reference to whenever opposition will raise legitimacy matters. The congress would rubber stamp his authority as the leader of the party and it would help him to maintain grip on the power. Chamisa is firm and don't get surprised to see him wielding an axe on some top officials in the forth-coming appointments. Some people are likely to fall by the way side. There will be a serious re-shuffle and some maybe shown the door from key portfolios mainly because he has affirmed the grip on his presidency. Congress played a pivotal role by re-grouping which Zanu PF would feel unsafe from political maneuvers and future contestations. Zanu PF did not take Chamisa's utterances lightly because of the economic mess we are in, counter measures were put in place to thwart any political threat. Chamisa is a threat both at political contestation and public stunts. This gave Zanu PF a wakeup call to re-organize themselves to thwart any signs of threat from within and external. Zanu PF has state machinery and political maneuvers which MDC lacks, and it was a political miscalculation to announce a series of demonstrations as a result of economic melt-down and this gave Zanu PF lifeline to re-organize and political preparedness ahead of any threat. Politics requires strategic intelligence and playing cards close to your chest. The congress flushed out those who were perceived to have Zanu PF links in some instance or one way or the other. No one disputes his charisma and intellectual capacity as a young leader, and this could also give Zanu PF sleepless nights and hard time to manage such a character. I'm not sure whether Chamisa uttered sentiments suggesting that once he assumes presidency he will fire the securocrats, if it's true then it could be suicidal statements which should never be mentioned before one assumes the executive powers and this will strengthen the powers of hardliners and they will maintain their stance.

Icho  

Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo - Doctor of Philosophy at Women's University of Africa – Candidate and he can be contacted at tinamuzala@gmail.com

Source - Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo
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