Latest News Editor's Choice


Opinion / Columnist

Political Institutions need to master the Art of Intelligence

12 Jul 2019 at 19:56hrs | Views
The world of intelligence is binary mysteries, wilderness of mirrors has other dimensions. The dimensions of strategic intelligence involve toxic information, public relations, and facts. Fictions which might be spun to some institutional or regime advantage. One of the dimension of intelligence indoctrination or propaganda. Intelligence is a perennial lamb to the policy lion. Political analysis is an avatar of truth in politics in politics and journalism. Politics is inversely proportionate to the discomfort or pain truth might inflict. Winning of elections is not only numerical but requires strategic intelligence and many opposition parties or institutions major in minors when dealing with a winning formula. You must understand that the winner who carries the day, invest much in intelligence. Analysis is a deductive, not an inductive process. Analysis seldom begins with a blank slate. The drill begins with existing policy and all the embedded assumptions that politics brings to the table. To have successful intelligence political strategy two assumptions are etched in stone. I have been going through social media and you discover that some political institutions empty their bags full of information, whereas some political strategists remain silent and plays their cards close to their chests. They come up with surprises on voting day or counter measures, they master the weakness of the opponent, they focus on his weakness and they hit using that ankle. Most political parties score their own goal by making political and inflammatory statements that will never happen, and the public makes their own judgment. Clever politicians takes their opponent by surprises.


Propaganda

Both Zanu-PF and MDC have weaker information departments. Whilst ED might try to push a development agenda it might face political hurdles and the lack of appealing. Spinning of information is key to suit the current environment. At the same time, opposition is faced with same challenge, looking at the Sikhala scenario were the deputy Spokesperson was trying to save the face of its leader and the party. I have also been watching the briefing done by ministers on cabinet decisions. Some of the ministries lack appealing, at it requires spinning and lubrication of old nuts by improving the Government's image. The issue concerning propaganda is complex and numerous but it is key weapon used in psychological warfare and significantly affect the outcome of a mixed reaction or conflict. For example, you see a political leader being attacked on social media and no one is responding, then another contestant or political party picks up the issue and maximize the opportunity. Dogs must be alover to defend whether it's a policy, message or decision and use it as tool to regain control or to be on top of the situation.

Strategic Intelligence

You see some political parties taking their strategies, what they are planning to social media, some they use podiums to disclose their strategies whilst the opponent is mastering the art of thinking and depth intelligence. Some cannot manage their anger in public and use gestures to offload their foolishness in public. Some take advantage with gentle soberness to study the perceived threat to galvanize his thinking capacity and use loopholes in speeches and capitalize on the deficiency syndrome. Statements like we have already won, when results are announced you discover that you did not win, sometimes its key to be calculative and read the mood. Use political thermometers and see whether it is necessary to make political statements. If you post on social media that we have this information, on the very day the information is required you fail to prove it, the opponent will use that loophole and maximize on your weakness. Strategic intelligence, the evaluated informational product of intelligence bureaucracies is a potentially important element on political strategy or key decision making. You don't just use words, or take action, it must be a collective strategic intelligence tool. The role and impact of intelligence, are difficult to analyze, because of both secrecy and conceptual of deviational problems. Empirical and historical evidence shed by a number of scholars are in three categories, essentially uncritical work by former insiders, muckraking exposes, and historical studies.

Strategic Thinking

Political parties require thinking properly before opening your mouth or making crucial decisions. You must be ahead of your opponent, know their plans and outcomes and possible threats even in future. For example the day when MDC launched their 19th anniversary, Magaya Walter the PHD leader launched the clean-up campaign. Zanu-PF has invested in the intelligence and case studies, when something happens they are already on social media defending the cause. On the very day some went to the clean-up campaign, some went to the anniversary, though both events were well attended, whoever came up with such an alternative is a thinker. This is what we call intellectual capacity to deal with a possible threat. Crybabies must never be found in politics. Politics requires strategy, thinking and creativity. You can spend fifty years as a cry baby and no solutions.


Political Connectivity

Painting cities, towns and rural areas green or red or blue does not reflect winning formula. You can paint a town red or green, come Election Day you will be surprised. This is what has costed a lot of parties. I have made serious case studies on several political parties, UPND from Zambia led by Hakainde Hichilema, EFF led by Julius Malema, the recently established BDF led by Ian Khama etc. what matters most is structural idea. Most people come to rallies to see some certain political figures, some come for free food and soft drinks, some come for music, and some come for new adventures. When the Election Day comes, they will vote for someone different. I have been making a comprehensive analysis on why and how these events have been unfolding. Here are some of the opportunities for political connectivity, funerals, visiting the sick, avoiding tribal statements, penetration to un-entered areas, door to door, sharing with them, some leader are too smart, they sleep in the comfort zone of hotels, Holiday Inn, and they go straight to the podium from hotels and well ventilated offices. Visit their homes with something on your hand, be a cheerful giver, if you want to win political office, or to maintain political office, politics of the belly is key. That is why it is difficult to penetrate in rural areas. You come the same day and address a rally and go back the same day. People have eyes to see, they have ears to hear and when the day of voting comes, they vote for someone who gives them fertilizer, to them geo-politics doesn't exist, they don't have the knowledge of what a policy is or debt management or re-engagement with the international community. What they know is a bottle of cooking oil, sugar, matemba and other goodies. How many people on social media are registered voters? That's another question of the day. You may be surprised that with those insults, how come this person has been voted into office? What matters most is connectivity. Hichilema painted some parts of the country red during the campaign period, come election day, he lost even most parliamentary seats. You can paint a place green or red with no existing structures on the ground or well they maybe in shambles. Remember some are ferried, some are bussed and some are political spectators. Do research, physical counting, proper physical on the ground. Questions should be asked, how many people attended last time, and how many people attended today? What are the observations made / reactions etc

Chimanimani & Chipinge experiences

From day one, Zanu-PF has been on the ground in both areas with groceries and other handouts. There are several organisations on the ground doing humanitarian work on the guidance of the present Government. Protocol is provided whilst the opposition is launching an economic blue print. There is nothing wrong about the RELOAD document, the question which arise is, how many people are going to read that document? If you launch a humanitarian program in rural areas countrywide, one can send panicking waves. That's the backbone of the ruling party. Come Election Day, opposition will be send packing.

Political schemers

Most ruling Governments have the knowledge of who will be the next mayor in the next ten years. Some even know who will be leading the opposition in the next five years. They have that information. What happens is political ecology which leads to scheming. You have to master the art of scheming and strategic intelligence. Ruling Governments can easily prop up a new leader in the opposition and groom the person without opposition supporters knowing it and hand over the leader to the opposition and supporters can still believe it. Instead of bootlicking and singing of your supper and creation of hero worshippers, a strategic political institution must invest heavily in intelligence and master the art and use it as a formula for ascending to power.

Summary

Political science requires intellectual thinking, soberness and level headed when making critical decisions. Critical minds is key. One must be able to plan ahead, read ahead, there must be political indicators which become key drivers of the institution.


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

Source - Academic Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

Subscribe

Email: