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Zimbabweans will reject political mannequins

21 Feb 2023 at 05:51hrs | Views
FOR over two decades, some Western administrations have sponsored proxy political entities in Zimbabwe with the primary goal of dislodging ZANU-PF from power.

Over two decades of moral, financial and political buttressing of the opposition political entities have come to naught as ZANU-PF has successively won majority support in all the elections held since 1980.

As Zimbabwe gears for harmonised elections sometime this year, very few are under any illusion that anything will take away the strong historical and contemporary linkage the ruling ZANU-PF enjoys with the majority of the masses.

 Just like before, there are high prospects that Zimbabweans will again reject any political figures viewed as proxies or appendages of former colonisers pushing for regime change.

The impending elections are pitting ZANU-PF against a coterie of opposition political parties, whose common denominator is their disdain of the African nationalist project which gave birth to a free and independent Zimbabwe.

They are so disdainful of the African nationalist project and have not shied away from glorifying erstwhile colonisers. They even have the guts to sanitise the last Rhodesian butcher- Ian Douglas Smith as a better leader. This is the sort of historical whitewashing that has consistently and persistently puts these post-independence opposition political parties at crosshairs with the majority of Zimbabweans.

It defies logic that successive opposition political parties anchored on an anti-African nationalist project have continued on the same trajectory knowing very well that majority Zimbabweans are still historically and emotionally attached to the nationalist project that gave birth to a free and independent Zimbabwe.

One of the things that most analysts miss in their predictions of election outcomes in Zimbabwe is the fundamental and undeniable fact that it's the electorate that has the final say and not outsiders.

It is therefore never a viable option to imagine an electoral victory based on foreign courtships. It's simply untenable to dismantle an African nationalist project whose fulcrum is the recovery of people's civil and political rights based on the right to vote, the inviolability of one man one vote and reclamation of social and political rights to land and natural resources within the country.

Pervasive foreign influence and control have been determining factors of opposition politics in post-independence Zimbabwe. This has not helped the opposition cause. Unlike earlier opposition political parties like ZANU-Ndonga, Zum, Mavambo et cetera- the opposition CCC entity differs markedly in terms of its ideological leanings, economic interests and support base.

While fashioning themselves as democracy crusaders, the CCC can't hide the fact that they are highly influenced by Western liberal thinking, which among other things embraces LGBT rights and pander to such abstract terms as social democrats- parlance hardly understood by ordinary Zimbabweans.

Since its formation in 2022, CCC has failed to justify convincingly the reasons for its existence as a political entity. Save for occasional sermonic verses on social media from its leader, the CCC entity's vision and goals have remained ambiguous. Even as the MDC under the late Morgan Tsvangirai, the opposition entity failed to reform its identity from being lackeys of the West to a home-grown political party that embrace the historical and political ethos that founded independent Zimbabwe.

It must not come as a surprise to anyone that ordinary people, particularly those in rural communities still view the opposition as serving foreign interests mainly because of the financial gotten from some Western countries. Most of the opposition's benefactors aspire to have a colonial hang of the country's resources. What is most ironic is that while countries like the United States openly support regime change through financial inducements to the opposition, the country has laws that limit the amount of foreign support in their internal politics.  This is against the background of perceived considerable influence in election outcomes from countries like Saudi Arabia and others in the Middle East.

Surely what is good for the goose must be good for the gander. The same Western embassies are the first to always raise alarm whenever the Zimbabwean government applies its own laws of foreign interference in its own domestic affairs. And yet the West has not relented particularly the United States which had sanctioned imposed on Zimbabwe for over two decades now.

The majority of the people in Zimbabwe are conscious of the fact that sanctions are part of the agenda by the West to paralyse the ZANU-PF government and replace it with a pliant pro-West regime. The fact that the sanctions have failed to effect a regime change in Zimbabwe speaks volumes to the tenacity of the State but also to the consciousness of the masses.

But despite sequential electoral losses, the opposition has failed to reform its politics. It has failed to culture any regional relations and support and is largely viewed as lacking home-grown political legitimacy and agenda.

Many view the local opposition drawing its inspiration not from the structural inequalities created by colonialism but from the dictates of their benefactors. This explains why their political diction and vision about Zimbabwe cannot be separated from some Western embassies that have supported opposition forces since the turn of the                       millennium.

Independent observers attribute the opposition's continued electoral failures to their failure to reform their identity as lackeys of some Western nations and international capital. They seem to suffer from serious identity crisis especially of a party that claims to represent the aspirations of                                                     Zimbabweans.

Nothing on the ground indicates any major shift in favour of the opposition. In fact, judging by recent by-elections, the ruling ZANU-PF seems to have made some inroads in urban areas where the opposition enjoys bulky support.

The revolutionary party snatched two parliamentary seats from the opposition in the by-elections held last year, winning in Epworth and Mutasa South and also got a foothold in local authorities.

It appears ZANU-PF's developmental policies are resonating well with the populace as the ruling party made incremental gains in the by-elections. The Urban Renewal Initiative, that has resulted in the rehabilitation of roads under the Emergency Roads Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP) and drilling of borehole and construction of dames have all been welcomed by citizens.  

Central government had to intervene in local authorities following the catastrophic failure of CCC led councils to provide basis services to residents in urban areas.

Twenty-eight constituencies were up for grabs in the by-elections in which ZANU-PF retained its seats in Gokwe Central, Chivi South, Mberengwa South, Murehwa South, Marondera East, Mwenezi East and Tsholotsho North, while the opposition won in some urban areas.

Commenting on the victory then, ZANU-PF spokesperson Chris Mutsvangwa said the ruling party had "kept and solidified" its traditional support in rural areas.

"It's clear that two decades of MDC-CCC urban neglect, feckless maladministration, screaming corruption, and putrid decay are all finally beginning to invite the wrath of the long-suffering urban citizenry at the expense of Nelson Chamisa and his acrimonious cohorts.

"Even more reassuring is the narrowing margins in those seats Zanu-PF lost. This speaks volumes of the resurgent support of the party. Zanu-PF is heartily encouraged by its catch from the MDC-CCC opposition ponds.

"The electoral jury is out. Come the 2023 harmonised elections, Zanu-PF envisages an electoral tsunami that will drown the foreign -spawned opposition and its reliance on alien sponsorship," said Mutsvangwa.

In the 2018 polls, the ruling party won 145 seats against the opposition's 60, but managed to increase its tally to 147. Apart from the two critical parliamentary seats, the revolutionary party won significant local authority seats in what could be a harbinger of things to come in this year's elections.

Source - The Chronicle
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