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'ZANU-PF cannot stand in the way of a united opposition'

28 Oct 2016 at 06:24hrs | Views
ZANU-PF was caught off-guard in the just ended Norton by election. With all their hearts, minds and souls they wanted to reclaim the seat which fell vacant after the ignominious expulsion of Chris Mutsvangwa from the hitherto invincible revolutionary party. What lessons can be drawn from the by election, lessons to both the revolutionary party ZANU PF and the opposition formations. Bearing in mind the efforts made by ZANU PF prior to the election, it's therefore fallacious to make insinuations that ZANU PF deliberately donated the seat to Mliswa so as to justify their non-implementation of electoral reforms and pour cold water to the argument that the electoral environment is opaque, lopsided and tilted in favour of ZANU-PF.

ZANU-PF cannot afford to put on a brave face and pretend that all is well. They cannot just afford to ignore the simmering discontent not only in Norton but Zimbabwe at large. The disenchantment in Norton is quintessentially a microcosm of the macrocosm. The Mliswa victory is an unmistakable message of abhorrence to ZANUPF kleptocratic and plutocratic rule. It's a loud and clear message of reprimand that the party has to use as the 2018 Elections looms. In other words the electorate in Norton simply reminded the disoriented ZANUPF that the residential stands they intended to use for campaigns don't belong to a political party. They belong to the people and should not be parcelled out to people in exchange of votes as that amounts to vote buying which is illegal according to the supreme law of the land.

The electorate in Norton also sent an unequivocal message that they cannot entrust their votes with corruptors and corruptees who have looted the national coffers and milked dry the country's natural resources with diabolical gusto. They simply said we cannot allow corruption to be institutionalised like this if the Zimdefgate is to go by. They reminded the party that it has to shift its attention from the self-enrichment agenda to the welfare of the masses. People are sick and tired with the arrogance and indifference of a political party that doesn't have neither conscience nor qualms to the extent of creating one job for the President's son in law thereby reneging on its promise to create 2 million jobs for the people of Zimbabwe. That's a manifestation of greed, gluttony and avarice that the opposition formations will effectively capitalise on as we approach the 2018 elections.

If we are to consider the cancerous factionalism tearing the revolutionary party asunder, Temba Mliswa's victory comes as a no surprise. There have been accusations and counter accusations within the party pertaining to the candidature of the little known Chindeza who allegedly belongs to the G40 faction. The lesson is that it pays to impose candidates on the people. That's doing a disservice to the party. As ZANU PF ruminates on the post mortem of this election they need to take a look at their internal democracy and put in place internal controls to avoid the imposition of candidates as the consequences of doing such are dire. Human beings have their own needs and wants which makes them different from machines that can be switched off and on willy-nilly. Machines do not make queries, they just mechanically respond to the wishes of whoever who controls them during the day or night, whether that person is sane or insane.

The victory by Temba Mliswa also shows that the convergence of opposition formation can indeed yield the desired results. The victory is a product of spirited and concerted efforts by opposition formations to wrestle the seat from ZANU-PF. A lot can be achieved if the opposition formations find common ground in their bid to topple the ZANU-PF regime in 2018.It is indeed mission possible. However the opposition formations are now faced with an ethical and moral dilemma of working hand in glove with former ZANU-PF members. They need to be cautious and exhibit craftsmanship in negotiating the meandering political terrain because history has taught us that once ZANU-PF will always ZANU-PF if the cases of Jonathan Moyo, Jabulani Sibanda and Daniel Shumba are to go buy. These are individuals who were expelled from ZANU-PF after the Tsholotsho debacle but later on re-joined the revolutionary party.

These are precedencies which we cannot ignore in as much as circumstances can force us to give people like Mliswa and ZimPF a benefit of doubt. The bottom line is that robust intelligence gathering of information has to be in place to avoid the 2008 scenario when the opposition MDC-T paved way for Professor Jonathan Moyo who was standing as an independent and only to turn against the MDC-T after his victory. The opposition formation especially MDC-T cannot afford to be outfoxed and outwitted now and again as the electorate will interrogate the intelligence of the party.

Notwithstanding the vagaries of Zimbabwean opposition politics, it's heartening to note that we are now in a new era in as far as opposition politics is concerned. A new era characterised by the fragrance and cool breeze of convergence, an antidote of opposition fragmentation. This new era of opposition politics convergence doesn't call for name-calling, shadow boxing and mudslinging, this has to be known by new entrants like Temba Mliswa. Regardless of the merit of the argument, outbursts and disparaging remarks against other players like Mujuru will be deemed "pre-emptive and contemptuous" of the ongoing convergence efforts. The nature of our politics is characterised by mistrust and paranoia, the moment you appear to stand in the way of opposition convergence, people will automatically raise their eyebrows and begin to question whose interest you are advancing. There are certain political statements that are best made by ordinary people or political commentators and not high profile political personalities and that has to be a cardinal principle for any serious political gladiator.

As the 2018 election approaches it is important for opposition formations in Zimbabwe to take heed of Temba Mliswa suggestion that ZANU-PF cannot stand in the way of a united opposition, with the War Veterans and most importantly led by the indomitable lion of Judah who is no other than former Prime Minister Morgan Richard Tsvangirai. A united opposition working hand in glove with the War Veterans is President Robert Mugabe's worst nightmare. But how are the War Veterans going to be accommodated in this complex political jigsaw puzzle? I suggest that there should be assurances from the united opposition that their new government will retain the War Veterans ministry and its leadership. I also suggest that it be a presidential prerogative of the new inclusive government to appoint non-constituency Member of Parliaments from the War Veterans Association and such measures will call for the amendment of the constitution and an enabling Act of parliament.

Once again Congratulations Honourable Temba Mliswa.

In God we trust but in politics we work

Source - Wilton Nyasha Machimbira
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