By Maynard Manyowa
One does not necessarily need to like some characters within the unit to appreciate that their message, tactic, and endowments will benefit the entire democratic movement that aims to put an end to 36 years of pain
Zimbabwe is in a full blown crisis. Conditions in the country are no longer compatible with life, and we have reached a point of no return. We have lost our way irrevocably and the country needs to be re-calibrated completely.
As it is, circumstances dictate that a change of leadership is crucial and also guaranteed. The majority of our citizens appreciate this reality, and indications are abundantly clear that the ruling Zanu PF is nearing doomsday.
For starters, the ruling party is considerably at its weakest point since its inception. Internal leadership wrangles have seen key figures depart, while a runaway economy has finally forced civilians into waves of protest. Yet the most significant factor that seals Zanu PF’s fate may lie in a former ally.
The emergence of Joice Mujuru, and The People First Party is by far the most significant development in Zimbabwe’s struggle for true democracy since the formation of the Movement for Democratic Change nearly two decades ago.
In a country where the majority of the voters are elderly and from the rural areas, the ruling party has often relied on the liberation struggle and the ideology around it for both attractiveness and legitimacy.
With Mujuru in the mix, Zanu PF can no longer manipulate the liberation struggle to their advantage. If Robert Mugabe is a hero, then Joice Mujuru and Rugare Gumbo are bigger heroes. Their contribution to the liberation struggle usurps that of most of Zanu PF’s own stalwarts.
Genuine war veterans harbour genuine respect for People First elders. Several have expressed outright support for the party, and even those that have remained within Zanu PF’s caucus have reiterated their regard for the outfit.
People First cannot and will not be easily dismissed as an agent of western imperialism.
Secondly, Zanu PF has always thrived due to what it consistently terms an ideological crisis among the opposition. Their spin doctors often reminded voters in the past of how the MDCs did not offer any solutions beyond ‘removing Mugabe from power’.
The Joice Mujuru led People First has proven immune to this deficiency. At the center of their movement thus far has been solution after solution. The Blueprint to Unlock Investment and Leverage for Development is fool proof. Unlike Zanu PF’s ZimAsset which is a mere pipe dream and an impossible one, BUILD makes sense, and proves sense.
The rallies the party has engaged in so far have outlined clear plans on issues which need to be tackled in the past, the present and the future. The party has illustrated its firm ideology.
The ruling party will find its favourite whips insipid against the machine of Zimbabwe People First. It has already seen smear, one of its most treasured bullies, fail at the test of time.
It has been over 2 years since they accused Joice Mujuru of treason, corruption, and much more. In that time the only evidence that has surfaced is one that indicts those that remain in the corridors of power. It is the first of many fails to follow.
Uncertainty and contempt may have greeted the announcement of People First but their strength and progress is hard to ignore. Their emergence is welcome at this critical time.
One does not necessarily need to like some characters within the unit to appreciate that their message, tactic, and endowments will benefit the entire democratic movement that aims to put an end to 36 years of pain. They are a key addition to the struggle and one we desperately need.
History has often shown that marginal election victories are not enough to remove Zanu PF from power. They can be overturned. In Mujuru, Tsvangirai, and a protesting civil society the final pieces of the formation maybe complete.
- Maynard Manyowa is a political commentator & contributing editor of Khuluma Afrika – a budding non-partisan centre for analysis and investigative journalism.