The power behind coalitions: ZANU PF must reform itself

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe. File photo: Philimon Bulawayo. Credit: REUTERS
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe. File photo: Philimon Bulawayo. Credit: REUTERS

By Munashe Zhou

The ruling party ZANU PF must reform itself and desist from power politics within itself. The well-known and illegitimately claimed child “factionalism” if not properly handled will lend the ruling party in a serious predicament and a shocking phenomenon come 2018. I have been following events and the Norton by-election which some analysts portrayed as a wakeup call for the ruling party is a direct product of factionalism and power politics. There were some allegations of candidate imposition which nobody claims responsibility but rather brush-off as political scores by factional opponents.

Yes, the fact that Norton by-election was a rude awakening for the ruling party cannot be denied. The opposition parties took advantage of the tumult within the ruling party and coalesced at one objective of supporting the independent candidate Mr. Mliswa (aka Bhuru) with the help of disgruntled war veterans as it is said by some sections of the media. It’s really sad that the revolutionary party learn it the hardest way but nobody seems to care or show any remorse despite the fact that the president urge the party to be united to avoid further humiliation. The president strongly disapproves the imposition of candidates by the commissariat and urge the party leadership to endorse the candidate chosen by the people and not the one who comes from the leadership as it is the people who are the electorate.

Gambia election an eye opener.

The change of government in Gambia is also an eye opener to the revolutionary party ZANU PF. Gambia had elections on the second of December 2016 and the 22 year old government of Yahyah Jammeh lost the election. It is the coalition of opposition political parties in Gambia that removed a 22 year old government of Jammeh from the driving seat of a West African country. I think the revolutionary party ZANU PF must learn something from these unfolding events and put its house in order. The revolutionary party must not forget that politics is a game of numbers and it is these coalitions that make up a big number which will be advantageous to the opposition parties. It is these coalitions that lead to Mliswa’s victory in Norton and the same fate befallen on the Gambian ruling party of Jammeh.

Zimbabwe’s opposition discorded coalition mantra

Will Zimbabwe’s opposition political parties take a new form with the inclusion of new people like the former vice president Dr Joyce Mujuru fighting on the opposition side in Zimbabwe politics. Mujuru claim to know all the tricks of winning election used by ZANU PF and this might hoodwink the electorate into believing that the opposition has something better in its plate to offer the people of Zimbabwe. Mujuru was fired from the ruling party in 2014 on the allegations that she wanted to make a boardroom coup. The former V.P and associates went on forming an opposition political party and vowed to remove the revolutionary party come 2018. The opposition political parties are promising to come up with a coalition force ahead of 2018 elections that will challenge the ruling party. There is a crucial question which need to be answered, “Will these opposition political parties come up with a formidable force or it’s just a discorded coalition mantra by the clueless, visionless opposition leaders?” It requires unfathomable and sobriety analysis to answer this question and ascertain whether the ruling party will sail through or the coalition will be the game changers in Zimbabwe’s politics. It’s really interesting to note that the confusion within these opposition political parties and the rationality by them forming coalition force defies logic. There is this proverb that say” charity begins at home”, and one might wonder whether these opposition political parties ever come across this proverb. If they ever come across it why can’t they resolve their internal issues before they talk of this coalition thing? How can they manage a coalition if they are failing to unite their disjointed and crumbling political parties?

The revolutionary party ZANU PF must reform itself and put aside the factional politics which is not benefitting anyone but only drags it close to political dustbin. It must reform itself before itself before these opposition parties realize this opportunity if it want to survive the ruthless political environment facing it in 2018. It must not forget that it was unity and mutual trust that brought independence. I strongly hold the opinion that failure to reform and continue with this power politicking will take the revolutionary party nowhere but the opposition parties will use that as a lethal weapon to completely play it out of the game. Because the rules of politics as a game are simple, just unite and fight a common enemy. So with this opposition coalition the ruling party might face a serious situation.

 

  • MUNASHE ZHOU (Midlands State University, Zimbabwe. Department of Politics and Public Management) is a political analyst and a social commentator for Khuluma Afrika – a center for analysis, commentary and investigative journalism.