Tanonoka Joseph Whande
July 12, 2012
ZANU-PF is going though its most difficult of times and has started cannibalising its own body parts to save the rest of its body.
But it is not necessary to work hard to breathe new life into this old party because Zimbabwe is better off without this party, which has stagnated the nation for decades.
ZANU-PF must be allowed to die. In fact, this is the right time for euthanasia.
The politics of patronage and Robert Mugabe’s style of leadership have finally caught up not only with the nation but with the party itself. Mugabe made many people dependent not independent of him and, because of patronage, they forgot to cultivate their own constituencies.
Emerson Mnangagwa has been patient for decades and he has been used for just as long; he feels that he is Mugabe’s rightful heir. But politics is dynamic and he is not the heir apparent as his party is trying to show him.
Mnangagwa’s expectations and misguided hopes fell flat and he reportedly turned to some underhandedness to prop himself up within the party. He is accused of manipulating the District Coordinating Committees, allegedly rigging elections and putting his own people in strategic positions to make it easier for him to coast to the leadership of the party.
ZANU-PF supporters would not have any of that and violence broke out at several of these ZANU-PF elections.
And the nation has been watching with increasing alarm as ZANU-PF held what they called provincial and district elections.
The chaos and violence accompanying these so-called elections made Zimbabweans cringe when they understood that out of all the mayhem would emerge a leader to succeed Robert Mugabe.
Some of us were tempted to laugh and say ‘let the destroyers of Zimbabwe destroy themselves’ but the instability and violence in ZANU-PF has serious repercussions for the whole nation.
ZANU-PF, although technically the opposition party, is the ruling party in Zimbabwe, in control of the army and the police.
Its policies are implemented, whether or not the “ruling” Movement for Democratic Change likes it.
The instability in ZANU-PF, therefore, affects the nation in just about all ways.
Zimbabweans, in and outside ZANU-PF, watched as party supporters went at each other causing the annulment of several such elections and provoking the police and the military into intervening to bring peace and order between the warring factions of the same party.
Without beating around the bush, there were two factions involved; one supporting Vice President Joyce Mujuru and the other Emerson Mnangagwa.
It was, however, Mnangagwa who was constantly being named as being behind the acrimony as his people were somehow always “sweeping” most posts, causing accusations of rigging, manipulation and imposition of candidates to the extent that a few election results were rejected and re-runs ordered.
Throughout all this, I wondered whether ZANU-PF supporters had become so desensitised that it was now expected of them to rig their own elections and use violence at fellow party supporters.
I was just beginning to wonder if those old goats in the so-called Politburo cared about their own party and if their Central Committee did anything else other than drink free tea, shout meaningless slogans and go home.
But when they announced the disbanding of ZANU-PF’s District Co-ordinating Committees, I felt a little hope because ZANU-PF has a tendency of blaming their failures on other people.
Both Mnangagwa and Mujuru have supporters in the army, in the police, in the youth brigades and in the civil service. So, without any doubt, the turf wars in that party affect the entire nation.
“We are worried the DCC has become a weapon used to divide the party,” Mugabe said.
This, in itself, was very telling, an admission that this party divides the people. I would have hoped that Mugabe said the same about how his party divided our nation.
But what Mugabe finally admitted and said last week had been clear to many of us as the DCC appeared to belong to one man aspiring for the presidency.
Predictably, the man who was apparently gaining an upper hand during these chaotic elections and who was holding the DCC in a full Nelson and who had obviously put a lot of hope in the DCC to deliver the leadership to him was not amused.
Mnangagwa was reportedly “left stunned by the politburo’s unprecedented decision to disband the party’s District Coordination Committees”.
Spicing up his disappointment was the fact that the DCC, Mnangagwa’s trump card, was disbanded while he was out of the country.
Sounds like a coup d’état. Now they are doing to each other what they have been doing to the nation.
It was further reported that the politburo also “had evidence that Mnangagwa used his influence and money to impose candidates on the electorate”, with his supporters arguing that Mnangagwa is not the only one to use such tactics “as most senior members in the party are also guilty of using cash and influence to sway voters”.
Now it’s coming out and the speakers are none other than ZANU-PF people themselves.
Haven’t we been saying this all these years? Did they listen? Now they are talking about it because they are employing the same dirty tactics on each other.
On the other hand, I find it unfortunate that when ZANU-PF is distracted by these internal squabbles, MDC-T is not taking advantage to publicise themselves and make themselves more accessible to the people. This is an opportunity they could have utilised.
I mean, ZANU-PF is doing all that’s possible to help the MDC-T but Tsvangirai’s spin doctors are not taking advantage.
Imagine Jonathan Moyo if what is happening in ZANU-PF was happening in the MDC-T!
Anyway, the instability in ZANU-PF must be watched very carefully because the leaders of the two leading camps, Mujuru and Mnangagwa, have supporters in the army, in the police and in the civil service. Even in Chipangano and in the churches.
Thus, the chaos in that party could easily destabilise the country which appears to be trying very hard to get back on its feet in spite of ZANU-PF.
“In practical terms,” an exiled colleague said, “common sense tells me that the abandonment of DCC’s has to be replaced with some other kind of structure. Given the recent expansions in the military, it seems pretty obvious that they intend to use their control of military structures, in one form or another, to replace DCC’s to run their election operations on the ground.”
That would be more bad news for Zimbabwe.
The heart of the matter is that justice and fairness demand that ZANU-PF be let to die. We hold no fond memories of ZANU-PF.
It has had its run and it is time to move forward.
It failed to keep up to its mandate at independence to care for the people but, instead, became a predator, destroying not only families but the country as a whole.
ZANU-PF allowed itself to be hijacked and to be used by individuals who had personal, not national agendas. In this selfish pursuit, it became more of a cruel slave owner than a vehicle of emancipation. ZANU-PF took so many lives and it should itself just be allowed to die like the people who disappeared because of it, like the thousands of men, women and children it killed with no remorse or apology.
For more than 30 years, ZANU-PF did its part and ruined the nation. It has failed in its mandate and is abusing the nation and the people.
For those who see any glory in the survival of ZANU-PF, for those who mistake our blood for Fanta, they are welcome to work for the continued existence of their party, but conditions apply.
ZANU-PF needs renewal.
It needs a renewal of leadership and mindset. It needs to re-examine itself and what role it must play.
No longer can it use proxies of violence and human rights violations of indigenisation and land distribution to kill our people and violate human rights.
We need land redistribution, yes. We definitely need indigenisation but we do not need to achieve all these in the manner that this party is going about it. We should stop cutting of our noses to spite our faces!
ZANU-PF must get rid of the old guard for they have nothing to offer our nation anymore except to point where to bury those of our compatriots they kill.
ZANU-PF needs a total political blood transfusion and must, of necessity, get rid of its old spent forces and allow new leadership to run the party.
Just look at the top 10 leaders in ZANU-PF! It is shameful group of cruel underachievers yet the nation is brimming with young dynamic minds very well tuned to the current political dynamics.
ZANU-PF must do away with the current heap of rubbish called the Politburo and cleanse themselves of dead wood in their so-called Central Committee.
ZANU-PF has to be born again, otherwise it must just be let to die, because its death would be Zimbabwe’s emancipation.
I am Tanonoka Joseph Whande and that, my fellow Zimbabweans, is the way it is today, Thursday, July 12, 2012.