THE Chiwundura by-election is on tomorrow and Zanu-PF’s candidate Cde Brown Ndlovu is expected to canter to a landslide victory as he faces lightweight opponents after the main opposition parties chickened out citing an unfair playing field among a litany of other grievances.
Since the 2013 harmonised elections which the revolutionary party won convincingly, trouncing the main MDC-T with an overwhelming landslide, there has been little to trouble the party of independence as it has cruised to victories in the by-elections held so far.
The MDC-T and other opposition parties have not helped matters by boycotting the polls, a scenario which has seen the ruling party not gauging its strength ahead of eagerly anticipated polls next year. Some might even say the lack of opposition has worked against Zanu-PF whose main gladiators are engaged in a destructive war of attrition pitched along factional lines. Granted, the opposition is at sixes and sevens with a mooted coalition floundering on the back of quarrels over leadership positions.
MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai reckons he should lead the coalition because he has been face of opposition politics since 1999 and has borne the brunt of successive electoral wars. He argues that people like National People’s Party leader Dr Joice Mujuru, Mr Tendai Biti and others should rally behind him since they do not have the numbers to justify leadership of the coalition. On the other hand, Dr Mujuru is convinced that she should be the face of coalition because she is a tried and tested politician with a grounding in the liberation struggle hence could appeal to a larger cross section of Zimbabwean society, particularly the rural populace.
A new entrant into the treacherous political terrain in Zimbabwe, Dr Nkosana Moyo, who is poised to launch a presidential bid on the back of a still to be launched outfit called the Alliance for People’s Agenda, has dismissed the mooted coalition, describing it as a gathering of weak political groupings who would not help the people of Zimbabwe. Dr Moyo loathes the sense of entitlement inherent in people like Mr Tsvangirai and is of the opinion that the people of Zimbabwe should be allowed to choose leaders they want without having people forced down their throats through a coalition.
The 2018 polls promise fireworks although surveys and opinion polls point to another landslide victory for President Mugabe and his ruling Zanu-PF party. Pollsters say the President is still the only game in town with an Afrobarometer survey done recently concluding that he will trounce his main rivals since he commands a huge following particularly in the rural areas of Zimbabwe where the majority of the people live. The Youth Interface rallies which President Mugabe is holding throughout the country are attracting record numbers, affirming him as the glue that holds the party and country together.
The country has also recorded a bumper harvest with Command Agriculture hailed as a huge success – another feather in the cap for the Government and the party which informs it – Zanu-PF. The economy is on the rebound anchored on the successes recorded in tourism, mining and agriculture. Against this background, it would require a reversal of monumental proportions for Zanu-PF and President Mugabe to lose next year’s polls. Be that as it may, victory is not yet guaranteed and a lot of work needs to be done to ensure that the vanguard party triumphs and continues to safeguard the gains of the liberation struggle.
For a start, the damaging factional wars consuming the party need to stop forthwith because if they are allowed to continue spiralling out of control, they have the potential of reversing the gains the party has made in the past four years. It would be remiss of us not to mention the consistent counsel from President Mugabe to the party faithful that they need to close ranks and desist from denigrating each other on any platform — be it social media, the main stream media or during clandestine meetings held in secret locations.
Now than any other time, the party needs unity and we pray that the various protagonists at each other’s throats will find it within their hearts to smoke the peace pipe and work towards reconciliation. We feel too much energy is being expended on meaningless fights at the expense of service delivery and the people of Zimbabwe could punish the party for this.
Trading insults in public only exposes the party to ridicule and those at the forefront of these shenanigans should be reined in and told in no uncertain terms to stop their shameful behaviour. Zanu-PF was given a mandate to govern and should be seen to be serving the people of Zimbabwe whose daily struggles should keep those in Government awake at night. Petty squabbles and catfights are an unwelcome distraction.