The great betrayal: Zanu (PF) abandons 1980 Manifesto

Zanu (PF)'s complicity in human rights atrocities amounts to a monumental betrayal of its 1980 manifesto which portrays the party as a champion of human rights.

The party used this platform to campaign globally for assistance in bringing about , which the liberation of Zimbabwe and Robert Mugabe vowed at his inauguration that he would always uphold those values.

But analysts say these founding principles have been betrayed in the interest of expediency.

According to the party’s 1980 manifesto, its key aim was to liberate Zimbabwe from bondage and establish a “nationalist, socialist Pan-Africanist and democratic Republic of Zimbabwe.”

The manifesto stated: “Zanu (PF) believes that power must vest in the people both in respect of the party and in respect of the government of the country."

Democracy

And yet over the past three decades, power has been concentrated in the hands of one man – Robert Gabriel Mugabe.

The manifesto alludes to democracy, which the party now claims is a Western import.

"This is why Zanu (PF) wants DEMOCRACY in Zimbabwe, requiring that that there should be a democratic elections based on adult suffrage to enable the people to choose their own government,” the manifesto says.

Five times during the past 11 years, elections have seen a vanquished Zanu (PF) stealing the ballot and beating its opponents to a pulp.

"Violence will never pay off," says Prof Welshman Ncube, president of the smaller MDC party.

"It can give you a momentary victory but it will create more resentment against you. You can't rule forever with coercion and without consent. And those who are being violent ought to understand that."

Atrocious mess

Observers say Zanu (PF) needs to take stock about whether it is still loyal to its founding principles, and whether it has created the kind of society it envisaged at independence.

They say the whole thing is an atrocious mess, and it is in that condition that we approach our most important election since 1980.

With the country facing the worst economic stagnation, with ballooning unemployment and key parastatals on the point of bankruptcy, there is no clear leadership around what to do. Zanu (PF), once-great liberation movement that has lost its way, if not its soul as well, is bogged down in a quagmire of blunders and scandals. How did this happen?

Arrogance and greed are the answers, says political analyst Takura Zhangazha. "Arrogance born of a culture of entitlement that has afflicted so many liberation movements in the past, which is why so few still exist outside southern Africa," he said.

Entitlement

“A belief that because they fought the great liberation struggle they are entitled to rule indefinitely and that all challengers are somehow illegitimate; a culture that therefore does not hold itself accountable to anyone outside its own structures.

This culture holds, too, that because its members suffered during the long years of struggle they are entitled to kickbacks and special protection should they land in trouble; that true comrades must rally around and defend the fallen and that the whistle-blowers should take the rap for any scandals revealed rather than the delinquent comrades themselves.”

The self-deception within the party has reached gargantuan proportions. Monica Mutsvangwa, the Senator for Mutare/Chimanimani and Zanu (PF) Women’s League’s spokeswoman, is typical of the current membership. She insists Zanu (PF) has met all its founding principles and done even better.

"The post independence era brought opportunities to the girl child in terms of education, health and employment," Mutsvangwa said. "Today we have a proliferation of professional women who are in demand not only in Zimbabwe but in the Diaspora as well.

"The illegal sanctions which brought about the denial of capital investment to our country brought our economy down, in pursuance of better life standards, Zimbabwean women left for countries abroad where they found jobs as nurses, teachers and business women because they were educated, otherwise they could not have been useful in England, South Africa, Australia and America if they were illiterate,” added Mutsvangwa.

Freedoms

But she did not talk about the teeming number of child prostitutes and street kids, the women peddling flesh and some reduced to spending life on the road in unprofitable cross-border businesses.

The truth of the matter is that Zanu (PF) has taken away all the freedoms it promised the people in 1980, analysts say, especially freedom of a person in his home, and even the right to life. At the peak of campaigning, none of these principles matter any more.

Some believe it is not too late. Zanu (PF) is a venerable organisation, which still has much wisdom within it, analysts say. But for the moment it has lost its way under a monolithic, tarnished leadership.

It will struggle to win the forthcoming election, but what it deserves – and what it needs if it is to fix itself – is a brisk kick up the backside from the electorate with a sharply reduced majority at the next poll.

"We will give them their deserved minority status," says MDC-T organising secretary Nelson Chamisa.

Zanu 1980 Manifesto

All the good things that this nation stood for at birth can be found in the 1980 Zanu (PF) manifesto, which is anchored on 13 fundamental rights and freedoms:

1. Franchise rights

2. Freedom of speech, assembly, association, procession, demonstration and strike action.

3. Freedom of religion and role of the church.

4. The right to work and the right to a fair wage

5. Freedom from racial discrimination

6. Freedom of person and his home

7. The right to education

8. The right of women to equality with men

9. The right to life

10. The right to rest and leisure

11. Freedom from hunger

12. Right to personal property

13. The right of recourse to courts.

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