Fragmented front against Zanu (PF) means delay of victory

A South African once quipped that if you lock five Zimbabweans in one room and force them to form a political party, they would come up with five different movements. Zimbabwean political parties, in their quest to usher in a new democratic dispensation in Zimbabwe, are shooting themselves in the foot by failing to form a united a front.

Blessing Vava: fragmented opposition will once again give power to Mugabe.
Blessing Vava: fragmented opposition will once again give power to Mugabe.

Why can they not learn from Raila Odinga’s experience?

It is worrying that the two MDC formations led by Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube, to start with, do not see, or are conveniently blind to, the need to form a ‘Rainbow Coalition’ against Zanu (PF).

Granted, they have their own differences, mostly selfish. But politics is about compromises.

Ncube chooses to preoccupy himself with his own theory that Tsvangirai is uneducated, while the MDC-T leader is more comfortable labelling his erstwhile Secretary General a Zanu (PF) extension.

Meanwhile, the Mthwakazi Liberation Front is busy banging its knobkerries on Facebook, insulting MDC-T supporters, while the party has become victim to the Zanu (PF) legacy of factionalism – with the reported formation of a splinter, the Mthwakazi National Party.

The MDC, which started off on a very promising note in 1999, now has a nauseating plethora of surnames—MDC-T, MDC-M, then MDC-N and, well, MDC99.

On the other hand, Simba Makoni, who gave Zimbabweans much hope when he broke away from Zanu (PF) before the 2008 general elections, refused to join hands with Morgan Tsvangirai, apparently because he felt he was too smart for that.

Tsvangirai himself would not hear of Makoni coming on board as a political associate, for whatever reasons. Imagine what Makoni’s 8 percent in the presidential vote would have done for Zimbabwe if it had combined with Tsvangirai’s 47 percent.

Zimbabwe would definitely be different today. The hundreds who died in the 2008 post-election violence would still be alive today and the thousands hounded out would be at home helping re-develop the country.

With another election looming, there seems to be no evidence of Mugabe’s opponents having learnt a lesson. It is puzzling to us mere mortals why these politicians do not see the advantage of pooling their resources together.

A close study of Kenya’s history towards democracy—not there yet of course—reveals that there is strength in numbers.

Odinga participated in the Rainbow Coalition against Mwai Kibaki and, as we all know now, won. It is of course regrettable that Kibaki would not let go, hence the compromise government.

At a recent meeting in Johannesburg, it was clear that a coalition against a sitting government is effective. The ANC provides an interesting case. Political parties and military entities united against one enemy, apartheid, and succeeded in bringing majority rule to the country. Zimbabweans know who their enemy is, but the tragedy that marks their push for real liberation is self-interest. Ironically, even among the forces that are working towards democratisation, there is polarisation.

“The levels of polarisation hogging our political landscape is sad to say the least. Instead of these guys uniting for a common purpose in dislodging Zanu (PF)’s 32 year grip on power, they are busy fighting amongst themselves,” said political analyst, Blessing Vava, recently.

“If you closely look at the differences, you can notice that it is mainly driven by personal vendettas rather than an ideological resolve to pursue the democratic agenda,” added Vava.

He warned that a fragmented Zanu (PF) opposition would once again give power to Mugabe and Zanu (PF) on a silver platter.

“The moment we go for another poll with a fragmented opposition, the results are likely to be the same as we witnessed in the previous polls – crucial votes will be distributed among the various opposition parties and the result will not be enough to boot out Zanu (PF),” said Vava.

Post published in: Analysis
  1. Smart Tembo

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