What can Zanu (PF) do to survive?

Several years ago I wrote that Zanu (PF) contains the seeds of its own destruction. Surprise, surprise! The seeds seem to have germinated and the fruits are now manifesting for all of us to see and marvel at the former revolutionary party’s capacity to self-destruct.

John Makumbe
John Makumbe

The recent abolition of Zanu (PF)’s District Coordinating Committees is only one of the numerous indicators of the serious trouble the former ruling party is in. Other indicators include the national political commissar’s inability to restructure the party at a time when President Mugabe is calling for elections to be held this year, entrenched factionalism, and the endless battle for Mugabe’s position.

Faction fights have now also invaded the war veterans’ association, with some war vets opposing and others supporting Jabulani Sibanda, that paragon of political violence. I think it is a curse for any political party to be renowned for its exploits in political violence and human rights violations. Such is the case for Zanu (PF).

But there are several measures the party can undertake in order to rescue itself from the wrath of the people of this county come election time. First, it should urgently retire its first secretary and president since he has unquestionably become a serious liability to its survival. Replacing Mugabe with, say, Joice Mujuru or Sydney Sekeramayi, would benefit Zanu (PF) immensely in the view of the electorate.

In fact, in an election, Mujuru would certainly give Morgan Richard Tsvangirai a run for his money. Sekeramayi would perform much better than Mugabe, but he will be an easy rival for Morgan. Retaining Mugabe as the presidential candidate for Zanu (PF) is the best way of ensuring a landslide victory for Morgan and the MDC-T in the next election.

Second, Zanu (PF) should get rid of all the old guard in the Politburo and Central Committee. Here I mean people like Dydimus Mutasa and Emmerson Mnangagwa, who have been in Cabinet since 1980. These are now expired – their usefulness to the party is now clearly dubious. Thirdly, the party should cleanse itself from such people as Jonathan Moyo, Jabulani Sibanda and Joseph Chinotimba. These are characters that give Zanu (PF) a bad name. Few, if any, Zimbabweans would like to be associated with a political party that is infested with people who act like victims of an avenging spirit (ngozi).

At the moment, these are the very people who are at the forefront of that party’s campaign for public support. Fourth, Zanu (PF) should strenuously dissociate itself from the notorious Chipangano group of perpetrators of violence and human rights abusers. The people of this country have endured a lot of pain and suffering dished out by Chipangano in the name of Zanu (PF) and Robert Mugabe. For the majority of the electorate, to vote for Zanu (PF) in the next election is equivalent to voting for Chipangano and all it stands for.

Further, the outgoing ruling party can try and salvage what is left of its former glory by categorically denouncing political violence from among its rank and file. Thousands of people have died, or have been maimed and crippled, raped and injured at the hands of the supporters of Zanu (PF). How can that party expect the voters to forget all the violence of 2008 and vote for the very people who hurt them so much? It simply will not happen.

Post published in: Analysis
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