The exuberant support by Zanu (PF) provinces for the pending appointment of Grace Mugabe as the head of the women’s league certainly poses a huge risk to democracy in our country. It would be utterly unacceptable in a normal democracy. Having said that, I guess members of Zanu (PF), like any other political party, have the choice who becomes their leader. I am still to understand their thinking and motives – but impoverished and information-starved masses hardly make informed decisions. We who are outside Zanu(PF) can only stare at the impending self-manufactured leadership disaster, which will have a huge negative impact on us all.
Our responsibility is therefore be to ensure that Zanu (PF) ceases to be a majority political party. In fact, it would be preferable for them to be completely out of the political picture, because this organisation has destroyed livelihoods and continues to pursue destructive policies that condemn so many of us to poverty and suffering.
In order to achieve that there is no doubt that we must have fresh elections after electoral reforms. These reforms must take away sole control of the voters roll from Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede, recalibrate the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC). The chairperson Rita Makarau should go. We also cannot have a partisan police force which means that Commission General Augustine Chihuri must go too.
We must also see a totally free media. These are the tools of oppression that Zanu (PF) continues to use and as long as they control them, we are wasting our time and building unachievable expectations for those Zimbabweans who want change.
No dictatorship has ever been negotiated out of power. What is critical is for a broad base of democratic forces to emerge and force political change. I expect that a convention of democratic movements and civil society bodies will happen soon. We must ensure that such a body achieves its objectives and is led by credible people with no vested interest in achieving personal political ambitions. That will remain our challenge. I continue to point out to many Zimbabweans that unless we each take the responsibility to change our country, nobody else will. What we will get instead is the entrenchment of the Mugabes – which is utterly disheartening because they have nothing good to offer to this country.
As the economy collapses we have seen that Mugabe does not really care nor has he the capability to turn around our economy. We must also realise that Morgan Tsvangirai does not have a plan besides entrenching himself as the President of the MDC-T in September. The renewal team is certainly promising, but again they cannot have the sole responsibility for the task ahead.
Opposition parties have no resources to speak of. Most do not have a vibrant membership base and can only fight through press conferences. We cannot fight a dictatorship through press conferences, what we need is decisive action on the ground.
Our answer can only lie in us uniting and taking rolling mass action for change. We can only build a sustainable inclusive democracy through a fundamental change in our political institutions; this will then lead to the emergence of an inclusive economy in the future. Those who created the exclusive political institutions are not about to go away. Personally I do not accept that Mugabe represents my future anymore, I also do not accept that Grace Mugabe represents the future and can lead progressive women in Zimbabwe. In fact I do not accept that Zanu (PF) in its totality, or anyone associated with it for that matter, can create the Zimbabwe we all want.
I know many of you out there agree with this – but without unity, action, purpose and courage we will not prevail in saving our country. There is really nothing is stopping us except our imagined fear. – Vince Musewe is an economist and author based in Harare. You may contact him on [email protected]Post published in: Opinions & Analysis