It undermines democracy (or rather, in our case, it erodes the remaining pieces of democracy) and threatens democratic politics by creating a situation where people will not have faith in multi party system or the democratic process itself.
People join a political party so that it can represent them and their views and if done well, the siting government is compelled to respond. The Mbalekwa iceberg can cause people to alienate themselves from politics because they will have lost faith in the political process.
Is it the next episode in the Baba Jukwa series?
Whilst it may be good for the rich political party, ZANU (PF), it shortchanges the masses and has very negative consequences for our economic development.
The funding of electoral campaigns have an important role in democracy. The explosive revelation of Mbalekwa fuels the perception that wealth buys political glory. Unlike Goreraza, I am not putting it down to foolishness on MDC’s part but squarely on opposition financing. Whilst it is very difficult for an opposition to retaliate without being accused of bribery and blackmail, it is also true that they need resources to be able to detect infiltrators. This threat of infiltration is clear therefore it should broaden the range of activists’ activities.
Whilst the mushrooming of many political parties leaves the citizens with a perception that our politicians are more concerned with money and self positioning than about representing our interests, it is also true that the politicians need to think about the resources required to bring election success.
The lack of internal democracy make the opposition vulnerable to infiltration. They are managed like private cooperatives by their founders. No political party should allow it’s structures to become victim of this silent invasion. The result is they they will struggle to command the respect and confidence of the electorate.
Infiltration, corruption and exercising undue influence on politics undermines the integrity of elections. ZANU (PF) has been accused of infiltrating to gain control of the opposition since the swallowing of the old ZAPU. This whoring of democracy helps to explain why most Zimbabweans have lost faith in politicians and the “democratic
process” One of the tenets of #thisflag movement is that citizens want the government and political parties to represent them and respond to their views and needs.
If ZANU (PF) can infiltrate the opposition, then it is fair to say the citizens are marginalised from the political process. This breeds lose of faith in politics which is compounded by lack of citizen participation in political parties. There is no political equality when ZANU (PF) uses it’s wealth to buy political influence. The abuse
of state resources to put itself in an advantageous position remains a problem for Zimbabwe.
This lack of a level playing field prohibits the equal participation and representation of all ordinary citizens in a democratic political process. This is especially in the rural areas which is characterised by political exclusion and high intolerance of opposition views.
There is an urgent need for the opposition to have a better control of their party’s recruitment procedures. There is no doubt that the opposition need funding in order to effectively play a meaningful role in the upcoming elections. The fact that ZANU (PF) is well funded, or is it abuse of state resources, it is the biggest threat to democracy in Zimbabwe.
The state of our roads and lack of urban development represent a myriad of problems regarding the abuse of public funds. This unfair distribution of public funds distorts the playing field in favour of ZANU (PF) whose electorate is in the rural. The opposition need resources in-order to reach out to the rural electorate which involves
explaining their policies and to receive and process feedback about the people’s views and aspirations.
The attempt by the MDC to challenge ZANU (PF)’s acquisition of vehicles is good sign of political will.Unfortunately, ZANU (PF) operate differently from the ideals of inclusiveness and fair play on which the idea of democracy is based on and yes the influence of money cannot be dismissed.
The opposition relies on public donations, membership fees, and a tiny potion of public funds yet they have to compete with a party that has been in power for 37 years, what a tragedy.
With this political environment, including many other factors, it is very unlikely for the current opposition to wrestle power from ZANU (PF).