VIDEO: Reflections on the ZANU PF Youth League March

Following an exposition by Bus Stop TV yesterday at the ZANU PF Youth League organized march in support of First Lady Mrs Mugabe, many have laughed at the apparent ‘stupidity or ignorance’ of those who attended without knowing the purpose of the march.

Based on the video that circulated yesterday, I make the following observations though not exhaustive, which I humbly believe require reflection by those that seek to reconstitute the political:

  1. Our rural fellows live in closed societies that have limited penetration of alternative information sources except word of mouth from the local ZANU PF leadership (this includes the conflated local government structures and state departments or agencies). ZANU PF enjoys an information hegemony and it is compelling that the opposition begins to think of how they will move our society past ZANU PF information hegemony.
  2. The opposition and civil society have not done much in penetrating these closed societies to undo the ZANU PF information hegemony
  3. ZANU PF mobilization is based on the harvest of fear. While I subscribe to agency (an interactional causal structure determined by decisions made by the SELF), I find it too simplistic to shame those who attended and in the processes we undermine critical ZANU PF mobilization tactics i.e. the use of coercion and force – key tools often employed by competitive authoritarian regimes.
  4. ZANU PF is fully cognizant of the shifting political economy, which they created either by default or design (that’s an argument for another day). The political economy base has not been fully understood or at least engaged by those that seek to replace the current and ZANU PF has manipulated it creating and ensuring a fertilized narrative that they stand for black empowerment. For the ordinary person, the ZANU PF patronage system has been built around this ‘black empowerment’ mantra. The opposition is faced with a mammoth task of undoing this narrative
  5. The conflation of the state and party will always ensure that ZANU PF is resourced (materially and otherwise) to retain state power.
  6. It is apparent that President Mugabe’s 2018 election bid relies on the ZANU PF Youth League and certainly the Women’s League – the traditional mobilization role of war veterans has been replaced.

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