Internal elections strife a major threat to opposition headway in 2018

Internal elections strife a major threat to opposition headway in 2018

Source: Internal elections strife a major threat to opposition headway in 2018 – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 11, 2017

There can be no secret; things are falling apart at a rate never seen before in the governing party and the only impediment in the path of the opposition now can only be itself. Zanu PF is inevitably approaching next year’s Presidential elections with a huge wound, a wound too deep to heal and there was no opportune time for the opposition to capitalise on the situation than now.

OPINION: Learnmore Zuze

This could easily prove to be the decisive factor in ending the agony being endured in Zimbabwe. It should be acknowledged, even by the staunchest of Zanu PF supporters that the party we all rallied behind and had sons and daughters of this nation dying en masse is totally bereft of ideas to reinvent the great nation of Zimbabwe.

We cannot expect Zanu PF, in all seriousness, to meaningfully turn around Zimbabwe’s economic fortunes. Against this backcloth, it is quite unfortunate, nonetheless, seeing as it is that there is brewing chaos within the MDC-T at a time when regrouping would have been the fundamental objective.

Tempers are flaring against the main opposition’s electorate directorate after it recently recommended a raft of internal election guidelines that will see members of the party’s national executive, among them sitting legislators, not being challenged by their subordinates ahead of the 2018 general elections.

In my view, the directorate’s resolution was quite sensible and pragmatic because the main objective of the opposition, at this juncture, is seizing ultimate power not winning constituency seats hence all effort must be directed towards the eventual cause.

Even so, if the opposition fails to handle this delicate matter then a typical “bhora musango,” with far reaching consequences, is a real possibility threatening all the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) and Code efforts. This internal strife poses a real hazard to opposition stability next year.

Zimbabweans are actually a crisis-weary people having endured bitingly untold hardships since 1999; it has been almost two decades of distress for Zimbabweans, with no end in sight.

The generality of Zimbabweans, by default, want nothing short of change in 2018. Personal, organisational and national progress has suffered over the last 17 years due to misrule of the incumbent administration.

The people, on their part, have protested, petitioned, prayed, practically demonstrated, and voted to express disgruntlement and unwillingness to continue in bondage yet the system is unrelenting. The protests and demonstrations have been met with brute force. The petitions have been ignored.

The prayers have not always been sanctioned. The demonstrations have been crushed and the vote has been overturned, much to the dismay of both Zimbabweans and the international community.

This probably explains why Zimbabweans seem resigned to fate. The fear factor has also remained deeply embedded in the social structure; only a handful have rallied the national cause. What with the forced disappearances in Zimbabwe. The question is: which way Zimbabwe?
Whither Zimbabweans?

What hope is there for Zimbabwe? Are the long queues, hunger and the joblessness rampant in the country all that life is going to mean for Zimbabweans? How will this nation come out of this dungeon?

Colossal changes, largely negative, have taken place since 1999 with an indifferent ruling party. It is reported that there is a Zimbabwean in virtually every country on earth trying to eke out a living. This is abnormal by any standard. The people have opted for refugee status fleeing home in droves. Those who remain behind are a people under the yoke of an obtuse system; a subjugated people who desperately seek a way out.

How will Zimbabwe put a stop to the disaster that has become the patent of this country where it has been ranked amongst the top 10 worst economies yet it is outside a war situation? Generations have been affected by the Zimbabwean catastrophe.

Surely, this country cannot continue on this path: a comatose health system; rotting local authorities, predatory fines, unaccounted for revenue collected daily from the roads, an army of unemployed graduates to decaying infrastructure and poor road networks.

Some have rightly observed that it is on auto-pilot. There seems to be no one in charge. It is actually sad when political tiffs overshadow national issues and this seems to be the case with the national leadership.

But the question is: can something be done to save Zimbabwe or people should simply wait and see? The trouble with the wait-and-see approach is that it is precisely what has taken Zimbabwe to where it is today. Zimbabweans being the risk averse people they are, will wait for 2018 to come and hope for some stroke of luck to alter their pitiable circumstances.

Zimbabweans are hoping for a change without a game plan. Somehow, everyone expects things to change for the better but no one has a definite plan on how this should come about.

This is forgivable coming from the ordinary folk but totally unforgiveable for the opposition which, by now, should be veterans of the matrix in politics as we near the elections.

Someone, something must serve Zimbabwe from total collapse. Whether the sanctions mantra is true as they have militantly asserted is neither here nor there, but what anyone can see is that Zimbabwe, as a country, has failed. And what better time to maximise on the internecine fights rocking the ruling party than now. The opposition, it would appear can’t see that this is the most suitable time to move in for the kill.

A united opposition cannot fail to dislodge a divided ruling party. There are no real prospects of Zanu PF becoming the totally united and menacing force it was at the turn of the century; the divisions in the ruling party may not heal with the current atmosphere of distrust.

Whoever thought Eunice Sandi-Moyo and Sarah Mahoka, the ladies, who wielded enormous influence only a few months ago would be history today.

Now the disintegration in the ruling party isn’t so much the focal point but the things that threaten opposition stability ahead of the crunch election and chief among the strife is internal elections. The opposition MDC-T must put its foot down in an agreeable manner.
Party cadres must understand the principle that focus is on ultimate change not parliamentary seats. All said and done, the opposition will need to tread carefully lest another heartbreak becomes certain in 2018.

Learnmore Zuze is a law officer and writes in his own capacity. E-mail: