We don’t need another political party in Zimbabwe

We don’t need another political party in #Zimbabwe

via We don’t need another party | The Zimbabwean 12.03.14 by Magari Mandebvu

The past 50+ years of Zimbabwe’s history has been a story of faction fighting and party splits. All that did was delay progress and delight our enemies.

All the pre-independence squabbling among the various parties, some of which appeared like the dew on a misty morning and vanished just as fast, did nothing to advance the cause of liberation; in fact they delayed it. By 1963 the nationalist leaders knew that the days of white rule were numbered, and each faction fought, not for the liberation of Zimbabwe, which was predictably inevitable, but for their seats in the first cabinet, preferably after a “one man, one vote – one time” election.

If ZANU had not split from ZAPU, by 1965 the united ZAPU would have stood a good chance of having such universal support that UDI would have been a three-day wonder. Harold Wilson was afraid of sending troops to crush Ian Smith’s rebellion because he feared a prolonged fight with “kith and kin” and trouble at home from the friends and relatives of the rebels. A single black party strong enough to meet that rebellion with a general strike would have shown up the weakness of the rebels. If Wilson didn’t take advantage of that the UN would have done

Even if a united ZAPU leadership had been so effectively rounded up and locked up that independence via British or UN-supervised elections became impossible in 1966, plenty of other chances were lost. ZAPU and ZANU did build structures in exile by 1971, when the attempt to unite both under the banner of FROLIZI merely ended with a shortlived third party alongside the other two. Zimbabweans seemed committed to factionalism.

Muzorewa’s UANC did unite the people inside Zimbabwe to vote against the British Conservative party’s attempt to do a deal with Smith. Unfortunately, its leaders succumbed to the temptations of imminent power, and, instead of being a movement against the Home-Smith proposals, to be dissolved when its job was done, it became another party alongside the two external ones. Independence would indeed have been imminent in 1972 if the external parties had been prepared to sink their differences, unite their armies and include UANC in a broad front for independence.

That is what the leaders of the Frontline States still wanted to see so that they could support it in 1975 when the collapse of Portuguese rule in Mozambique had changed the military balance in favour of Zimbabwe’s freedom fighters. But the leaders of ZANU were busy tearing their party apart and still snarling insults at ZAPU. Now there were four parties squabbling over the spoils of a victory they were delaying yet again.

It is no wonder that UANC leaders should try their frustrated deal with Smith in 1979, which again delayed the inevitable.

And so the people were slow to accept the idea of further splits after independence. Then, when the referendum showed the people’s dissatisfaction and strength, came MDC, with fresh leadership and united mass support. They faced an oppressive machinery that was strong and they made a number of mistakes, but the greatest mistakes were made in forming breakaway MDC-N (or was it M?) and MDC99. That denied us democracy in 2008.

But down here in Mbare Tsvangirai still more popular than his party, whatever the chattering classes of all political colours (the Fat People’s Party), with all their press, intellectual and “political analyst” voices may say.

A split may weaken Morgan, but it would only prolong our agony. “United we stand” till victory. Go to congress, but don’t split whatever the result. When you’ve won you can split into as many parties and factions as you like. That is what democracy is about. But keep your eyes on the ball, or a greater devil than we’ve yet seen might run away with it.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 25
  • comment-avatar
    Tanonoka Joseph Whande 4 years

    The popularity of a leader is dynamic. It must remain consistent with the dictates of prevailing political attitudes of the times. Popularity in Mbare does not translate into national votes tomorrow nor does it mean a recognition of leadership qualities.
    I am greatly concerned by the absence of information to our voters, particularly those the MDC calls “the grassroots” (ZANU-PF called them ‘povo’) most of whom are more reliant on patronage than being moved by a deep belief and acceptance of an accepted ideology.
    Without doubt, I do agree that we do not need another political party.
    Te reason is very simple, all the political parties we have had since the 1960s has shown the same shallowness and wrong priorities like all the rest.
    But, more importantly, we do not need another political party because we have not yet proved that those we have around today are any worse than the other and that they cannot deliver.
    You see, the problem is really not in ideology but in priorities and execution.
    I would love to see a difference. They are all alike and I am at a loss as to where they differ.
    And, if someone differs with a party that they support, why are they labeled rebel?
    We do not need any more new political parties. Let us school ourselves in true leadership that recognises that a leader is only as good as the results he brings to the party.
    Was Muzorewa not popular at his time, because of the support from ZAPU and ZANU? Was Mugabe not popular, because of the hatred of Muzorewa and Ian Smith? Was Tsvangirai not popular because of Mugabe?
    Let us not take our people for granted and let us be careful about what we call popularity.

    • comment-avatar
      itayi 4 years

      I totally agree with the body and major conclusions of this article. For once there is someone who understands battlefield strategy and tactics. I therefore urge the likes of you Whande to please heed the warnings otherwise many will be inclined to believe that you were never with the democratic movement in the first place. If I may recast the gist of the article is in that it is imploring the democratic movement not to be fooled by the divisive machinations of mugabe under the cover of – ideology and other attributes. Instead it is calling for all progressive people to be united against a formidable and very cunning authoritarian system. The article concludes by saying those in the democratic movement can split into as many parties as they like but only after smashing the regime.

  • comment-avatar
    Isu Zvedu 4 years

    It appears the likes of Whande never saw the MDC policies for change, why MT became popular and how he won as much support. It pains me to know that one educated person in Tanonoka prefers to pick and choose truths. MDC is not MT sir Whande. MT is only a front figure who happened to make as many mistakes as he can when he can. But MDC had ideas, policies and an ideology that counters the zanoid liberation mantra. This guy calling himself a political analyst chooses to ignore the facts on the ground on how the so-called election losses came about. My friend, a political movement is not run like a business enterprise where the executive’s goal is profit no matter what. MDC’s fight is not to be understood by simpletons like the Whandes who wanted results from day one. The fight on ideas is a prolonged process that will take generations. Zimbabwe shall enjoy peace and freedom long after these Whandes are gone.

    • comment-avatar
      mandy 4 years

      The routine morning we know in Zimbabwe is that people are up and about trying to eke out a living. We only come to the internet much later in the day when we have, after an effort secured some bread for our tables or really when the day is over. How come this is not so with you Hwande? Who really are you?

    • comment-avatar
      Gutu 4 years

      Thank you bro,Whande is just another chap who is seeking popularity for doing nothing. Can Whande stop fanning divisions and denigrating the MDC especially Tsvangirai and come up with the strategies that opposition political parties in Zimbabwe should employ to unseat the common enemy Zanu with all the military support it has against the unarmed common man. He is a loser hiding behind the pen.

    • comment-avatar
      Tanonoka Joseph Whande 4 years

      One day you will understand what you read instead of repeating other people’s views like a parrot.
      You might need to understand what is being said instead of selling your conscience for a can of Coke and a bun. We are in this mess because of people like you but we will succeed long after your mouth is dry and when you, again, go begging for another Coke and bun.
      Shame on you.

    • comment-avatar
      Tanonoka Joseph Whande 4 years

      Isu Zvedu must change your name to Ini Zvangu or whatever else. You don’t understand. Is this not the same thing I said as far back as September last year (http://www.swradioafrica.com/2013/09/30/we-do-not-need-any-more-political-parties/)? So what is new here except your misguided thinking. Come on, man. Wake up.

  • comment-avatar
    Rwendo 4 years

    The major problem in our country is not the emergence of new political parties. For sure these can bring new problems with them, not least of which is allowing the opposition to be divided and ruled. There are also other situations. The late Tekere and ZUM for example, will be remembered for creating a rallying point at a time ZANU was trying to establish a one party state, constitutionally.
    If the leadership of a party, be it ZANU PF or MDC-T/N pursues ineffective policies that result in failure to deliver on its mandate, it should hold itself responsible and be held responsible by its rank and file. If it denies responsibility and blames everyone else in sight; if it persistently represses debate and/or blocks leadership renewal; if its followers practice a culture of personality cults and mob rule; then the birth of splinter parties is not only inevitable but perhaps necessary.

    So, why not: “We do not need another RF, or ZANU PF-type party or leadership in Zimbabwe” instead

    • comment-avatar
      mandy 4 years

      You refer to ‘we’ Miss rwendo, gwendo so forth! Who are you calling yourselves with the collective we?

      • comment-avatar
        Mseyamwa 4 years

        Same goes for the author of the article, check title.

  • comment-avatar
    Chimoto 4 years

    Vanhu munokangamwa chezuro nehope, Mugabe rigged elections.Period.Saka tinofanira kuronga kuti todii zvatichabirigwazve mun 2018.Zvima theory zvisina basa munotochenjedza ZANU .Apa 2013 yakati no hatisarova vanhu, ngatisaite delay results.But ngativabire zvokuti vanochemana.Saka tiudzei NGOs kuti todii mumba muna Mudede anoba zvemhando yepamusoro.ZANU ikaona kuti its certain inoruza, inopa another tactic, being helped by looting Chinese.

    • comment-avatar
      3poop 4 years

      Yes i think you sir or madam are in zimbabwe zveshuwa these tanonoka guys are not in zim lets not be demoralised by them.the struggle continues

    • comment-avatar
      Mseyamwa 4 years

      Nyaya iripo ndeiyi. If genuine people vote and vote in large numbers, no amount of rigging can fix it. The other thing people must learn and push for enforcement is that voter registration must be an ongoing exercise not a one day wonder just before an election. right now, five years before the next election, voter registration must be open to all and people must be allowed to confirm and verify registration at any time through the office of the registrar. The period towards elections should be for registration of new people who have just recently qualified to vote. Having massive voter registration exercises a few days before the elections gives the opportunity to riggers to alter the existing register. there will be a lot of confusion.
      I blame the MDC for focusing, not on the ball, during GNU days for they had a platform to ensure their followers registered in good time.
      The nation especially the youths should be educated in governance issues. The ones that should make one decide who to vote and especially the source of the money that is used to buy them beer for two weeks which is state money which could improve their nation and sustain them forever if used properly. Voter education is necessary to the extent that no youth should be a willing tool of repression. On Morgan’s failure the third time around, I believe it was not only him who failed but the whole MDC that failed. Why is it a party of many people if their operations are in actuality a one man show. Did they not agree on how they were going to approach the election, as a party? If not, tell us how you would have done it differently, that which you proposed for the party and was short down in preference of Morgan’s decisions.
      Transparency and democracy are related, aren’t they?

  • comment-avatar
    Johnny k 4 years

    Why should we not have a new political party??
    Why can a new grouping not emerge – without a clear leader for the moment? Would it not be beneficial for the disaffected people from all the mainstream parties to unite with the sole purpose of dislodging ZANU?? I think a grouping of Sakala, Dongo, Biti, Mutambara, Mangoma, Coltart, Makoni, Ncube, Bennett and all the others who have fallen out with their “KINGS” would be a formidable force in Zimbabwe politics. I wonder how many of the electorate are sick and tired of the BIG MAN politics of Zimbabwe (and in fact Africa) and ready to support a grouping who would be willing to put aside personal aspirations for the betterment off the nation.

    • comment-avatar
      Tsuro Magen'a 4 years

      Knowing them, I think they will split again and resulting in 10 more parties.

      Why not call for an early congress and put this MDC issue to rest. Warumwa warumwa -Tsvangirai apa, Biti apa, Mangoma,Mudzuri etc. Lets not be like Ncube who was not repared to wait for the congress and win properly.

      I agree restarting is non-starter..remember ZAPU, ZUD, ZUM,FORUM,ZRP,ZDD,etc as the devil continues to cannibalise its siblings under the pretext “ndisu takakusunungurai”

  • comment-avatar
    NBS 4 years

    Actually what we need is some plain common sense. Two words that simply do not exist

  • comment-avatar
    munzwa 4 years

    Can someone please answer this, Is this not Tsvangirai serving out his last term, if so are we not seeing the same succession race in the MDC as is playing out in Zanu?

  • comment-avatar
    Saddened 4 years

    Of course we don’t need another political party but when the current ones cannot be run along democratic lines & provide for leadership renewal then where do we go? We should be united around principles & values of good governance rather a personality so the fault largely lies with us. Perhaps one of the major reasons is that we have never lived in a truly democratic environment. We have good examples of succession planning in the region and the positive effects of this are there for all to see. Mozambique is a particularly good example in that they moved from being a Marxist state under Machel to a free market one.They are now on the cusp of electing their third president, post Machel. When we have the right calibre of leaders who realise that they are only here for a season to contribute before standing down then I feel certain we will have the kind of Zimbabwe we all want & deserve.

    • comment-avatar
      mandy 4 years

      Is democracy really possible while operating under an authoritarian regime? Was democracy really possible in the ANC of South Africa without dismantling apartheid first! Internal party democracy is an illusion that is used by authoritarian regimes to frustrate a united progressive movement. In South Africa it was the Bantustans and such people as Buthelezi. Today the same Buthelezi is still around almost 14 years after Mandela left government. An authoritarian regime uses state resources to perpetuate its stay in power and that is including sowing seeds of discontent, encouraging splits over and above clandestinely sponsoring individuals who in their view are naive and irresolute. Lets wake!

  • comment-avatar
    Rwendo 4 years

    Well said, Saddened. We have been victim to artful, intelligent and resilient leaders (Smith, Mugabe) who led us down cul de sacs. We ourselves have tended to follow blindly until it was too late.

    Chissano, Mogae and Masire of Mozambique and Botswana cannot be described as electrifying, charismatic or iconic but they led wisely.

    We are long overdue for someone like that.

  • comment-avatar
    jobolinko 4 years

    Thank Mandebvu for telling like it is.

  • comment-avatar
    Nyoni 4 years

    I still like the idea of an all race ,tribe ,sect, creed ,religious etc type party where all our people enjoy the fruits of their labour. Whats so hard with that. But we know why this can not happen. Selfishness and Ungodly behaviour. Thats our punishment.

  • comment-avatar
    lost birthright 4 years

    I appreciate everyone’s input here.

    We can all wish for good Governance, blame the past (Smith, colonialism, Mugabe, whatever) but there has never been a book for these leaders on how to govern an African country successfully or a hard cover manual of rules which everyone is satisfied with (they change to suite). We should look and learn from our mistakes and of other African states. What does it tell us. If the race/tribal card was dropped and bribery/thuggery stopped, respect of opinions and fellow leaders the country would flourish become productive, employ everyone and begin to shine among the other struggling war torn nations, citizens can become proud of their achievements. The problem right now is that there is a Tyrant Government stopping the pride happening right on our very doorstep. There are big differences between pride, power/greed, pomp and poverty. Don’t blame colonialism, it is past, gone. Hitler will be remembered in many ways too, so will many others in history. Having another split of parties is not unity.

  • comment-avatar

    Prblms in Zim will take time to go cos our opposition leaders seem not to appreciate that zanu wins thru rigging. The only thing needed is for all e opposition parties and CSO to work together to counter rigging. It doesn’t matter how many political parties are formed as long as they work together to thwart rigging. All shd insist on inclusiveness when it comes to electoral processes. Rigging starts now not during electoral periods. Izvozvi Mudede is busy preparing e next voters roll isu tichingoti rinenge ravabasa reZEC to prepare e next roll.

  • comment-avatar
    Isu-zvedu 4 years

    Sometimes I feel like Zimbabwe should be first in campaigning outside of party language. It is true there are many zanoids with brilliant ideas on how to change our country for the good. It is also true that there are many opposition people who have no idea about change. Its equally true that Zimbabwe has many independent people who are brilliant, but would rather leave the country because the party language and way of doing things do not resonate with their mindset. How about categorizing prospecting civil servants into professions and create public debates with judges and people voting freely to choose who has the best ideas, say in transforming the transport industry. Let those who wish to hold public office go about explaining what exactly they hope to achieve at individual level, not mass language of party politics. These people should present a time frame of what they wish to achieve and if their goals are not met during that time, say 4 years, they should gracefully leave and allow others to take over.

    This business of being addressed at some rally, paying party membership subscriptions, etc is the real reason why we have legislators like Chinotimba who would do best were they employed as security men at town house. This business of appointing clueless people on positions of national security risk is why we have the clueless Made at Agriculture ministry, thereby guaranteeing perennial food begging.