Succession and the handiende syndrome By Lim Zawengwa| have argued many a time in various fora in the past that the problems with Zimbabwean politics is the Zanufication of our body politic. The history of our politics and governance in the last 40 years has and continues to be shaped and driven by ZANU PF.
Opposition parties have not and are not any different from the ZANU PF way of doing things. To the enlightened this should not come as a surprise. Most of the people fronting or leading opposition political parties are former members of ZANU PF. Their DNA is ZANU PF. Rukuvhute rwavo rwuri kuZANU. For many of them, they grew up idolising Robert Mugabe. Many of those who now can be heard shouting vile words at Mugabe were the ones who not long ago chanted praises for him. These people a fickle and unprincipled.
The gist of this paper is premised on the conflation between operant and classical conditioning. The two processes are not mutually exclusive. The mirror image of ZANU PF in opposition politics is both a result of voluntary and involuntary conditioning. The history of opposition parties functionaries has followed them into opposition politics. They have not known anything different. They say a leopard never changes it’s spots. We can’t really blame them for this. However, on the other hand the behaviour of the opposition politicians is also voluntary. After extricating themselves from the clutches of ZANU PF, they were and still have a choice to do things differently. They could have chosen to follow a different trajectory but they didn’t.
Morgan Tsvangirai has been at the helm of the the MDC since it was founded 19 years ago. Despite losing or being Nikuved several election results, he has refused to throw in the towel and give someone else a chance. Just like Mugabe, he cannot see an MDC without him. He will just not let go. The party and person are conflated, if not conflicted. Mugabe was the same. Morgan learned his ropes in ZANU PF.
He is a former ZANU PF Political Commissar. Mugabe never voluntarily relinquished office. Same same naMorgan. Even in his greatest hours of need, he still will not go. It appears that his health is not more important than his power. Running the party from a hospital bed. Kuitawo here ikoko? In the last few years it was clear that Mugabe is old and a few screws had come off. He clearly showed that he had lost his marbles but he would not let go. Power is sweet. Some will blame Mugabe and Morgan’s younger wives for pushing them to stay on. But really? All dictators love power. The wives derive their “power” and unbridled enthusiasm from their husbands.
The chaos and power vacuum in the MDCT is a result of Morgan’s handiende syndrome. A clear manifestation of his ZANU PF DNA. Everything Morgan has done can be traced back to ZANU PF and Mugabe. Mugabe had 2 Vice Presidents, Morgan went one better. Mugabe played his Vice Presidents against each other. Morgan is doing that too. Mugabe married a young second wife after his first wife died Morgan did exactly the same. The similarities are you numerous to mention.
If Morgan was a true democrat, as the *D* in MDC is supposed to stand for, he should know or have long known that it’s way past his time to pass on the button. The party should be bigger than any individual current. The shenanigans going on in the MDCT are a recipe for monumental electoral disaster. Morgan can change all this if he was to do the right thing. Is it so difficult to write a resgination letter? Does he need soldiers to write it for him? But he won’t. Mugabe wouldn’t either.
The future of the country lies in the youth. It is incumbent upon the youth across the political spectrum to reject the Zanufication of our body politic. Leaders come and go. Noone should be allowed to think that they have a divine right to be President of a party or the country. All those who were teenagers or unborn at independence should gracefully thank the the G60s and above and retire them from active politics. Vote them out in the next elections. Kindly allow Morgan and those of his generation to rest. Whether they are in ZANU PF or MDC Alliance.