Opposition disunity boon for Zanu-PF

Source: Opposition disunity boon for Zanu-PF | The Herald July 19, 2017

Sydney Kawadza Senior Reporter
Widening fissures among political parties over coalition talks could lead to yet another outright victory for the ruling Zanu-PF, political analysts have said.

The widening cracks among political parties, they said, could lead to a situation where Zanu-PF retains its dominance of electoral systems. Possibilities of a coalition among opposition parties in Zimbabwe continue to fade amid serious bickering among various groups.

The coalition between MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai and National People’s Party front-runner Dr Joice Mujuru is in limbo. Dr Mujuru has dumped Mr Tsvangirai to go into bed with Mr Tendai Biti of the People’s Democratic Party.

Mr Tsvangirai has signed separate agreements with Professor Welshman Ncube of MDC and Mr Jacob Ngarivhume of Transform Zimbabwe, who have anointed him as the leader of the supposed coalition.

Mr Tsvangirai and Dr Mujuru have clashed over the leadership of the envisaged coalition. The MDC-T wants Dr Mujuru to take rural constituencies, an Achilles heel for the perennial under-achievers, than equitable distribution of constituencies.

The rift seems to have grown wider after MDC-T secretary-general Mr Douglas Mwonzora declared this weekend that his party was ready to go it alone in the elections next week.

Mr Mwonzora reportedly said his principal, Mr Tsvangirai, was ready to “go it alone” if the other parties are not ready to work with him. However, analysts yesterday said the failure by the opposition to unite theoretically leads to a high probability of a one-party hegemony.

They said Zanu-PF, as an institution, has popular policies that are well articulated and resonate with the masses who still believe in the ruling party’s capacity to stabilise the political economy even if the current situation is gloomy.

The opposition has also become too feeble, organisationally, ideologically and financially, making it to discern their strategies.

Political scientist and University of Zimbabwe lecturer, Mr Eldred Masunungure said Zimbabwe has a consolidated two party system since 1999, which would be difficult to subvert.

“If anything, we are moving forward towards the re-establishment of a dominant one party system with Zanu-PF as the hegemonic party.

“These other parties that are mushrooming on a daily basis, I do not think that they will worry either the established opposition or the established ruling party.

“If you are to look at the public opinion data, Zimbabweans are increasingly becoming disenchanted with opposition politics,” he said.

Another analyst, Mr Blessing Ivan Vava, said the opposition has demonstrated a lack of capacity to defeat Zanu-PF. “It is not about them forming a coalition without a clear political programme of action and ideological clarity of the same to unseat Zanu-PF.

“The questions we need to ask is why should they be a coalition; what basis is it being formed on?” Mr Tafadzwa Mugwadi, a political scientist based in Tanzania, said a coalition would never usher the opposition into Government.

“The imminent and looming failure of such a coalition arrangement is a categorical statement that Zanu-PF is poised to consolidate its maturing hegemony.

“Indeed, while the process has been bumpy and rocky, especially in the last decade, there is no doubt that Zanu-PF has managed to consolidate its place in the hearts and minds of all generations across the length and breadth of the country owing to the legendary policies traceable to the gallant liberation war, reconciliation, unity and land revolution which is in its towering phase.”

Respected think-tank Afrobarometer recently revealed that President Mugabe would romp to victory if Presidential elections are held tomorrow. The report said at least 56 percent of Zimbabweans approve of the way President Mugabe has discharged his duties over the past 12 months.

It also found that MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai’s popularity continues to plummet from a high of 57 percent in 2009 to 16 percent this year.

A further 38 percent of Zimbabweans said they would vote for President Mugabe compared to 29 percent in 2005.