via Time for a new political order – NewsDay Zimbabwe September 24, 2015 by Vince Musewe
Zimbabweans are tired. They are tired of Zanu PF and its leadership; they are tired of non-delivery, the arrogance, the economic meltdown and the continuous non-productive political bickering within Zanu PF that is wasting our time. On the lips of all I have met is the question: When will this end and when will Zanu PF go so that we can create a new political and social order in Zimbabwe.
As John Enoch Powell, the British politician, once remarked: “All political lives, unless they are cut off mid-stream at a happy juncture, always end in failure because that is the nature of politics and of human affairs.” That is so true in our case and yet so sad. We are experiencing catastrophic political failure and paralysis simply because of one man refusing to admit that his political life has become a burden on everyone. His political life will truly end in total failure. What a pity.
Yes, we need a new political order in Zimbabwe, but let us not be naive and expect this to be a smooth transition. The most dangerous assumption we can make is that Zanu PF is ready to let common sense and popular sentiment rule. Theirs is an incomprehensible insensitivity and a clear lack of moral obligation to the suffering people of Zimbabwe caused by their misguided policies over the last 35 years. Reshuffling the Cabinet and reframing problems will not absolve them.
My greatest fear is that we may be disappointed once more in 2018 as we were in 2013, if we all naively wait and think that we can ever accept to go into another election with the current electoral architecture in place. It boggles the mind why any opposition party would even consider contesting any by-election at this stage. There is no way out of this conundrum except together and the sooner we get talking and organising ourselves around a coalition of all democratic forces, the better.
We have seen how the inscrutable Nathaniel Manheru has already threatened to bring the likes of Joice Mujuru to account only because she has chosen to challenge President Robert Mugabe in 2018. We have heard how any purported “talks” with the opposition forces are quickly framed as a regime change agenda and, therefore, designed to “topple” Mugabe. That is truly sad and presumptuous.
“The Zanu PF government has not and will not engage any opposition party to solicit assistance in transforming Zimbabwe’s economy,” and so said Presidential spokesperson George Charamba recently.
These are the words of a government that has created a failed State. This is the vitriol of a government that has failed dismally to unlock the potential of this country and continues to bungle from one calamity to another. This is the arrogance of a government that lacks imagination and any reasonable means to extricate our country from the continuing decline in the quality of life of Zimbabweans. These are the words of people who fear any organised effort by free citizens to change the circumstances, which we now face.
Now we must understand the nature of this beast called Zanu PF. It fears change and suppresses anything that threatens its hold on power. It does not respect fair competition, despite the fact that it has no idea on how to get out of the economic problems it has created. It does not respect the ballot box as a means to elect government, but feels entitled to power. It is an archaic patronage system of old men who have no clue or interests in the future we want. It does not see the worth in any talks or dialogue with other Zimbabweans outside Zanu PF. The sooner we appreciate that, the better.
And so, since the Zanu PF government does not need any of our views to sort out the economic mess, it means that unless we do something ourselves, things will get worse and their denials of reality will continue.
So let us put aside our imagined differences and personal ambition for the greater good of Zimbabwe. I think we have an opportunity to reshape our future as a country so that we can revive the economy, create jobs and create a normal society that enjoys basic rights.
Let all the opposition political parties come together and resolve that without the creation of new conditions. That is what I am working hard at. How can we define a better future together and agree on what it will look like? How can we move towards that future now without wasting any more time? These are the questions I think we must answer.
In my opinion the more we delay coming together, the more we are giving Zanu PF time which they do not deserve. The only question right now should be when will Zanu PF go, and not if.
We have had enough and there is no contestation on that.
Vince Musewe is an economist and author based in Harare. You may contact him on email@example.com