Zanu PF must brace for what comes next

ZANU PF seems to have received the election victory of United States President-elect Republican Donald Trump with glee after an almost decade-long run-in with successive Democratic Party Presidents over the Western-sponsored targeted sanctions.

Source: Zanu PF must brace for what comes next – NewsDay Zimbabwe November 12, 2016

Comment: NewsDay Editor

Trump’s election on Tuesday has presented an unexpected gift to leaders, who resent the encroachment of the West.

So, they rejoice at a result that, in their eyes, will protect them somehow, as Trump appears to stress on an isolationist policy towards other nations.

They are also happy at the result that shows how liberal democracy produces nothing, but an angry populace and wild unpredictability.

President Robert Mugabe and his party are convinced that Democrat, Hillary Clinton represented a system that hated not only Zanu PF, but its leaders.

Perhaps Zanu PF are justified after the opposition took sides with Clinton, but now, some are licking their wounds. It was expected.

US presidential elections always generate both anxiety and hope for the whole world, so it can be understood why Zanu PF has taken sides with Trump.

However, Mugabe, among others, should be warned to brace for what comes next. Even in the US, Trump’s closest supporters have cautioned that his most headline-grabbing proposals should not be taken literally.

Indeed, Trump has openly questioned some of the basic tenets of America’s role in the world.

Clearly, China and Russia will have more room to assert their own strategic interests, but what’s in it for Zimbabwe?

No doubt, Trump will soon get a lantern-guided tour of the foreign shadows, receive the deep-dive briefings, he will get knowledge quickly and he will crave stability.

As such, he will soon find out the true, darker nature of US adversaries, including Zimbabwe, they referred to as “an out-post of tyranny” years back.

Beyond that, Zanu PF should view Trump’s election as a comeuppance for refusing to respect the rule of law, stifling democratic voices and dictatorship.

It is not yet clear exactly what path Trump is going to take on foreign policy, therefore, Zanu PF should not get excited too quickly.

Zanu PF needs to awaken to the reality that unlike Zimbabwe, the US is governed by a well-oiled system and not cult leaders.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s President Barack Obama or Trump, the fundamentals are the same. It will not be surprising if Trump continues to sing from the same hymn sheet as Obama.

We believe the US will still demand that Zanu PF pursue a democratic path.

Zanu PF’s should know better that these fundamental demands will likely remain in place regardless of who steps into the Oval Office.

Zanu PF’s naivety in this regard is quite surprising, given the period the political stalemate with the US and former coloniser Britain has taken. These countries’ envoys have stressed that until Harare cleans up its “soiled”
human rights record and rates higher on the democracy scorecard, it should not expect any change in relations.

These fundamentals are sacrosanct in America’s values, and so are they for all of us save for the fact Zanu PF continues to trample on them under the guise of sovereignty.

Trump or no Trump, this will not necessarily mean Zimbabwe is off the radar. Not so fast.

Mugabe should work on improving his image on the global stage for the benefit of the country.

Self-introspection will do no harm for Mugabe because the very things America has always demanded from him are the same that long-suffering Zimbabweans have been asking for. Zimbabweans just want to live a normal life again.

The lesson for our opposition parties also is that they should always concentrate on making Zimbabwe Great Again and not hope for salvation from some other leader in some outpost somewhere.

The solution is with Zimbabweans!