ZimPF drubbing: Makova resigns

THE just-ended Bikita West parliamentary by-election has claimed its first casualty, with the opposition Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF)’s Masvingo provincial chairperson, Claudius Makova, stepping down after he was allegedly accused of contributing to their candidate’s humiliating defeat.

Source: ZimPF drubbing: Makova resigns – NewsDay Zimbabwe January 24, 2017

By Tatenda Chitagu

Makova is accused of brushing aside the provincial executive’s advice and railroading the Joice Mujuru-led opposition party into the by-election without adequate preparations.

ZimPF’s Kudakwashe Gopo came a distant second with 2 453 votes against Zanu PF’s Beauty Chabaya, who garnered 13 156 votes and was duly declared winner.

Makova yesterday confirmed he had stepped down, but said he would remain an ordinary card-carrying member of the party.

“It is true, I have stepped down as the Masvingo provincial chair,” he said, adding he had written to Mujuru informing her of his decision.

“If you have failed as a leader, you have to resign. It is just like (former British Prime Minister) David Cameron, who resigned over Brexit simply because he had failed to block the move. You have to give others a chance,” he said, while denying any wrongdoing.

A leaked ZimPF letter dated August 12, 2016 and addressed to Mujuru confirmed reports that the party’s provincial executive was against participating in the by-election.

In the letter, signed by then interim provincial chair, William Zivenge, the executive warned that participating in the by-election would be a “betrayal to opposition politics in Zimbabwe”, since ZimPF was part of the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera).

Nera is a loose coalition of opposition parties demanding implementation of electoral reforms before they can participate in next year’s general elections.

Zivenge’s letter, which was copied to the interim head of mobilisation, interim chairpersons of national committees and the interim head of security, reads: “The interim provincial executive council members reiterated their position that they were against participating in the said by-election. It is not in the best interests of the party to participate because the party is a signatory to Nera and participating will jeopardise any future talks for a coalition with other players, as we would have given a picture that we cannot have a clear position as a party and, therefore, cannot be trusted.

“Participating in the by-election is also in a way legitimising the status quo with regards to the electoral playing field. On that note, we will be viewed as an extension of Zanu PF.

“If we go into the by-election and lose, we give our opponent, Zanu PF, massive room to manoeuvre and ridicule ZimPF as a non-entity and as if we are not a serious player. On the other hand, even if we win, it is likely to be a pyrrhic victory in the sense that it will harden Zanu PF not to undertake any electoral reforms, as it will use this as an example that the electoral playing field is even or needs further tightening.”

The ZimPF provincial executive correctly predicted a Zanu PF landslide victory.


  • comment-avatar

    Yes, true the Zivenge & his team were very right. But this was only a small portion of ZimPF which seems to have the right position. However, can the same be said about the rest ZimPF given that the party did not take heed of this group’s logical sentiments? In short; as Zivenge et al pointed:
    1) Issue of coherence & trust, yes, is now at stake. Can any other serious opposition trust these guys; are they not indeed an appendage of Zanu PF?
    2) Legitimization status quo has clearly been achieved again. If they saw nothing seriously wrong in participating in this by-election in the light of lack of electoral reform, can they in anyway tell us that reforms to them are pre-requisite for partaking in 2018 elections.
    3) Clear lack of unanimity on fundamental issues within the party has ben clearly exposed.
    4) Serious deficit in democratic tenets within the party has also been grossly exposed – as demonstrated by imposition of candidate by the powerful Makovas, failure to take heed of provincial majority sentiments, etc
    5) Total lack of strategy on how to tackle Zanu pf’s open vote-buying, rigging, violence and other shenanigans. We have been told time & again that Zim PF will beat zanu pf at its game “becoz we have been with them for the past 36 years and we know all their election tactics”. So, what happened to the much talked about knowledge of zanu pf – violence & open vote-buying prevailed and Zim Pf’s nose. What did they do about it?

    Anyway, at least this should be food for thought for those who are busy spreading lies about Joice & her outfit’s capacity to dislodge Mugabe & his zanu pf. Only MDC-T can do that given an election with any semblance of freedom & fairness. Yes, we know for sure becoz MDC-T has done it several times before only to be denied their deserved top prize some other unorthodox means by ZEC and other zanu pf aligned institutions.

  • comment-avatar
    reader 5 years ago

    MDC-T will never win unless they contest.
    While they sit and procrastinate on the side lines ZANUPF will continue to win.
    ZIMPF thought they were ahead, see what happens if you think you are good despite the vote buying threats etc, I believe they would still have lost as there was too much bickering and no actual support.

    Time to step up and test the waters MDC-T.

    2018 is drawing close and unless you will put your names on the voting sheet we cannot support you, very frustrating for us who want to put MDC-T into office, we vote for minor parties that loose or we don’t vote at all ensuring victory to the the current regime who will legally steal the vote again.

    Put up candidates Morgan and see how many we can win NOW.

  • comment-avatar
    Mazano Rewayi 5 years ago

    One does not know what kind of swimmer they are until they are in the pool (and our pool has deadly hazards everywhere – crocodiles, snakes, hippos, germs, poisonous frogs, prickly/spiky reeds, logs and sharp and slippery rocks). Despite all the valid reasons given here, participating in at least one election before 2018 was a good idea for ZPF – now they know where they stand, not insignificant but certainly not big enough. Now it’s back to the drawing board in the full knowledge of what the battle will be like come 2018. More effort is required from the combined opposition on strategies to counter Zanu PF tactics. Just coming together certainly will not be enough. A combination of measures is required but central to whatever strategy is adopted should be taking away the people’s fear and countering Zanu misinformation. Perhaps the simple cell phone used smartly might just play a crucial role towards that end – almost everyone everywhere has a phone nowadays. Well crafted messages can get people thinking and hopefully acting in the desired way. Crying foul all the time will not help anybody. Rallies expose the people, newspapers are too compromised, internet is rather elitist so we need something with a mass appeal but is also robust enough to withstand Zanu machinations.