via Appellations Zanu-PF does not need | The Herald December 18, 2013 by Tichaona Zindoga
A look at the 14th Zanu-PF Annual People’s Conference will train the eye on the problems that the party faces as an organisation and ruler
My TurnOver the years, and particularly this year, Zanu-PF has had quite unfortunate appellations that distract not only from it being a revolutionary party but also the ruling party. The appellations do not make a good report of this party that likes to believe it is superior to the Government.
The party has become identifiable with infighting and factionalism.
It may require a bit of scientific or forensic expertise to determine the true extent of the damage caused by this fracturing.
However, the obvious effect of this problem is to project the revolutionary party as ill-disciplined and therefore ill-deserving of trust and confidence.
This was most evident in the electoral reversal of June 2008.
And one can bet the bottom dollar that had the so-called factionalism or frenzied talk of the same that accompanied the recent provincial elections taken place in a national electoral season, a fractured Zanu-PF would once again have faltered.
It would be “bhora musango” all over again, and thankfully for those that believe that the organic and revolutionary party is the best way forward for Zimbabwe, it did not happen.
Yet it must be pointed out here that Zanu-PF has enough problems on its hands and does not need ungainly appellations and occupations.
A look at the 14th Zanu-PF Annual People’s Conference will train the eye on the (more serious) problems that the party faces as an organisation and ruler.
The party even affords to be very honest in some of its admissions on the challenges it is facing.
The party is facing financial troubles — put it that way if you do not want to point out that it is literally broke.
Zanu-PF now relies on donations and the goodwill of people who must be well-heeled in these times of national economic want.
It has not been receiving enough money from the fiscus.
So how does the party seek to fund itself so that it remains viable, vibrant and in touch with the people?
That is an onerous task which above all does raise uncomfortable questions about the sources of funds, which may or may not have dogged the party (and all parties) at some point.
On the other hand, a party that fails to feed itself will have to be expected to perform miracles in projecting surfeit to the rest of the country.
The party admits that there are increasing levels of poverty, especially among vulnerable groups and professes it is “appalled by the near collapse of the public service delivery system in the country”; there is “massive skills flight experienced over the last decade”; and there is a huge housing backlog in urban areas and the need for social infrastructure in newly resettled areas.
The party decries “the dilapidated state of the country’s physical infrastructure in both urban and rural areas; in terms of key economic enablers such as energy, roads, dams, irrigation systems, national airline and national railways”.
“The country is at the mercy of recurrent droughts and “presently has limited financial resources at its disposal to address the current national power deficit.”
There are quite a number of strong words in the above statement that either show the depth of the challenges that Zimbabwe and the party faces.
They should do something about it, shouldn’t they?
And now, too.
It will be useful to highlight more of what Zanu-PF’s Zimbabwe is and the party’s professed attitude to the same.
The party is “perturbed by the growing incidents of gender-based violence against women, especially exemplified by the unprecedented spate of rape cases including horrific sexual assaults against children”.
It has to move “urgently” to realign its Constitution with provisions of the New Constitution of Zimbabwe relating women’s rights, with particular reference to gender equality and ensure that women are included in all committees of the party. Government must “provide affordable health services which incorporate maternity care, reproductive health, subsidised cancer treatment and screening as well as provision of ARVs.”
The party finds “alarming” the increase of perpetrators of rape and sexual abuse and says it is “concerned” that despite their majority status and strategic position in the economy and the country’s political landscape, the youth remain marginalised.
This is like a full bouquet of challenges that the party faces and it is an aberration that Zanu-PF can be called a party of infighting when it should in fact be a party of delivery and deliverance.
The policy coherence and consistency that is needed for Government programmes, which the party subordinates to its own programmes, derive from a coherent, united and persistent party.
Now, if the party admits non-implementation of its internal resolutions, what becomes of national policies that are predicated on the same?
The issue of indigenisation, for example, has seen some awkward situation in which the transition from the current and previous party Government representatives have seemed to sing from different books.
President Mugabe’s emphasis that indigenisation is here to stay unconditionally betrays a deeper policy problem, the face saver is that he remains principled. It needs to be examined whether Zanu-PF is up to the task of uniting or coalescing around delivering to the electorate.
Serving the people, which the leaders are elected to do in the first place, is a worthier nucleus to unite around than individuals.
The liberation cause and ethos present far bigger an ideology than personality cults.