Is there hope in political parties in Zimbabwe?

via Is there hope in political parties? – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 29, 2014 by Rashweat Mukundu

The continuing comic drama in the MDC-T appears not to be receding anytime soon and almost every day we wake up to a new episode.

A colleague wrote on his Facebook page that the MDC-T has now suspended party leader Morgan Tsvangirai and I presume a time for a name change.

For ordinary citizens, the MDC-T appears so determined to dig its own grave that no one seems to really care now except the cheerleaders across the divide who continue singing and marching while castigating the other faction.

That is the all-in-all of politics in the opposition party.

The now indifferent citizens know for sure that politics and its organisation is about fighting for political power and influence and ideally fighting for the good of society.

The MDC-T has, however, torn itself apart by internal squabbles that in all likelihood will result in a second split and possibly the end of the MDC-T as a political force.

On the other side, you have Zanu PF which continues to gloat over its July 31 victory, taking every opportunity to remind anyone who cares to listen that it is the people’s party.

Yet all indications and evidence point to the fact that this is party that tramples on its opponents at will all in the name of keeping power.

Using its liberation credentials, Zanu PF claims entitlement to rule forever and in this is prepared to ride roughshod over citizens in pursuit of that aim.

34 years after independence it is Zanu PF and the MDC-T parties that have consolidated themselves as serious political parties.

Others have fallen by the wayside. For the love of the two parties, as many have been killed and beaten up, and property destroyed.

Zimbabweans have placed so much faith in the two political parties to rescue the nation from the burdens of poverty that one can smell in downtown Harare and many cities and poor suburbs.

The question that has to be asked now, is whether the citizen has placed too much faith and done the proverbial putting all eggs in one basket by trusting political parties to grow Zimbabwe.

While politicians, because of their control of the arms of the State, ultimately have all the power and influence on developmental issues, Zimbabwean citizens must explore other ways of achieving development and social change outside the two main political parties.

It is difficult and almost impossible to fathom how citizens can act on their own as agents of change, but this has to start somewhere and somehow.

Over the weekend a colleague witnessed members of the Seventh Day Adventists Church evangelising in Harare’s Dzivaresekwa suburb, not by preaching, but by cleaning the suburb of all sorts of trash strewn around.

These were joined by enthusiastic local residents who saw the need to live in a clean environment.

And who also realise that their expectations of the city council sending garbage trucks will likely last forever while they will literally live in a dumpster.

As many citizens, including the despised volunteer pothole-fixing men and women, face threats from the council, yet in my neighbourhood they have done a good job of fixing potholes and while not perfect at least cars are not driving into metre-deep holes.

The need for citizens to start doing things on their own, be it organising garbage collection and disposal, buying books and furniture for their schools, maintaining roads, organising joint solar energy and water projects, schemes to feed orphans and the vulnerable, may appear far-fetched, but it is such actions which will remind us of what citizenship is about, that is roles and responsibilities, and ultimately society will awaken to the fact that in the MDC-T and in Zanu PF we have the worst of political leaders and none is better.

It is by doing and knowing what goes on in having a clean environment that we will hold the council and the government to account.

As of now, Zimbabweans have placed so much faith in political leaders to rescue them, to lead to prosperity, to build schools, to collect garbage, build hospitals. While these expectations are legitimate, the political set-up is such that our political leaders have no capacity or will to serve the people.

And the expecting masses have neither capacity nor leverage to hold the leadership to account. In essence, we have an elite political class, be it in the ruling or opposition parties, that fights for itself and throws trinkets and crumbs at the masses to silence them. For this reason, the fights in the mainstream political parties are not so much about politics that uplift citizens, but ambitions to be at the top and to feed.

If Tsvangirai had won the July 31 elections, we can be sure that those “ousting” him now would be licking his shoes and singing praise songs about how great he is. Not so much because they believe in him, but because the time to “eat” would have arrived.

Those in Zanu PF, at each other’s throats to succeed President Robert Mugabe, are not talking of their policies, but slobbering at the prospect of “eating” all the Marange diamonds and anything else along the way.

So while many people expect goodies and leadership from political parties, indications are that nothing serious will come from the politicians. Instead, citizens must learn the pain of leadership in their small way and that will result in us making demands for an accountable leadership.

If we are the ones to throw rubbish out of the buses or vehicles, fail to fix a pothole in our own street, take care of each other when we have means, then the politician will simply treat us as we treat ourselves. And that is the case now.

No hope in both Zanu PF and MDC-T, but so much hope in doing things on our own and out of that a responsible — not pampered and corrupt — political leadership will emerge.



  • comment-avatar
    Gomogranny 9 years ago

    Rashweat Mukundu – Yes, yes and yes again. Zimbabwean Citizens are now beginning to unite and DO IT OURSELVES….fixing our nation “one pothole at a time”, These political parties and their power seeking elites have made themselves a liability to our nation…they are like ticks on the back of a dog….and the dog derives no benefit from having them. Make them irrelevant in our lives – look over their large heads. Kick that pedestal out from under their greedy big feet.

    • comment-avatar
      Chaka 9 years ago

      Gommogranny, spot on, right product. I wish I cld communicate w u on fb

  • comment-avatar

    No! There is no hope in any politician. Most of them are booking themselves a place in eternal damnation unless they repent. It will definitely have to be a DIY solution with God’s help. Let us stand up Zimbabwe.

  • comment-avatar
    apolitical 9 years ago

    There should be a need for a test to become a politician to be allowed in parliament.
    All MP’s should have to take an IQ/Aptitude test to see what their aptitude is and which ministry they are best suited.
    It should operate in much the same way as business, if you cant do the job you don’t get it.
    At the moment position in government is based on popularity on that basis the country could be run by a comedian.
    The system of democracy is wrong as promoted by the west,
    The west don’t understand democracy and confuse themselves.
    At local government level only rate payers get a vote on how or who will spend their rates – called democracy.
    At central government level all get a vote on how or who spends tax payers money – definitely not democracy.
    Only those who pay tax should have a vote.

  • comment-avatar

    So you are saying an unemployed person or a pensioner should not be allowed to vote? Only those who pay tax should have a vote. That would be 5% of 14000000 which would mean 700000 people would be allowed to vote. My word are you trying to take us back to the days of the Roman Empire? The IQ would never work for some in Zanu. Think of Chinotimba. But Apolitical you have nailed some of it. If someone cannot do a Job he should not get it. If the Government was practising this we would be laughing all the way to the Bank(I mean economy)because most of them cannot do the job. And you right the country could be run by comedians. In fact it is at the moment that is why the whole world is laughing at us.”At central government level all get a vote on how or who spends tax payers money” that is exactly what this Government does and we all know who gets to spend the taxpayers money. And there is a TEST on who goes to Parliament. You are tested how good you are in stealing. The more you steal the higher a post you get.

  • comment-avatar
    Roving Ambassador 9 years ago

    Good call Mukundu.Lets wean our selves off the state. Stop all this chef chef business. This chef does not care about you next thing he is chasing after your wife,ask Mugabe. let’s render these looters powerless. Do not attend their meetings because nothing comes of it.
    I suggested at one time ,that we establish small communities out in the sticks which are self sufficient in food, power,water,school and clinic. Activate some micro economic activity .
    Stay a way from Harare where all these croocks reside.
    Unfortunately I had no takers because people want everything ready made. Most of us have been Zanufied,easy come easy go.
    It can be done ,it just needs like minded people.
    Missionaries of old managed to set up vibrant communities.

    I could write a book about it.

    • comment-avatar
      Gomogranny 9 years ago

      We should start “THE MOVEMENT FOR THE ABOLITION OF POLITICIANS” – Only when they see that they are becoming obsolete in their current form will they transform into useful items. You are right we need to be self sufficient micro communities – ANARCHY….all have a place and either all or nobody sits on the chair!

  • comment-avatar
    Tjingababili 9 years ago


  • comment-avatar
    Chaka 9 years ago

    Lets all go DIY, and God will be with us.

  • comment-avatar
    JOHNSON 9 years ago


  • comment-avatar
    JOHNSON 9 years ago


  • comment-avatar
    Rock stone 9 years ago

    Some of Zimbabweans had vowed not to to participate in elections because, they are now believing that elections does no bring the much anticipated change due to militarized system ,continuos splits from the main opposition , so now that will depend , on how opposition political part regard them self on behalf of the mass & defeating the ruling ZANU PF

  • comment-avatar
    The Bush Lawyer 9 years ago

    Let us not depend on these political parties. MDC was infiltrated by the CIO through money mongers like Biti. Do not forget that Biti as Kiyakiya Finance Minister of the GNU worked very close with Gideon Gono. Kereke Vs Gono – how much money was Biti paid by Gono to represent him? Who is Gono in the eyes of Mugabe? Do you still remember the Premiuer Bank hidden in Oxford Road in Avondale?? What happened to it? Where did the money come from and where did the money go? Biti will soon build his own mansion beside that of Gono close to the First Family Mayfair Plaza in Borrowdale. The MDC coup stagers were given money which they had never earned and seen in their lives. When Mugabe was thrashed by Morgan Tswangirai in 2000 and in 2008 ZANU PF did not send Mugabe packing to the Far East. The story of the Bay of Pigs in Cuba demonstrates very well that you do not need Degrees to defeat Professors and Doctorates. Hit them hard while they strategize. Morgan Tswangirai is a brave leader who confronted Mugabe when all professors and Doctorates were afraid of the Fist. Professors and Doctorates got jobs and widened their CVs through Morgan Tswangirai. Failing is a blessing as it teaches you to pass well and objectively. Personal life style in Africa should not be confused with the Western style. Is Mugabe’s marriage to Grace any better?? Both are typical Africans. An African is an African and do not expect any better. We are in the auto-piloted Zimbabwe and there is no Government. Zimbabwe has been hijacked by poor people of poor troubled backgrounds as revealed by Mugabe himself who grew up without his Father.