via Struggles after the struggle November 20, 2014
In his book, Struggles Within the Struggle, the late Masipula Sithole clearly stated that the contradictions within the armed struggle would likely play themselves out after the struggle, resulting in struggles after the struggle that would compromise the achievement of the ideals of the liberation struggle.
He intended to write a book on struggles after the struggle and I am seriously tempted to satisfy his wish.
He was correct, especially given what happened in the bush and after independence where we saw the ruthless elimination by any means of any potential rivals to President Robert Mugabe. These men have not moved an inch in their minds from the past.
It is my contention here that a lot of issues that arose during the struggle were never adequately dealt with after the struggle and, as a result, Zanu PF never really transformed itself into a democratic political entity.
This, of course, includes the plight of genuine war veterans who never really received legitimate recognition and honour for the sacrifices which they made, but were sidelined after the struggle by the so-called nationalists who usurped power and, therefore, its benefits post-independence.
Only those war veterans who will dare not challenge Mugabe’s hegemony and sing his praises have prevailed.
In my opinion, Zanu PF has remained, throughout the years, a liberation struggle political party that happens to possess a State and has proceeded to abuse that State and its resources to meet its narrow political objectives without adequately attending to the contradictions that it carried over from the struggle.
The line between State and party never existed in their minds and to this day, there is this inherent and pervasive entitlement to power and State resources.
Zanu PF has also failed dismally to address the economic and social agendas after the struggle and has, instead, relied on a patronage system that has fed a predator cabal.
This patronage system is underpinned by fear, intimidation, violence and false loyalty as a means to an end.
The misleading prediction of “Seek ye first the political kingdom and all else shall be added onto you” by Kwame Nkrumah has been a big lie.
Instead, “Seek ye the political kingdom first and plunder all” is a better reflection of the truth whose consequences we have borne for the last 34 years.
Our situation has been worsened by Mugabe’s leadership style and the tendency within the party to suppress dissent, purge dissenters, kill ambition, and rule by stealth, while pretending that the party is a broad church of revolutionaries glued together by a common history and objectives and is by right well-endowed with skills and competence to run a democratic and inclusive developmental State. Nothing can be further from the truth!
In my opinion, Zanu PF is a broad church of cowards brought together through fear, intimidation and greed without any intention whatsoever of creating the Zimbabwe we want.
It is a cesspit of personal ambition for power and status without responsibility. Unfortunately, the masses, like sheep, continue to be duped that the revolution is still alive.
The unresolved struggles within the struggle and the struggles after the struggle that we are now seeing as succession battles are in essence the consequences of the assassination of Herbert Chitepo in 1975 which started Zanu PF’s race to the bottom.
It is quite funny, if not ridiculous, for Zanu PF to, therefore, claim that they brought democracy to Zimbabwe and yet there really has never been democracy within Zanu PF.
Instead, we know that only Mugabe has been its leader without contest. This, he has managed, not through exposing himself to fair democratic selection, but rather through political intrigue, manipulation, threats, violence and the purging of potential rivals. History is repeating itself.
Rule by fear and elimination, not through persuasion and building consensus, has been the practice; this is exactly what Masiphula feared most.
Make no mistake; I am not shedding any tears for those underlings who are being purged from Zanu PF nor am I at all sympathetic to the plight of those leaders who now face corruption accusations.
They have all been active participants and beneficiaries of a tyranny and must now reap what they have sown.
Throughout the years, Zanu PF cronies from all walks of life have taken advantage of the brand to steal, cheat and intimidate in order to gain economic advantage.
Some of its leaders have clearly abused their positions to steal land, abused State resources and plunder. Our country, Zimbabwe, has been a victim of their interminable and unbridled greed. The chickens are coming home to roost.
The danger we face is that we have not created a unified alternative to Zanu PF. I remain hopeful that Zimbabweans will realise that we need to build a new alternative political system that is inclusive and is based on a new narrative and new values that respect our dignity, rights and ambitions as free citizens.
We all want to create a new narrative, but we can never move on until we address the pain and loss of the past. More important, the truth about our history must be exposed so that we may not repeat the same mistakes. Only then shall everything else surely be added unto us.
The struggle for total freedom must continue.