via Zimbabwe’s crisis is a crisis of leadership September 24, 2014
The political crisis gripping Zimbabwe has reached its lowest point; a point at which it might tip into the abyss with no chance of early redemption. To say this is not to be alarmist!
The ruling Zanu PF party is in turmoil; so is the mix of opposition formations that once formed the formidable MDC.
Forget about the other little groupings that emerge now and again and call themselves political parties.
Zimbabwe’s crisis is a crisis of leadership.
Zanu PF is mortally divided along factional lines.
It is difficult to surmise what the outcome of the intra-party fights will be.
Even the most optimistic observer avers that whoever takes over the ashes will not be good for the country.
This is a simple extrapolation. From a dirty fight only the very dirty will come out alive.
It is difficult to envisage a situation in which a mud wrestler transforms immediately into a reformer, a leader who is ready to wash away the mud and lead a battered nation.
The battles being fought in the ruling party are surely dirty wars; soon they will deteriorate further — and God forbid – into open bloodletting.
So far the wars are being fought in the media, but only a few – apparently one faction — have got access to newspapers and radio.
Those without will obviously get frustrated by the continued onslaught on them.
They will eventually seek and find other avenues through which to vent their bottled-up emotions. That presents a great danger, for no one knows where they will get their relief and how they are going to act it out.
President Robert Mugabe doesn’t seem to fully comprehend the danger to national security and national stability posed by the situation in his party.
One hopes he doesn’t think the fights tearing it apart can simply be wished away.
He needs to be decisive and put an end to the succession fights which have become a grave threat to the national interest.
The turmoil in the opposition is equally worrying. Many people across Zimbabwe and abroad have begun to have serious doubts about all the individuals leading opposition groupings.
It would seem Morgan Tsvangirai missed his chance to be a great statesman when he resisted the winds of change. It now seems well-nigh impossible for him to rebuild his stature to the height it was a few years ago.
But the dissidents are not very inspiring either. Their mortal mistake was beginning their rebellion from the top.
It will be almost impossible in the near future to seep their thinking down to the grassroots.
Without the support of the people, they are doomed even if their idea of forming a grand coalition comes to fruition.
Such a grand coalition would just be another high-sounding club of failed politicos who have no clue about what’s really happening on the ground.
But Zimbabwe is not such a completely hopeless country. Obviously there are great leaders lurking somewhere in the woodwork.
Their time to emerge is now.