Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Opposition parties need to wise up

By Hama Saburi 

The ruling Zanu PF party is reviving its election machinery in readiness for next year’s polls.

Nelson Chamisa and Morgan Tsvangirai

A string of “meetings” lined up by party leader President Robert Mugabe to “interface” with Zanu PF youths should serve as evidence that the ruling party means business, and will not allow anything to stand in its way to victory at the coming polls.

Two interface meetings have been held so far; the first one at Rudhaka Stadium in Marondera about two weeks ago; and just recently at Sakubva Stadium in Mutare. Both rallies drew large crowds, demonstrating the party’s pulling muscle.

Several other election campaign strategies are being pursued by the party through government, among them the allocation of residential stands to youths, civil servants and women; the massive voter registration of its members and the availing of funding to cross-border traders and small-scale enterprises.

Clearly, Zanu PF is enjoying a head-start in election preparations and it is not surprising that credible surveys are taking notice.

Findings from the latest Afrobarometer survey showed that Mugabe’s support is increasing, while that of the main opposition, the MDC, has suffered a dent.

The opposition now has very little time to catch up, and present a formidable challenge to Zanu PF at the next election, otherwise there would be a repeat of the 2013 poll outcome when Mugabe’s party easily romped to victory.

Zanu PF’s biggest threat will continue to be the economy, which it has failed to manage ever since it assumed power from colonial master Britain in 1980.

With unemployment running over 80 percent, and poverty inflicting the majority of the population and infighting reaching a crescendo in Zanu PF, is it not a paradox that the opposition is failing to turn the tables on the ruling party?

What the opposition has not done is to exploit Zanu PF’s weaknesses and find ways of chipping off some benefits from its current strengths.

Zanu PF is known to take full advantage of its power of incumbency, and has no qualms in abusing State apparatus to give itself an upper hand at the polls.

Perhaps its major trump card has always been its stranglehold on rural areas where villagers are coerced to vote for Zanu PF through intimidation, vote-buying and violence.

It’s nothing new to the opposition parties. But somehow none of Zanu PF’s rivals have yet developed effective strategies to deal with this except to rant and rave about infiltration by State security agents, and the curtailment of freedoms of association and assembly by the Executive.

To all intents and purposes, Zanu PF’s rivals should get ready to contest the polls under the current conditions because efforts under the National Election Reform Agenda are failing to move Mugabe into initiating the various reforms needed to level the electoral playing field, unless they succeed in nudging the African Union and the Southern African Development Community to insist on minimum conditions precedent.

History has, however, shown that Zanu PF has a way of dribbling these institutions, and does not countenance external voices from Europe that strongly believe in the need to even the playing field, currently tilted heavily in favour of the ruling party.

One would have expected the opposition to outline clearly what it has to offer to pull the country’s economy from the brink and present a strong case to the electorate to convince them that it represents a viable alternative to Zanu PF but there has been a lot of hot air on this critical debate.

There is also no convincing evidence to show that the opposition is aggressively trying to penetrate Zanu PF’s rural strongholds, taking advantage of the internecine infighting with its rank and file, especially in Mashonaland Central and Mashonaland East, where Mugabe’s party bags the bulk of its votes.

More importantly, the opposition must find strength in numbers by rallying around one strong candidate to avoid splitting the vote, but all there is, is the pushing and shoving over leadership of the coalition.

Interestingly, instead of depopulating the presidential race, it has actually been congested amid indication that Nkosana Moyo, the former Industry and International Trade minister, might throw his hat into the ring.

This might take us back to 2008 when former Finance minister Simba Makoni became a spoiler in the presidential race which many believe could have been won by Tsvangirai without the need for a run-off had it been narrowed in the first round to a two-horse race between Mugabe and the MDC leader. Daily News

Hama Saburi is the editor-in-chief of the Associated Newspapers Group (ANZ) owners of the Daily News and Daily News on Sunday

  • White people wer good hearted compared to these so called heros my foot

  • SHAME SHAME SHAME (RELOADED)

    u r right…….opposition need to prepare themselves for elections in their current state……….just dnt tell wilbert mukori that……..that guy has no social life on these kind of debates

    • Patrick Guramatunhu

      What is the point of contesting an elections you know will be rigged? The rigging has already started, Zanu PF has billions of dollars looted from Marange and the opposition has nothing. The regime is bankrolling its vote rigging activities already!

    • wilbert

      How do you prepare for elections you know are going to be rigged; this is insane. All you are doing is doing the same thing over and over and hope against hope that the result will be different. After 37 years of rigged elections you still hope again hope that Zanu PF will rig the vote but lose the elections.

      You see, the insane will keep contesting flawed elections and keep up their hopeless hopes because they cannot see the hopelessness of their endeavours. The insane will never self-diagnose; they will never see any thing wrong with contesting flawed elections even after 38 years and even with someone rubbing their big noses in the bulls***t!

      Tsvangirai, Mujuru and their respective followers will happily contest next year’s elections even though there is evidence the election is being rigged already – it is clear Zanu PF’s war chest is full of the billions of dollars the regime is looting ready to bankroll its devious vote rigging schemes and the party thugs are already frog marching povo to party rallies. In time, they will complain the elections “were stolen” and settle down to repeat the whole charade in another five years.

      Blessed are the insane for they will stew in their own stupidity but blissfully unaware they are their own worst enemy! Some will even boast of how rich and varied their “social life is” because they see the wisdom of contesting for the umpteenth time flawed elections! Bless you Shame, after all it is not your fault, you are who you are – a human being in appearance but, sadly, with very few working brain cells.

      If I was ever to get a chance to ask God one question then it will be why He punished Zimbabwe with so many idiots? As a country, I believe we have more than our fair share of brain-dead idiots whose IQ is not much better than a sloth!

      “The BVR system will stop Zanu PF manipulating the vote!” Tsvangirai told the nation. If a sloth could talk, it would tell you that is nonsense!

  • Patrick Guramatunhu

    Mujuru and Tsvangirai “wise up”! Well no one can never say Hama Saburi does not have a great sense of humour!

    After 34 years of pathetic performance, the only reason Mai Mujuru is back in politics is for a chance to get back on the gravy train so she can pick up the looting from where she left off. She will never implement any reforms because she has no clue what we are talking about.

    Tsvangirai did not only mess up big time by failing to implement even one reform during the GNU, he still does not have a clue what the reforms are about that is why going to contest next year with no reforms. If there was any hope of him being wiser then he would not be contesting flawed elections again!

    USA Ambassador Chris Dell said Tsvangirai was a “flawed and indecisive character, once in power can be an albatross round the nation’s neck!” Sadly, this has come to pass! Tsvangirai wising up; yeah right!