We are sleep-walking into 2018 elections

By Whitlaw Mugwiji

It has almost been two months, since I last wrote an opinion piece. With this well needed break, I had the opportunity to actively listen to diverse conversations concerning Zimbabwe across all media platforms. If truth be told, I cannot say the conversations were a pleasure to my ears.

Whitlaw Tanyanyiwa Mugwiji
Whitlaw Tanyanyiwa Mugwiji

We have less than a year into the crunch 2018 elections, yet people are discussing nothing but Zanu PF factionalism. Dear Zimbabwe, I am here to remind you that Zanu PF’s weaknesses do not translate into the opposition’s strength.

Time to put the house in order

Sun Tzu says ‘never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake’. Whilst this is true, it does not mean we must be lackadaisical in our own preparations. We have a big battle before us next year. I am sure if everyone understood the meaning of that battle; we would set aside our petty differences and finalize the coalition. The 2018 elections are not just about defeating Mugabe but about improving the lives of ordinary citizens.

This is a point which some democrats seem to miss. They would rather focus on the democratic deficiencies in the MDCT. We all know, Tsvangirai is no saint, but must we throw away the baby with the bath water? I am reminded of Winston Churchill when he said ‘if Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favorable reference to the devil in the House of Commons’. This is the attitude the opposition must embrace; enemy of my enemy is a potential ally.

Zanu PF might be weak but divided and fighting among ourselves, we are even weaker. At least, we owe it to our people, let us unite and give them hope and a fighting chance next year.

Perhaps, we could learn from the resistance that fought against Hitler’s Germany. Capitalists from the West and communists from the East, joined hands and fought against Hitler. Not that they shared a common vision for Germany’s future, but to them, the only task was to defeat Nazi Germany. We too can put aside our petty differences and fight our common enemy; Zanu PF. If need be, we can resume our petty squabbles after the victory celebrations. 

Sleeping Intellectuals opinion makers

The crisis in the opposition movement is deeper than what meets the eye. Yes, we have lack of unity and resources in the opposition but I contend that the crisis is exacerbated by sleeping intellectuals and opinion makers. Even, Nathaniel Manheru’s last piece, titled Adieus and Hello Zimbabwe could not wake them up. He could not have been more explicit, yet our intellectuals and opinion makers took no notice. He plainly bragged how they were able to counter the opposition’s hegemony over intellectuals.

Intellectuals and opinion makers in their stupor have focused their attention on Zanu PF factionalism. Unwittingly, allowing Zanu PF to set the agenda for national discourse. Child prostitution, poverty, unemployment, lack of medicines, massive corruption, cash and fuel shortages, now play second fiddle to Zanu PF factionalism. Surely, we have normalized the abnormal. I doubt I will be able to succeed where Manheru failed. But I sincerely hope, a few are vigilant enough to take heed and rise to the occasion.

We cannot afford to sleep-walk into the 2018 elections. The intelligentsia together with the opposition have the responsibility to reclaim agenda setting and shape the public discourse. For too long we have engrossed ourselves in Zanu PF factionalism; choosing sides between two monsters. Whether one chooses heads or tails it is still the same coin. To the ordinary citizen, there is absolutely no difference between a G40 and a Lacoste, more so under an incompetent Robert Mugabe. Let Zanu PF worry about its own internal squabbles, and let us work on re-organization and uniting our people for change.

We all have a party to play

But change is not going to come on a silver platter; we all must get down to work. I have heard some people complaining that the opposition is not doing enough campaigns in the rural areas. Quite, a legitimate concern, I am sure a lot of people agree with this view. However, in as much as this view is true, I strongly believe, it is everyone’s responsibility to talk to their own relatives in rural areas. Vakuru vanoti hakuna mombe inofurira ivete (each cow must graze for itself).

In order to move the country forward everyone has a part to play. In my humble view, those in the near-diaspora have a responsibility to register and eventually vote next year. The far-diaspora must help fund the struggle, as Jalil Muntaqim says ‘we are our own liberators’. We do not have to pay large sums of money, $1/month per individual can oil the opposition machinery. But perhaps before people can pour their hard earned money, the opposition needs to finalize on the coalition. And the coalition in-turn needs to put into place, proper structures that enhance financial transparency and accountability.

2018 elections; it’s do or die

Sun Tzu says “victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win”. We can either fail to prepare or prepare to fail because 2018 elections are won or lost by the actions we take today.

Let this be a clarion call to all those who want to see change. Mugabe and his Zanu PF cabal have shown time and again that they are incapable of resuscitating the economy and reviving the fortunes of our motherland. 2018 elections; the choice is ours to make; to do or die, to swim or to sink.

  • Many a time, the Opposition always lets the Ruling Party dictate the political rhythm and temperature. At such a time when the Ruling Party is suffering internal haemorrhage, they should size the moment and show leadership. Right now the ruling Party is preparing its election machinery and instead of leading from the front they have joined the masses in the terraces as spectators. The reshuffle is massive game changer and needs a counter measure instead of a calling it a big yawn (sic). All Opposition big wigs have shied away from responding signifying they were caught unaware this time as happened in 2013. The Opposition needs to up the ante.

    • I wonder if we are going to have any credible opposition for next year, it’s almost as gud as giving it to these Zanu Pf thugs again and another 5 year rule for them will spell more doom for us, if Tsvangirai is not feeling well to hold rallies, is it not wise to let Chamisa and Khupe do the work, I’m beginning to doubt the democracy of MDC T now

      • Patrick Guramatunhu

        Zanu PF has already made it impossible for anyone, much less ZEC, to produce a verifiable voters’ roll before next year’s elections by delaying voter registration until the last minute. If you think there can be free, fair and credible elections without something as basic as a verified voters’ roll then it is utterly pointless talking to you because you will never learn.

    • Someone else has to do it. What are you doing? You don’t really expect opposition figures to defend our vote while we cower behind them, do you?

      • Patrick Guramatunhu

        You are not defending your vote by agreeing to contest a flawed election process in which you have no clue who is on the voters’ roll, who has voted, how many ballot papers were printed, who is counting the votes, etc., etc. Zanu PF has already seen to it that there will be no verified voters’ roll for next year’s election by making sure the voter registration was delayed to the eleventh hour and even then it is a chaotic affair. You can be certain that before the close of the voter registration exercise the regime will have 5 million plus registered voters.

        Come the elections millions of ordinary Zimbabweans will be denied the vote because the are not on the voters’ roll, they details are not polling station voters’ roll they expected, etc. Meanwhile the results will come out showing that 5 million plus voted and Zanu PF won with another landslide!

        These elections are already done and dusted, all that we are doing now is going through the motions to give the process some modicum of credibility. You cannot see the rigging taking place right before you because you have close your eyes to reality. You need to open your eyes!

    • Patrick Guramatunhu

      As long as Zanu PF has carte blanche powers to rig the vote and the billions of dollars from the looting in Marange to bankroll the party’s demonic vote rigging schemes the party will have a landslide victory. Only a fool will believe the opposition claims that they have devised Winning In Rigged Elections (WIRE) strategies to count Zanu PF’s vote rigging shenanigans! This is just a feeble excuse for contesting elections with no reforms in place against SADC leaders’ advice and the opposition’s own “No reform, no election!” party resolutions!

      After 37 years of rigged election we are once again being dragged into another election hoping against hope that the result will be different! Of course, this is insane!

  • Which opposition are we refering to here?? There is no real opposition but a bunch of school kids playing a political tsoro. Varikumirira kuitirwa campaign neZANU PF that’s why they are always watching it. They will realise too late that they have been played. Rigging or no riggin our opposition is pathetic!!! No opposition of this kind will win an election because they cannot convince a substantive electorate.!!!!

    • Patrick Guramatunhu

      The electorate do not need convincing that the country needs good governance they can see the economic chaos in the country for themselves. The people have voted for change, Tsvangirai won 73% of the vote in March 2008; what more did you want the people to do?

      Tsvangirai did not become president even with his 73% votes because he was no smart enough to stop Zanu PF recounting the votes and whittling the vote down to 47%. He was not smart enough to stop President Mugabe using wanton violence to give himself a 84% landslide victory in the run-off.

      SADC stepped in and forced President Mugabe to accept the need for democratic reforms designed to stop him rigging future elections. Tsvangirai and his band of MDC followers, the banded mongooses, were not smart enough to get even one reform implemented during the GNU. The mongooses contested the July 2013 elections with no reforms in place and the elections were rigged and now they want to do the same next year!

      There is nothing the electorate can do here other than refuse to play any part in these meaningless elections. You do not contest an election you know is going to be rigged and expect to win. Only first class fools will belief this MDC nonsense that they have Winning In Rigged Election (WIRE) strategies!

      After 37 years of rigged elections it is insane to keep contesting flawed elections and expect to win!

  • thats very true

  • what is he doing himself

  • We last saw opposition in 2008, the vibrant likes of Chamisa, Biti, Madzore, etc. We will miss this unified opposition. Today they too smart and enjoy office work look at Gutu. Kutofitwa neMinister chair he is crazy. They are offending these guys.

  • Imimi muri kuiteiko,avo vanawo vevamwe vakatombo kugadzirirai opposition yacho imwi mwakaiteiko

    • Patrick Guramatunhu

      Holding this corrupt and incompetent MDC opposition to account is essential for progress and it is morons like you who think MDC leaders are demigods who must not be held to account by mere mortals who are stifling progress.

      Morgan Tsvangirai and his gang of banded mongoose had the golden opportunity to implement the democratic reforms during the GNU and they did nothing. And now the idiots are the ones dragging us into fresh elections on the false and foolish premise that they have Winning In Rigged Election (WIRE) strategies! These mongoose are taking advantage of the millions of povo who do not know that the idiots are selling them yet another fable.

      The people of Zimbabwe risked life and limb to elect these banded mongoose into power on the understanding they will deliver democratic change and not betray the cause for $4 million Highlands mansion and a career peddling hen’s fables who end result is to keep Zanu PF in power? I would rather Tsvangirai had stayed in Buhera herding goats than having him fighting to keep Zanu PF in power by his blundering from pillar to post!

      The only reason people like you are jumping to the defence of the banded mongoose is you only see and perceive things in binary; white or black, wrong or right, etc. To you Mugabe is wrong and Tsvangirai is right. So everything Tsvangirai does must be right! There is a mountain of evidence proving beyond doubt that Tsvangirai is corrupt and incompetent and therefore wrong.

      Why should Tsvangirai be judge only by comparing him to Mugabe? Compare him to what Raila Odinga another opposition leader who has been in an identical political situation as Tsvangirai, for example. During Kenya’s GNU Odinga implemented many democratic reforms which enabled that country to have its first ever free, fair and credible elections in 2012! Tsvangirai failed to have even one reform implemented hence the reason we are in this mess.

      Tsvangirai and his banded mongoose are a hindrance to the nation’s struggle for democratic change and to argue that they should be allowed to carry on misleading the nation, because “they are doing something” (and failing to see the something is the wrong thing) is stupid! The banded mongoose must be shoed off the political stage because they are the ones now helping Zanu PF extend its tyrannical rule!

  • Imimi muri kuiteiko,avo vanawo vevamwe vakatombo kugadzirirai opposition yacho imwi mwakaiteiko

  • tee cee

    well said

  • yaaa kip dreaming & toking& zanu is winnng all the way like it or nt

  • The problem isn’t with the opposition, we are the problem.We are cowardly and expect somebody else to go into the trenches while we make stupid jokes about them.

    • Patrick Guramatunhu

      MDC have been in the trenches and when they had the chance to effect democratic change to did not take it because they accepted Mugabe’s bribes to do nothing. It is not everyone in the trench who is fighting for the common cause of free, fair and credible elections. If anything the whole MDC team sold-out and they are occupying the trenches fighting for the scraps Zanu PF throws at them to entice them to contest flawed elections they know they will never win.

      The joke is on you the suckers who believe the country does not need democratic reforms to stop vote rigging because MDC leaders have devised Winning In Rigged Elections (WIRE) strategies! You are the one who will be dumbfounded to see Zanu PF once again blatantly rigging the vote to another landslide victory. The banded mongooses in Harvest House will make the usual complains of Zanu PF “stole the elections” but will never admit that their WIRE strategies were all feeble excuses for contesting the elections with no reforms.

      Having sold-out during the GNU Tsvangirai and his gang have settled for whatever Zanu PF will throw at them to entice them to contest the flawed elections. If the people of Zimbabwe want free, fair and credible elections then they must ditch the banded mongoose, their are happy with the status quo. As long as Zanu PF allows Tsvangirai and company to win a few gravy train seat they will be contesting these flawed elections to the end of time! They will always have new foolproof WIRE strategies to fool the naïve and gullible!

  • Patrick Guramatunhu

    Sun Tzu was a brilliant military strategist, you are trying to copy his tactics but end up look up the business end of the gun of your enemy. You accept Sun Tzu’s advice that preparation for battle is everything and yet fail to do just that.

    Will consider one example:

    Have winning generals

    The last 17 years have proven beyond all reason doubt that Morgan Tsvangirai is breathtakingly corrupt and incompetent and that he and his MDC banded mongooses sold-out during the GNU. There many occasions when MDC had victory snatched out of their hands because of their blundering incompetence. You do not deny this.

    “They (Zimbabweans) would rather focus on the democratic deficiencies in the MDC-T. We all know, Tsvangirai is no saint, but must we throw away the baby with the bath water?” you argued.

    How foolish is that; so, you are going into battle with corrupt and incompetent leaders, with a proven record of being so, because you lack the common sense to remove them!

    Your contributions are not helping Zimbabwe find the answers to our growing economic and political mess. You are just one confused individual with no clue what you are talking about. You should stick to fishing or whatever else you do!

  • wilbert

    We are sleep walking into yet another flawed elections whose result we know is a landslide Zanu PF victory hoping against hope that we will win the rigged elections. Thanks to people like you Mugwiji who are wasting the nation time and confusing the ordinary people with you lies that the coalition is the silver bullet that will stop Zanu PF rigging the vote.

    Morgan Tsvangirai had 73% of the votes in the March 2008 elections but he still failed to be president because Zanu PF ordered a recount and the 73% was reduced to 47%!

    SADC leaders have already said we should not contest elections without implementing the reforms first why are you spending all your time and effort telling the people to do the wrong thing? What is in it for you if Zanu PF rigs the vote and win another landslide as we all know they will do?

    The notion of MDC Winning In Rigged Election (WIRE) has been totally discredited there is no thinking person out there who supports unless they are paid good money to do so. We know Mugabe is loaded with all that cash from the wholesale looting going on in Marange and he has hundreds of thousands of paid Zanu PF agents encouraging the nation to contest the flawed and illegal elections.

    One of the greatest tragedies in Zimbabwe is the unusual large number of Zimbabweans who have followed Professor Jonathan Moyo’s example of willingly sell their own mother for price and even boost that they had a mother to sell. MDC leaders failed to implement even one reform during the GNU because they were bribed. Mugabe offered them the trappings of power, ministerial limos and generous salaries, a $4 million mansion for Tsvangirai, etc. and MDC leaders forgot about the reforms.

    “Mazivanhu eMDC adzidza kudya anyerere!” (MDC leaders have learned to enjoy the gravy train lifestyle and not rock the boat!) Zanu PF goons used to boast in reply to the public concern at MDC leaders’ failure to implement the democratic reforms during the GNU.

    Needless to say the Zanu PF MPs, ministers, etc. themselves sold-out. Mugabe has always done as he pleased because these Zanu PF leaders said nothing, they too had learnt to enjoy the gravy train lifestyles and never rock the boat.

    Having billions of dollars from looted Marange diamonds has allowed Mugabe to extend his reach and now the number of Zimbabweans doing the tyrant’s dirty bidding has grown in leaps and bounds! Of course, it is insane to contest next year’s elections without reforms but there is a whole army of several brigades of academics paid to swear it is the wisest thing the nation has ever done!

    “Let this be a clarion call to all those who want to see change. Mugabe and his Zanu PF cabal have shown time and again that they are incapable of resuscitating the economy and reviving the fortunes of our motherland. 2018 elections; the choice is ours to make; to do or die, to swim or to sink,” you say.

    Yeah right! With your coalition and MDC’s WIRE strategies the opposition has as good as won next year’s elections already!

    With so many sell-outs peddling pigs-can-fly falsehoods, it is hard to see how this nation will ever get out of the mess we are in. This is depressing, I need a drink!

error: Content is protected !!