While in Bulawayo on Zanu PF business over the weekend, Vice President Kembo Mohadi grieved over the ruling party’s failure to regain lost ground in Harare and Bulawayo ever since the death of Joshua Nkomo in July 1999.
After independence in 1980, Nkomo’s Zapu had a stranglehold on Bulawayo, which was transferred to Zanu PF in 1987 when the two parties signed the Unity Accord to end hostilities between them.
In Harare, Zanu PF had an upper hand over its competitors.
The tables were turned when the MDC was formed about three months after Nkomo’s death, with the then united MDC opposition party banishing Zanu PF to rural areas.
While the MDC has lost traction in other urban centres, it dominates Harare and Bulawayo, where their rivals only have two Members of Parliament in Harare South and Bulawayo South.
“Zanu PF always won elections in Bulawayo when Nkomo was still around, but this is not the case now. What is happening? If there are problems that need to be addressed why don’t you confide in the party leadership?” Mohadi was quoted saying while addressing party supporters in Cowdray Park Ward 28, ahead of a council by-election on Saturday.
“Since 2000 up to now, we have been losing both general and local authority elections to the opposition. We can’t rule the country and have opposition people in the local authorities. We therefore found it fit to dissolve and re-organise the structures as a strategy to win elections. It boggles my mind to see Zanu PF losing elections to the MDC.”
To turn back the clock, Zanu PF has dissolved its provincial executives in the two provinces last month to allow for their restructuring.
We find it strange, however, that Mohadi seem not to know why voters in the two cities are voting with their feet for the opposition, when it’s as clear as mud that theirs is a protest vote over unfulfilled promises.
Nearly 32 years after signing the Unity Accord, those who were affected by Gukurahundi, which resulted in the death of over 20 000 people in the Midlands and Matabeleland provinces, are still searching for answers.
Despite the people of Bulawayo pushing strongly for devolution, government continues to pay lip service to it regardless of the fact that it is now a constitutional requirement to devolve power to regions.
In the meantime, Bulawayo’s industries have collapsed with most of the unemployed youths migrating to South Africa where they are doing menial jobs. Even if Nkomo was to rise from the dead, he would not bring the support that Zanu PF is desperately looking for. We can only hope that Mohadi is listening.DailyNews