by Chadya Tapiwa Diamond
21 May 2020
The dilemma of the suffering Zimbabweans who have hope in the opposition is engraved in class struggle spiced up by intra-party fighting, tribalism, nepotism, domination for purposes of exploitation which does nothing but everything to benefit the ZANU PF class. Without a shadow of doubt, generally those in the red regalia or any form, manner or shape of the opposition camp are non-rooted
cosmopolitans who have made it mandatory for all to subscribe to their monopoly of narratives and ideas. Anything that challenges the narrative is deemed undemocratic and a manifestation of being a ZANU PF cadre!
Exposition of the opposition platform has become nothing more than a monopolistic narrative and it has led to nothing but bootlicking politics. Shameful! That has lead to a new class of voters, the disgruntled precariat class . With all due respect, a clear analysis from a sound and sober perspective will conclude in that the precariat is a class, not just a class, but a dangerous class. This new voter class is the king maker.
From year 2000, many have invested time watching, criticising and encouraging social, political, economic activists, sportsmen, academics and so forth with hope of a new Zimbabwe. Despite
having sharpened forensic skills that has kept the citizens abreast on all forms of political development, there seems to be no clear way forward for the Zimbabwean Chapter.
The question that lingers is that why are we handicapped in rightfully taking a proactive political decision that has better social and economic results? As it stands the non-stone-throwing approach that has been continuously applied has resulted in a heightened risk of being spoon fed a political diet that we are allergic to. A diet of poverty, a diet of being beaten by ZANU PF and have no forms of support from the opposition, a diet of leaders who watch from air conditioned windows whilst party supporters are police-massaged with button sticks and breathing tear gas!
Can the people ever rise to write their own narrative? At least the dethronement of Robert Mugabe through a coup d’état of 14 November 2017 showed that the people are hungry for serious change. After the one man led Pastor Evan Mawarire whirlwind, the people-led movement was an opportunity to dethrone ZANU PF, but November 2017 lacked a leader and we live to regret it.
It is clear that putting the hopes of a better Zimbabwe in the hands of ZANU PF or the multi-faceted opposition camps is like waiting for a pizza at a KFC outlet. Any notion that suggests an alternative from the politically driven institutions is just wishful thinking.
Billions of dollars were invested in the Mugabe Bvisa! (Mugabe Must Go!) campaigns but there was no investment in What Happens After Mugabe which was a lack of foresight. The much awaited demise of Robert Mugabe came and is now history. He had not only defied age or was apparently resurrected more times than Jesus Christ, but he always had the devilish fitness of a fiddle that at 92 he walked and read unaided. At least he was president-like material unlike the incumbent.
With Emerson Mnangagwa taking over as the president, the opposition movement which had been so fundamental in efforts to fight ZANU PF became as sick as its leader Morgan Tsvangirai who was in no physical, mental and emotional capacity to lead the struggle. That cemented the reign of ZANU PF.
Not only in the last years of Morgan Tsvangirai, but also in the new era of Nelson Chamisa the opposition party choose to be reactionary and defensive rather than be offensive in attempts to fight the regime. The Government of National Unity disempowered the opposition. There is empirical evidence that the opposition movement in its fragmented state has not been advocating for the bread and butter issues of the citizens and therefore turning a blind eye to the revolution.
The opposition party in its multiple fragments has bettered the Zanuism tradition. Not has it only adopted the violence culture, but has manifested a lot of undemocratic behaviours. We all loved Morgan Tsvangirai to the core, but it would be a travesty of democracy to turn a blind eye on his clearly apparent deficiencies. Whilst blasting Robert Mugabe’s lack of succession debate discussion, he forgot to extinguish the same fire in his own house. To make matters worse he died in power, he never relinquished it.
Times like these call for constructive criticism to the alleged alternative. As long as the left cannot take criticism, they will never have the opportunity to transform. The truism lies in that the opposition party made an own goal by not investigating and addressing the Bermuda Triangle in its Secretary General’s office. Under a cloud of bitterness, Welshman Ncube exited the Movement for Democratic Change years back and history repeated itself with Tendai Biti. The exit of the former magnified tribalism in the MDC, whilst the latter bankrupted the party. These two formed their political parties as well as Job Sikhala, Elliot Mangoma and the Thokozani Khupe conundrum.
Individuals became bigheaded and those who were left to nurse Morgan Tsvangirai did on emotional reasons. The party constitution was changed in the 2014 Congress and Tsvangirai was given a monopoly of power, and further inherited some secretarial authority. He was unopposed, not because there was anyone better, but because it was treasonous to challenge the presidency.
In the same congress battle lines were drawn between Nelson Chamisa and Douglas Mwonzora over the Secretary General’s office. That further divided the party and Morgan Tsvangirai had to manipulate the constitution and bring Nelson Chamisa back into the fold with Elias Mudzuri.
That created further confusion as the handpicked Nelson Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri were enjoying the presidium benefits over an elected Thokozani Khupe. Hate politics became the order of the day and it only benefitted ZANU PF.
Morgan Tsvangirai never got much momentum after the GNU and it was further aggravated by the poor results in the July 31 2013 elections where Nelson Chamisa failed as the National Organ. After being roped into the presidium, Nelson Chamisa would then take over as the party president before the body of Morgan Tsvangirai arrived in Zimbabwe from South Africa. In essence Thokozani Khupe as an elected member of the presidium was constitutionally the one to take over. This second constitutional breach is line with what ZANU PF subscribes to.
Currently the opposition in the form of MDC, MDC-T, MDC Alliance or any other known or unknown MDC has failed to rise to the occasion when it comes to service delivery issues. Inasmuch as ZANU PF has been corrupt, the MDC run towns have suffered the most. Harare and Bulawayo were the Sunshine City and the City of Kings respectively, but MDC failed to maintain the standards. The service delivery standards are none existent as there are neither roads nor running water in major towns. What sabotage can ZANU PF do from 2000 to date?
The other weakness of the opposition is that anyone who has an alternative idea is labeled a ZANU PF informant. This is just political immaturity. What has always been funny is that whilst party members labeled one another as ZANU PF informants, Morgan Tsvangirai married twice from the serious families of ZANU PF cadres, the rest we can all assume.
In the new MDC, choosing Welshman Ncube over Tabitha Khumalo and Thokozani Khupe was a calculated move which lead to the roping in of old frenemies like Biti and Ncube to generate a reliance safeguard from anyone who would question Chamisa’s presidency. Biti and Ncube had both previously and publicly criticized and insulted Morgan Tsvangirai. Both their parties pathetically faired in the elections.
So with this in mind, a notion that there is an alternative to ZANU PF from the opposition is just there to serve an ill-fated purpose that is there to cheat and send hope into an unnecessary frenzy overdrive. Laying the hopes of a better Zimbabwe in the left wing is like taking the headlamp of a train as light at the end of the tunnel. Currently one cannot pinpoint the name or leader of the opposition party. The alternative will come, but not yet!
The opposition movement is at its weakest in terms of ideology and this has sent the voters into an abyss of hopelessness. There is no clear format and the battlefields have been limited to endless threats and promises on social sites. Theory cannot substitute a capitalistic regime like ZANU PF. In pursuit of a quick solution to the circumstances, opposition movement politics has become consumed by a personality cult which is nothing but a bootlicking false cover of alternatives.
Taking to the streets was done half heartedly. The last meaningful contribution from the opposition circles was through its youthful tag team of Bvondo-Chidhakwa-Hlatywayo which then unceremoniously fought for the youth chairmanship in the 2014 Congress. Instead of creating a Congress of winners, the party came divided from the bottom to the top and Morgan Tsvangirai was not bothered.
It is a very deceitful, impish and tremendously displeasing proposition that the opposition can lead the country in its current state of affairs.
Whereas the problems of Zimbabwe are entrenched in the opposition parties and ZANU PF, the solution lies within the people. The day the masses decide to take matters into their own hands, change will come. Folding hands and waiting for change is like saying ‘I receive in church’ and expecting to receive good health and a degree in computer science.
The holy book speaks of the renewal of the mindset in Romans 12. There is a dire need of transformation in all political formations in Zimbabwe with a hope of salvaging political principles that add value to the broader community. Without good governance members of parliament will continue to hold media briefings to donate either five entry level bicycles or one 5 litre bottle of homemade hand sanitiser and two gloves.
The only alternative to ZANU PF is neither in Nelson Chamisa nor Douglas Mwonzora, or Thokozani Khupe or Jonathan Moyo; it is in the hands of the citizens. Political movements have failed to capitalise on many instances where opportunities for change were presented on a silver platter. If leaders in the opposition had any foresight, right now we would be thanking Grace Mugabe for single-handedly leading ZANU PF into a self-destruction mode.
For now, as long as the people fold their hands, there is no alternative to ZANU PF in the opposition which is nothing but rather a pitiful scenario of silent screams of a dying horse which is devoid of a revolution!
Like a plane disappearing into the smoky horizon, so does the dream of building a free, democratic, peaceful and prosperous Zimbabwe characterised by good governance and the rule of law.
Chadya Tapiwa Diamond is an Afro-Expert, Legal Practitioner and transnational activist who subscribes to a radical approach to democracy, governance and human rights. He can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org