By Blessing Vava
It is now almost a year since Zimbabwe went for polls on the 31st of July 2013 to choose a new government to run the affairs of the state for five years until the 2018 plebiscite. The ‘victory’ by ZANU PF and Mugabe was a major setback in as a far as turning around the fortunes of this country was concerned. Despite having the most sound manifesto compared to the two MDC's, Team ZANU PF, and even their economic blueprint –ZIMASSET have failed to drive the country out of economic deflation, create employment, eradicate corruption and nepotism and revamp the economy to the pre-ESAP era. The colourful Bhora-Mugedhi campaign by ZANU PF was in fact an own-goal. With almost a year after the elections the reality donning is that ZANU PF scored an own-goal as evidenced by their cluelessness in administering the affairs of the country. As usual and expected the government of the day lacks the gusto and gravitas to steer a turn-around of our ailing economy. The economic chaos that dominated Zimbabwe prior to its stagnation during the inclusive government has been reincarnated in less than a year post 31 July era.
Without shame ZANU-PF is now talking about the next elections to be held in 2018, already they now have brand new vehicles branded VOTE ZANU PF 2018-Ohh what a shame! The ZANU PF Chairperson Simon Khaya Moyo has of late been making noise to that his party is now preparing for the next elections. Whilst there nothing is wrong for a political party to plan ahead but there is everything wrong when the promises made during the 2013 campaign period are not fulfilled. What development theory has always argued is the non-functionality of an economy that is always in an election mood. Not even their much talked about ZIMASSET is yet to get capital injection and already there is grandstanding on the blueprint with VP Mujuru saying ZIMASSET can only be achieved in a period of 30-40 years. The 31 July victory means that Zimbabweans gave ZANU PF a ‘mandate’ to run the affairs of government till 2018. And as such the five year period is about delivery and not a campaign period. The ruling party should stop taking Zimbabweans for granted, we do not eat elections, and therefore this election talk before addressing what they promised to deliver for the five years preceding elections is very irresponsible and should not be tolerated. Elections cannot and should never be a pre-occupation of a ruling government, and therefore Robert Mugabe and his party should deliver period!
ZANU PF made flimsy excuses during the GNU, they complained about the lack of policy coordination in the operations of government due to what they termed ‘ideological’ and ‘irreconcilable’ differences with the two MDCs. Logically, after the resounding victory we expect them to function as government and address the socio-economic woes bedevilling our country. However the factional fights hogging ZANU PF are now a real threat to national security, progress, and development. The inconsistencies are reminiscent of the infamous government of national unity which was characterised by such discord. In fact Zimbabwe now has three governments within one administration. It is now clear that ZANU PF is now a three legged limping creature with each leg stepping in its own direction. The divisions are palpable that there is no cohesion in policy formulation and coordination in the running of government business. Each of the factions is pre-occupied in outwitting each other ahead of congress as they position themselves for a life after Mugabe. The factions are incompatible and it will take a miracle for ZANU PF to deliver not even a resurrection to political life of Mugabe will paper the crevices unless there is a formidable opposition to the ZANU PF circus - i.e the people of Zimbabwe save themselves.
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Sadly, the whole nation seems trapped in the ZANU PF succession war, we watch with excitement as if it’s a soap opera or a football match, without the people making this ruling oligarchy accountable to deliver their mandate as government. The media again has also been directly or indirectly trapped in the ZANU PF factionalism; the state media has been a catalyst and fails to play its role as the fourth arm of the state. Basing from the stories we have been getting its easily evident that both the private and the public media is sucked deep into the ZANU PF succession fight. With the Baba Jukwa case being a classic example. Objectivity is now a thing of the past, in short Zimbabwe needs a renewed and robust media that defines and refocuses on the national agenda not this ZANU-MDC factions and Baba Jukwa which have become our daily headlines in the local media.
Zimbabwe is bigger than ZANU PF factional politics or the exposure of Baba Jukwa, this should be a time to make ZANU PF accountable in terms of delivery. As this hullaballoo is unfolding, Zimbabwe’s opposition parties are nowhere to be seen to pressure the ZANU PF government to deliver. The petty fights within our opposition movements (which are an extension of the factional fights in ZANU PF) have somehow destroyed hope amongst Zimbabweans and again it will not be a surprise come 2018 with ZANU PF scooping over 75% of the vote by hook or crook unless real comrades come to the foe to provide leadership. Spending time in the courts fighting for asserts or cheap publicity is not in any way an item near or related to the national democratic development agenda and will never bring political and economic change to our country. Methinks that only an organised, conscious grouping which will come up with a clear political agenda rooted in the total fulfilment of the liberation struggle and the democratic aspirations of the people of Zimbabwe as clearly articulated in the Peoples Charter will complete the revolution.
The onus therefore lies amongst the young generation to envisage an ideal Zimbabwe and decide on the future by providing strategic leadership - it will take time of course, but only if there is a resolve, national development vision and agenda, commitment, selflessness and sacrifices will a new Zimbabwe be a reality.
Blessing Vuvuzela Vava is a political commentator. He writes from Chipinge and views expressed in this article are personal.