Friday, October 02, 2009

(TALKZIMBABWE) Zanu PF bigger than individuals

Zanu PF bigger than individuals
Raymond Utsiwegota - Opinion
Fri, 02 Oct 2009 09:06:00 +0000

IF goings-on at the Zanu PF Youth and Women’s League conferences held in Harare province last month are to be construed as a reflection of what will happen at the National Congress in December this year, then the party needs to act now or go down the annals of history as having consistently and persistently been its worst enemy.

The apparent inertia in dealing decisively with factionalism, itself a manifestation of so-called power politics in the bigger picture of the succession debate is regrettably aiding and abetting regime change maneouvres.

At the moment, the least worry for Zanu PF should be about who will succeed President Mugabe, but rather rallying ranks and ensuring that the tapestry of the party’s electoral appeal is intact, so that it survives the sternest test in its political history.

Members of that party should know that in the event of regime change, and God forbid, the question of who succeeds President Mugabe will become irrelevant. I doubt if any will be as enthusiastic then to do so then as they appear to be now.

It should be pointed out that properly managed conflict is healthy as it stimulates debate and ideas necessary for group development. However, improperly handled conflict is dysfunctional and this is the current state of affairs within the Zanu PF party.

Zanu PF National Chairman, John Landa Nkomo, struggled to decisively deal with factionalism in Harare province. This is an indication of the depth of this phenomenon and the serious threat it poses since members appear to wield so much power to the extent that Cde Nkomo has to tread carefully for fear of alienating faction members whose endorsement he may later need to ascend to the Presidium.

As efforts to separate personal aspirations from party interests are pursued, there is need to establish the beneficiaries of such inertia.

There is a misplaced fear that decisively tackling factionalism and its attendant impact on the succession debate may precipitate a split within Zanu PF reminiscent of the MDC split of October 2005. What utter misinformation by people with a bloated ego. The party is an institution that thrives on collective will and not on personal whims.

Nonetheless, the standoffs between Ambassador Amos Midzi and Deputy Minister Hubert Nyanhongo in Harare Province and the Zvobgo/Hungwe factions in Masvingo have been left unresolved for far too long and, like unattended wounds, could fester and spread to the greater part of the body.

So intense has been the rivalry in the citadel of the Monomotapa Empire that one wonders what could possibly entangle descendents of this great kingdom in irreconcilable differences.

Some critics have written Zanu PF off in Bulawayo following the crossing of the floor by big names such as Dr Dumiso Dabengwa, Macleod Tshawe, Thenjiwe Lesabe, Tryphine Nhliziyo, Effort Nkomo and Andrew Ndlovu, among others, to revive Zapu.

Yet the party has managed to survive without its former stalwarts because personality cults are a thing of the past and the system is greater than individuals.

The costly impact of factionalism should be viewed in the context of Zanu PF’s performance in the 2008 harmonised elections where the party had to field two candidates in some constituencies owing to lack of consensus over which candidate to endorse. This presented other political parties with victories they had neither anticipated nor deserved.

Therefore, divisions have to be bridged because failure by administrators and other luminaries within Zanu PF to re-establish normalcy within the party means that maybe it is high time the First Secretary, Cde Robert Mugabe, stepped in.

But then that would not come as a surprise, considering that he has, more often, shouldered the burden of almost single-handedly defending the party against Western detractors whilst weighed down heavily by fellow party members content on swinging on his coat tails.

Zanu PF and such shenanigans as imposition of candidates, the prime cause of factionalism, are an antithesis.

The credo of the party is that only the most popular candidate gets a short at leading people period.

The party is bigger than individuals and, granted, some people will join while others will leave.

That evolution is natural in any democratic establishment.

Infact, the hallmark of loyalty rests with the ability of cadres to sacrifice their ambitions for the greater good of the party and electorate.

The sooner such cadres come to the fore, the better for Zanu PF and I dare say, easier for the selfish few to leave.



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