Home » Governance » Zanu-PF Beware of the Second Coming [opinion]

THERE were copious tears and questions this week over the MDC-T’s future, the folly of its leadership, and in the short-term, whether or not the party would or should take part in future by-elections following its “boycott” congress resolution last November.

This followed the decision by Morgan Tsvangirai to recall 21 MPs who had joined Tendai Biti’s Renewal Team.

Many felt the MPs got their just deserts for indiscipline, that is before pondering the implications of the recall on the MDC-T party.

If the party wasn’t participating in the elections, was it signing its own death warrant by donating cheap, low hanging fruits to Zanu-PF? others asked.

Why then recall the MPs?

To spite Biti? If it participated, would that not confirm they were incorrigible, unprincipled fools whose word you take at your own peril?

Such is the conundrum spawned by Tsvangirai’s pyrrhic victory against a strategically illiterate Biti.

The nation stands ill at ease.

Who wants a mini-election right now? The law says we must.

But let’s start at the beginning.

The MDC hawks itself a democratic party. Morgan Tsvangirai is held up as a democratic leader.

Combined, they should make a formidable force. We expect them to make decisions based on the will and wishes of the majority. And they claim to have the biggest number of supporters in the country.

So why the moaning, the mourning even, and the copious tears and questions from MDC supporters?

If Tsvangirai and the MDC are as democratic as we are told they are, the decision to expel the “rebel” MPs must represent the sum total of the collective wisdom of the party and its leadership wisdom which must match that of Mugabe and his “unpopular” Zanu-PF.

Are we being told something else by the moaners that Tsvangirai is not a democrat, that he acted unilaterally?

The voters and the elected in the MDC-T party must feel sorry for themselves a case of the blind leading the deaf and mute.

If there was no visceral hostility in opposition camps, Tsvangirai would have sought Welshman Ncube’s aice before he took the decision to recall the 21 MPs.

If Biti had been more lawyer than politician, the Constitution would have told him the implications of a name-change to UMDC.

That name-change didn’t need any collusion between Zanu-PF and the MDC-T to make its impact felt and to make the Speaker of Parliament’s decision that easy.

Tsvangirai seized on that name-change with both arms and swallowed it the way a fish swallows a worm and the hook.

That decision immediately cost “his party” 21 parliamentary seats, in the process loading the nation with the prospect of a mini-election.

It did more than that.

It partially resolved for him, albeit in an awkward manner, the dilemma of his congress resolution: he will be forced to put to the test the popularity of his party brand against his petty rivals and Zanu-PF in a by-election or face political extinction if he boycotts and the recalled MPs contest as independents and win.

He doesn’t have the stomach to risk such a revolt.

In any case, the party would have to “handhold” him into the by-elections if he is too blind.

It’s a wake-up call for Zanu-PF. Beware the second coming.

Let’s give it to the MDC-T for once for this opportunism.

Urban by-elections are too tempting to be spoilt by a mere congress resolution not to participate.

All the MPs recalled by Tsvangirai held urban constituencies.

That is a turf where the party has a respectable following among excitable, unemployed youths who will blow with the wind.

These are the low hanging fruits the MDC-T cannot surrender to a marauding Zanu-PF.

Unfortunately, economically in the short-term the odds are heavily staked against the ruling party.

That is why the MDC-T will not boycott the coming by-elections even if its leader were to want to pretend to be a man of his word.

So there are no celebrations for Zanu-PF there is hard work to be done on both fronts: politics and the economy.

Lately there has been too much abstraction, an unhealthy focus on internal squabbles.

Forget Biti’s conspiracies about parliamentary seats being freely donated to Zanu-PF by Tsvangirai, or alternatively, Zanu-PF colluding with MDC-T to spite him.

He’s too emotional to think strategically, forcing foreign donors to think twice about him spearheading a successful regime change agenda, hence Tsvangira’s ominous second coming, for which Zanu-PF’s internecine war of attrition post-congress is largely to blame.

It is clear that Biti and his partners have no discernible constituency. Sponsors of regime change can’t see them.

Zanu-PF for its part has been too absorbed in its internal affairs to point out the way forward to a nation obsessed with short-term consumption.

These affairs are making a louder din in the country than the locomotive headed for an accelerated implementation of Zim-Asset and an empowered society.

Internal party affairs are drowning out major investments in infrastructure projects such as power-generation capacity, agriculture, roads and mining which have longer-term benefits and have the capacity to set Zimbabwe apart on the continent.

Funders of the regime change agenda are fully aware, more aware than most Zimbabweans, of these investments, their implications and potential.

But they are also aware of the way Zanu-PF is exhausting itself, is seeming to lose focus and being carried away by the wave of the July 31 2013 electoral victory.

To the extent that Zanu-PF keeps fighting itself and Biti and company are not pass muster, Tsvangirai is getting a new lease of life.

That is the context in which we should read the West’s morbid obsession with President Mugabe’s health and his many deaths, post-Mugabe scenario and all that.

Mugabe has been a major obstacle to them maintaining a grip on the nation’s abundant resources none of his subalterns can be trusted and amenable to easy manipulation given their hardening in the crucible of liberation and some measure of ideological clarity.

Tsvangirai commands a sizeable following, he has his own grievances against senior Zanu-PF members and is seen as easier to “handhold”.

His victory post-Mugabe offers the prospects of a very rich client state whose greatest asset, its educated population, has a lustful appetite for the glitter of all things foreign.

They are happier managing an office than controlling the economy.

A malleable political leader at the apex who owes a debt of gratitude to those who have financed his endeavours over the years completes this perfect set up for a client state.

Tsvangirai’s latest charm offensive in the West is not without purpose.

The West is a vulture, and they say the vulture is a patient bird.

At the opportune time, the first line of attack against Zanu-PF will be its liberation and empowerment ideology to try and criminalise Mugabe’s legacy.

So, Tsvangirai is seeing his star rise again.

The MDC-T is taking part in the forthcoming by-elections.

Zanu-PF must prepare for a bruising contest to make inroads into urban constituencies.

Source : The Herald