Monday, 23 June 2014

Leadership renewal should begin with ZANU-PF

By David Hwangwa 

When I finished college, armed with my political science degree I went back to Zimbabwe and my first point of call was ZANU-PF. I had a few youth projects that I wanted to do with them but all my efforts were shut down. I realised that it was somehow difficult to pitch an idea that requires change to a 65 year old ZANU-PF youth secretary, Absolom Skhosana. Exactly how he qualified as a youth secretary at such a retirement age left me wondering if this party is really serious about the needs of the youth. How is a “youth” of his age meant to know what is affecting the average youth on the streets. It’s not like they have no one capable in a youthful age but it’s is all about their reluctance, or inability to enforce change within their structures.
Leadership renewal ought to start with ZANU-PF because, as a party that has been in power since independence, they are the ones setting precedence to all who shall come after them, if any, considering that donkeys are not going to grow horns anytime soon. ZANU-PF presents everything wrong about leadership in Zimbabwe.
The institution called ZANU-PF, and in essence, President Robert Mugabe, is all but a mirage when it comes to good governance. This is a party whose leader authorised the annihilation of a generation of the Ndebeles in the 1980s Gukurahundi massacres and up-to this day not even a single apology has been issued.
This is a man who is cold hearted that before anything is to happen, he needs to change his heart and until that happens, him relinquishing power to someone will remain nothing but a dream.
When the MDC came into being at the turn of the millennium with the promise of change it caught ZANU by surprise that to all and sundry, it was only a matter of time before they ascended into power. A decade and a half has gone and all that promise the MDC carried is slowly slipping away. They have become their own hypocrites that at most, have lost all respect they once carried for the masses.
Tsvangirai berated Mugabe over his reluctance to relinguish power yet he himself has amended the MDC constitution to increase hold on power above the mandatory two-term period. His authoritarian rule at Harvest house has made him a carbon copy of Mugabe, if not worse because he is a man who said all the right things yet is in the process of doing all the wrong things. Of late it is like he is taking his leadership lessons from a ZANU-PF manual.
Elton Mangoma, the suspended deputy treasurer of the MDC-T was a victim of violence from overzealous youths paying their patronage to Tsvangirai after he felt insulted over Mangoma’s call for him to hand over leadership to a new generation following his dismal defeat during last year’s election.
The people of Zimbabwe expected so much from the MDC-T because they felt like Tsvangirai presented the perfect opportunity to end Mugabe’s rule, but that was far from close. It is true that there is nothing Mugabe and his cronies can do to rescue the country out of its woes.
Mugabe has done nothing but destroy this once prosperous country with his authoritarian rule. In as much as we would like to deny it, ZANU-PF is here to stay and thus for Zimbabwe to go forward, it needs, even though it’s painful to say, a working ZANU-PF. Leadership renewal has to begin there.
The current leadership within the party has been recycled, shifted and panel-beaten all over the political and economic sectors of the country and as we have seen, they have achieved nothing but the fattening of their wallets and bellies. It is not only about leadership change that ZANU-PF needs but wholesome changes across the spectre.
The party operates on ideals of violence, torture, intimidation, vote rigging and all the ills one can think of. Mugabe’s party has a bad track record of gross human rights violations that it will need this whole current leadership to pack their bags and make way for a new generation. The whole leadership needs to be cleansed else Zimbabwe is not going to move forward. Their blueprint, ZimAsset is just a policy good on paper and thus there is little hope for Zimbabwe.
Mugabe will always be part and parcel of ZANU-PF and Zimbabwe and that is undeniable. We are all aware how afraid they are of regime change. Everyone posing threat to their authority faces the harsh reality of their iron rule. When the Arab spring broke out, any attempts at replicating such in Zimbabwe were largely shut out completely with Munyaradzi Gwisai being the victim of the circumstances.
What Mugabe fails to realise that without leadership renewal he will fall the same fate that happened to the dictators up north during the Arab spring. Or what happened to Idi Amin or Mobutu. Without change it is just a matter of time before the people get fed up. The Egyptians waited long and were patient with Mubarak and when they finally said enough was enough, they deposed him. Now it is sad, almost laughable when the former leader of the Arab league attends his own trial on a stretcher. It will be humiliating if Mugabe suffers the same fate. With all the speculation with his health, Lord knows how long he will last in the deplorable conditions of Zimbabwe’s prisons. Without leadership renewal within ZANU-PF, it is only a matter of time before we see the fall of the once mighty.