Comment: Zanu PF Not Anybody’s Guarantor Of Freedom

IT is clear, as it has always been, that a Zanu PF defeat is a victory for the Rhodesian settler, never of the MDC which is just a mere instrument for disguising their overriding interest.

 

It is a victory for the British and Americans who arch over their kith and kin here, themselves the beachhead of Western imperialism.

“The fall of Zanu-PF, therefore, is the fall of Zimbabwe as a sovereign nation, indeed the displacement of our people’s interests by those of imperialism. We have to be alive to our responsibilities as leaders of a party of liberation.”

This caveat by President Mugabe at the Zanu PF Central Committee meeting in Harare last Friday paints a bleak picture of Zimbabwe’s future after next month’s presidential election run-off.

Mugabe’s bluster at the Central Committee meeting is an apt illustration that there are more problems in the air in the event that his party comes out second best in the election.

All earlier undertakings that Zanu PF would accept the result of the run-off have evaporated in the heat of executive mantras proclaiming the need to safeguard the primacy of the party at all costs. Mugabe has remained stuck in the groove that the MDC is a reincarnation of imperial forces and should therefore not be permitted to form the next government.

“In an environment of defeat there can never be succession,” Mugabe said on Friday. “Our party must reclaim its glory so its leaders can hand over the revolution to new hands who must assure continuity of the party. Our people come first please.”

But it is Zimbabweans in Gokwe, Binga, Makoni, Murehwa and the greater part of the Matabeleland provinces who rejected Mugabe as leader. By ascribing a Rhodesian plot to his defeat Mugabe and Zanu PF have demonstrated shocking disengagement from the reality.

Perhaps conveniently so, as this provides an opportunity to use heavy-handed tactics on innocent villagers in the name of trying to rid the countryside of the “Rhodesian” influence. Mugabe’s statement therefore that “support comes from persuasion, not from pugilism” appears threadbare in light of the menaces that have resonated in statements from senior officials and the security forces.

Only this week Zimbabwe National Army Chief of Staff Major-General Martin Chedondo upped his anti-MDC dogma by painting the opposition as an enemy which the army should be wary of. “We expect you to understand the government, the party and you also need to understand that the country is at a crossroads,” he said in an address to newly promoted officers. “We are under an onslaught of the Western countries, imperialists with the help of their puppets, the MDC.” He said the country’s Independence was brought about by Zanu-PF through the formation of Zanu and Zapu. He said that legacy must be protected at all costs.

“Ensure that the legacy of Chimurenga lives on. Some of us might retire in the near future and you (all army officers) should ensure that Zimbabwe would never be a colony again. It is you senior officers who should ensure that the legacy is protected,” he said.

The question for Chedondo is: what does the military have in mind as a strategy to protect the Zanu PF legacy in the event of an MDC victory in the run-off next month? Questions should also be asked how President Mugabe and Zanu PF will react to an MDC victory after the warning last week that the “fall of Zanu PF, therefore, is the fall of Zimbabwe as a sovereign nation”.

We have always questioned this Zanu PF narrow and self-serving definition of sovereignty. It is nonsense for President Mugabe to assume that Zanu PF is the guarantor of sovereignty and the embodiment of Zimbabweaness. It is not. The party has over the years forfeited that accolade because of years of misrule which directly resulted in the rejection of the party and its leaders at the polls two months ago.

Zanu PF should not be allowed to pretend to be the guardians of national interest when it has led the country into the current morass. Sovereignty has all to do with national pride which unfortunately has been eroded by the realities on the ground. More than four million Zimbabweans have voted with their feet and left the country.

Thus no amount of nationalist posturing will restore Zanu PF to the pedestal of influence. Currently the so-called people’s interests — as preached by the party — have become synonymous with fighting an imaginary imperialist Viking. But the reality speaks otherwise. Voters are interested in the restoration of basic aspects of life like putting food on the table, accessing clean water and electricity, ensuring there are books in schools and medicines in hospitals. That is what a sovereign state should concentrate on instead of trying to disguise parochial partisan interests as the common good. But Zanu PF has missed this point again. Its theme for the run-off campaign is “100% empowerment, total Independence.”

At the current rate, that means 100% destruction. Chedondo needs to reflect on that reality before he lectures us on Zanu PF’s bankrupt legacy.

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