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Scepticism Galore for Good Reason

THAT people do not trust Zanu PF is a historical fact backed by numerous events since the party’s formation back in the 1960s. 

That fact was cemented after the MDC National Executive Council agreed on January 30 to get into bed with the party roundly condemned for running down the economy and horrendous human rights violations.

Instead of this important announcement being met with wild ululation, word on the street remains one of subdued hope — or total absence thereof. It is when the people’s sense of resolve and hope is destroyed that one looks at the whole thing about politics –– African at least –– as inherently flawed.

Do elections offer hope for the masses anymore? What about non-electoral political settlements like the one Zimbabwe is witnessing?

These liberation parties have for long claimed ownership and entitlement of the nations they liberated from white minority rule, and it does not make any sense for the general populations that these elites seem to accept the opposition into government only as lesser political entities under their phony tutelage.

What tangible space then does the victorious political opposition occupy to be able to change and reserve decades-old policies that were engineered by the liberation movements? I listened to a group of unemployed men rubbing their hands with unbounded glee that the decision by the MDC to at last join Zanu PF in government was a harbinger of a change in their fortunes.

But another in their midst –– perhaps from that Afro-pessimism school to which I happen to belong –– was quick to warn them against premature celebration. 

After muted consideration, another was instantly converted to that school. There was little or nothing to celebrate, they agreed. But as some would have said in different circumstances, “let’s give peace a chance”, so perhaps let’s give this experiment a chance.

Zanu PF is viewed as a “senior partner” by many here who watched Zapu sink into political oblivion.

That is the history many sceptics are reminded of today, and as long as there is no confidence in this formation of the GNU among not only the ordinary people but most importantly among the political players themselves as both parties are reported to have inveterate hardliners opposed to the union, then this is yet another historic triumph for Zanu PF.

And the people’s understanding of local politics does not offer any sunny side of contemporary Zimbabwe. For starters, does this mean for example the release of political prisoners? As far as recent developments and media reports go, Zanu PF has not yet committed itself in that regard.

Are we likely to see Zanu PF dropping its tired rhetoric of calling the MDC-T puppets of the West etc? It would be incorrigible naivety to image Zanu PF having that instant conversion in a bid to move the country forward and up the Sisphyean path of economic recovery and the rebuilding of essential services.

That conversion would sure be a miracle worth sneaking into the pages of the Bible.

What the people need is Robert Mugabe to go peacefully not the mere signing on the dotted line of the GNU, that is what you hear everyday.

While popular sentiment across the country and indeed the world is that what Zimbabwe needs is a total makeover with the absence of Zanu PF, it is instructive that the MDC is seen as having done this against its better judgement.

It can only be because there is something Zimbabweans already know about Zanu PF for this mass deception thing is being viewed as precisely that –– mass deception.

Zanu PF is beyond caring, and the US government has already said it is sceptical about the whole thing, so imagine the Zimbabwean people themselves who for years have been forced to live with untold misery at the hands of Zanu PF. Their scepticism knows no bounds and with good reason.


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