ZIMBABWEAN politics often confound pundits, as it has done in the past and may well continue to do so in the future, and while defying the best political science tenets and common sense. So thinking outside the box is sometimes critical on this.
Editor’s Memo,Dumisani Muleya
Even the best political scientists and analysts have often got it wrong, particularly on local electoral processes, attendant dynamics and outcomes.
Elections, for instance the 2000 and 2013 polls, produced shocking results that left many reeling from incredulity, while even questioning their own ability and knowledge to properly interpret their politics and environment.
So an unorthodox approach for the opposition during the next elections might be an option. New ideas must be raised and people must think in an original or creative way in the process.
If the opposition, in a collective and combined strategy, for instance, was to agree to field former Industry and Trade minister Nkosana Moyo as its candidate in next year’s elections, what would happen? He could possibly win against President Robert Mugabe or whoever Zanu PF will field.
Upfront, let me say I hold no brief for Moyo in any way. That is why at this paper we treat him like any other political contender; nothing more nothing less.
Of course, I appreciate his brilliant profile and success like many progressive people would also do. He is one of those distinguished Zimbabweans in his own right.
But the point is among those likely to stand for the presidential elections next year, which means President Robert Mugabe, MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai and National People’s Party candidate former vice-president Joice Mujuru, Moyo has the best profile.
He has integrity, credibility and credentials, but badly lacks charisma, political experience and a social base.
That is where Tsvangirai and the whole opposition movement come in. If they were to sit down, think and agree to field a surprise candidate, an outsider in the form of Moyo might be a game changer due to his standing if popularly fronted. For a while let us embrace Eleanor Roosevelt’s observation: great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; and small minds discuss people
As long as we cannot see the forest for trees, we will not be able to see the value of such a scenario. We need to look at the big picture and forget about personalities and positions for a moment. The idea is to move Zimbabwe forward and not promote negative competition. A change of approach in elections is thus needed beyond fractured and weak coalitions.
Fielding the Midlander does not mean current opposition leaders are not good enough; far from it, but somebody different and competent, with a proven track record of delivery, is a better option.
He might introduce a new dynamic and refocus opposition politics as well as voters’ thinking. This may not sound in tune with realpolitik in Zimbabwe, but doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is called insanity.
Some may say Moyo is unknown, has no support base, inexperienced, elitist and aloof, and thus detached from reality; that may well be true in some respects, but that is where joining forces becomes critical. He brings to the table ideas, integrity and credibility, which are important leadership qualities, while others bring acumen, strategy and grassroots support. It is not about Moyo; the idea is to join forces, secure change and move Zimbabwe forward. So it is also not about personal heroics, glory and positions.
Moyo may not be a Barack Obama or Emmanuel Macron, but certainly has credentials and qualities of a good leader.
He has demonstrated that at big local, regional and international institutions. That is the type of technocratic leadership Zimbabwe now needs beyond fossilised Zanu PF and drained opposition politics. We need to go beyond personalities, emotionalism and shallow populism which have run this country to the ground. Moyo might be the real deal, but sadly only if opposition big hitters say so.