AN astonishing 75 political parties are planning to participate in this year’s general election. Can you wrap your brain around that staggering figure?
MUCKRAKER Twitter: @MuckrakerZim
We can only surmise that this circus is partly a result of the country’s high rate of unemployment. It seems every man and his dog now thinks the easiest way to make a few cents in this tough environment is to form a political party.
In progressive societies, a political party is formed to advance an ideology. In banana republics, a political party is just another convenient feeding trough for the streetwise politician. A monumental charade, in other words.
Nigerian political scientist Claude Ake, in The Feasibility of Democracy in Africa, says democracy must never be taken for granted and should be resolutely defended in everyday struggles.
Ake warns — and with good reason too — that so-called multi-party democracy should not be reduced to a hollow spectacle. Real democracy is not about one cabal of narrow elites replacing another; it should be about the dreams and aspirations of ordinary folks.
In many African countries, the struggle predominantly involves opposition parties, disgruntled politicians, non-governmental organisations, splinter groups and, of course, pretentious rivals “sponsored” to create a false sense of multiparty democracy, in a political environment where it is non-existent, Ake notes.
These movements are blighted by numerous pitfalls that disable them from becoming real contenders to the leadership throne.
Subsequently, some become extinct due to their lack of relevance to the obtaining situations that would be decimating the livelihoods of the majority of citizens that are constantly subjected to alarming levels of oppression to fulfil the whims of a brutal ruling elite.
Most opposition parties in Africa are merchants of confusion, lack tact and are clueless in proffering alternative ideas and policies of governance.
MDC-T is mired in a leadership farce that is likely to ruin its ever-shrinking chances of garnering enough votes to dislodge Zanu PF from its 37-year grip on power.
The prevailing discord between party vice-presidents Thokozani Khupe and Nelson Chamisa is generating anxiety for the MDC-T’s rank and file.
Considering party leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s ill-health, the inertia required to propel the MDC Alliance appears submerged in a deep sea of hopelessness.
As the squabbling rages on in the troubled opposition, which Muckraker believes will lead to the formation of more donor-seeking MDC splinter groups (which could be termed MDC-Khupe, MDC-Elizabeth, MDC-Chamisa, MDC-Renewed Renewal etc), Zanu PF is busy regrouping and regaining its once lost electoral confidence.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, since taking over from former president Robert Mugabe in November last year, has relentlessly preached the gospel of re-engagement in a bid to entice foreign investors. But the international community is not convinced that the government is walking the talk.
The rift between Chamisa and Khupe, like the MDC chaos of 2005 over senatorial elections, will rapture the once-formidable movement.
It would be naïve to think that currently MDC-T is functional. Without Tsvangirai, the party is in the intensive care. Before this year’s general elections, the electorate must not be alarmed to witness disgruntled officials deserting the mainstream opposition to form their own parties, the same way Tendai Biti, Welshman Ncube, Elton Mangoma did in previous years.
That should not come as a surprise. It seems inevitable and MDC-T’s limping legs will eventually be cut off, presenting Mnangagwa with electoral victory on a silver platter. Can a divided, disjointed and dysfunctional opposition defeat an experienced Mnangagwa? His talk of an early election is telling.
A last-ditch effort to rescue Grace from her “bogus PhD” embarrassment has brewed another shocker.
Her thesis, hastily published on the University of Zimbabwe website, contains information obtained from a 2016 document—yet she graduated in 2014.
Someone should have done his or her job better. Consistency at least legitimises falsehoods. Degrees are not heavenly gifts, one has to study and fulfil the demands of university standards.
Is Grace endowed with prophetic powers enabling her to quote books written two years after her research was concluded? The disgraceful plagiarism has once again soiled the reputation of the UZ, Zimbabwe’s oldest university and an institution once revered as the centre of educational excellence.
It is scandalous that standards at the UZ have been sacrificed at the altar of political expediency. Even more scandalous is how the university council has rewarded vice-chancellor Levi Nyagura with another two years at the helm of the institution.
Is this a way of rubberstamping the breathtaking incompetence?
The era of ridiculous levels of bootlicking remains despite the so-called new dispensation. The only difference being that the effusive praise-singing has been transferred from the former president, the doddering nonagenarian Robert Mugabe, to the current President Mnangagwa.
One Jones Musara tweeted: “Earlier on today, President EDM (Mnangagwa) in Addis Ababa Ethiopia fully awake and alert at work at the AU Summit #ED has my vote.”
There you have it, for merely staying awake while at work, which is expected of any normal human being, Mnangagwa has Musara’s vote. You could not make it up! It goes to show that Mugabe’s habit of snoozing at various meetings outside the country has indeed set the bar very low.
The state media have refused to be left out of the bootlicking jamboree with one paper declaring that a “Triumphant” Mnangagwa was returning home from the talk shop at the World Economic Forum as if he has, in one fell swoop, rescued the country from economic Armageddon.
Brown-nosing of Mnangagwa has truly been transformed into a fine art by these desperately overzealous praise-singers!