ZANU PF leader, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, is eager to adopt the Chinese communist model of governance and its economic development thrust, in which government is subservient and reports to the ruling party, insiders say.
BY ANDREW KUNAMBURA
China is run by a highly centralised regime modelled around powerful individuals that constitute the Communist Party of China (CPC) Politburo and the Central Committee.
Its economic model blends authoritarian practices and home-grown solutions with international best practice from developmental states and the West, particularly the United States, without emulating their democratic governance systems.
In Africa, Rwanda has replicated the system, recording tremendous progress. Mnangagwa is good friends with Rwandan President Paul Kagame.
As previously reported by the Zimbabwe Independent, the British government is supporting Mnangagwa’s plans and the bid to adopt the Chinese model based on a strong leadership and high, sustained economic growths and underlined by strict anti-corruption policies which are implemented ruthlessly.
Sources inside Zanu PF and in diplomatic circles confirmed the developments this week, saying this was part of the reasons why Zanu PF dispatched a 25-member delegation comprising of politburo and central committee members to the Chinese capital, Beijing, where they are expected to learn and master the Chinese system of governance at a workshop running under the telling theme: Party Building and Economic Development.
A senior Zanu PF official said the delegation, led by Labour deputy minister Lovemore Matuke, is expected to give a detailed report on the visit during the Zanu PF conference to be held in Esigodini, Matabeleland South province, from December 11 to 14.
The delegation is expected back in the country tomorrow.
The visit, sources said, came after Zanu PF inquired with the Chinese embassy on how best it could replicate the Chinese communist model, where the CPC is superior to government.
The CPC is the sole governing party within mainland China, permitting only eight other subordinated parties to co-exist, those constituting the United Front. It leads and is intertwined with the government, although it exists as a distinct organisation.
“We basically want to learn how they manage their affairs and their system of governance and see how we can learn from them. The party believes they have got a good model of governance which can be successfully replicated here,” a senior Zanu PF official said.
“So after their return from Beijing, those officials will be asked to compile a report which will be debated at the conference in Esigodini for possible adoption. Look at how the Chinese have managed to develop their country based on communist ideas and the whole world has been able to embrace it. Even those countries like the US and Britain which are critical of that system do business with China. We believe we can do the same as well.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping has repeatedly expressed his desire to spread China’s political style to political parties worldwide.
At the annual gathering of Chinese lawmakers and political advisors held in Beijing in March this year, Xi said China was offering a new type of political party system, referring to it as “a Chinese solution that contributes to the development of political parties around the world”.
The CPC has always said the country will never copy the political systems of other countries, in particular the Western notion of democracy.
For Xi — the most powerful Chinese leader in four decades after he effectively made himself president for life last year — China’s system is one that is ready to be exported to regimes everywhere; and it has apparently found a willing recipient in Mnangagwa and Zanu PF.
In September, Mnangagwa stationed some of the most senior Zanu PF officials at the party’s national headquarters in Harare, where they are working full-time and occasionally involve themselves in state affairs.
These include secretary for administration Obert Mpofu, legal affairs secretary Patrick Chinamasa and spokesman Simon Khaya Moyo — all of them former cabinet ministers.
The move was read by analysts as gravitation towards the establishment of a Chinese-style communist state.