FOUR months after claiming to have won a general election, Zanu PF is already chanting bizarre campaign slogans in preparation for 2023.
Candid Comment,Brezhnev Malaba
When will the party snap out of this perpetual election mode and embark on the important task of governing?
A crass political slogan, “ED Pfee 2023”, has been cobbled up in the name of President Emmerson Mnangagwa—who has made no attempt to distance himself from a hollow spectacle which is now undermining his efforts to position himself as a post-Mugabe reformist.
Medical doctors are on strike, drugs are being sold in US dollars, malnourishment is endemic, fuel queues are the order of the day and there is nothing “festive” about this season. Amid this turmoil, the loudest messages emanating from the ruling party are a strange obsession with Nelson Chamisa’s age and Mnangagwa’s candidacy for 2023.
In a country where an estimated 60% of registered voters are between the ages of 18 and 40, I find it utterly ridiculous that anyone can seek to wage a senseless war on young people. That is not clever politics.
While some in Zanu PF are convinced that the politics of deception, treachery and intrigue may be useful in outflanking factional opponents, there is no escaping the reality that economic revival requires focus, teamwork and strategic manoeuvring.
One of the greatest tragedies of the Zimbabwean polity is that preparation for war has become the foremost occupation of leaders who appear fixated with the idea of power for power’s sake. What the nation needs is a total shift to a psyche that prioritises economic advancement. I am fully aware, of course, that the central plank of the governance template since 1980 has been the primitive belief that it is impossible to lead the masses without feeding them on a steady diet of lies and delusions.
And yet—as the Robert Mugabe experience clearly taught us—a self-serving brand of politics is not the best instrument for preserving the interests of politicians; smart leaders immortalise their legacy by ensuring the well-being of the state. The well-being of the state, as some would know, is achieved through economic prosperity, job creation, competent institutions, and the elimination of corruption-induced poverty.
Antediluvian politics is what has dragged our society back to the quality-of-life standards of 1950 while the rest of the world is surging ahead in the 21st century.
Zanu PF used to boast a lot of intellectual firepower in its ranks—and by intellectual I mean the whole gamut of thinkers, from organic intellectuals to cerebral titans and teflon schemers. Can anyone in the current top echelons of the party hold a candle for the likes of Herbert Chitepo and Eddison Zvobgo? Zanu PF, as currently configured, lacks depth at the level of ideas.
You would be hard-pressed to locate the “big idea” at the heart of today’s Zanu PF? What is the defining philosophy and who are its high priests?
The rigours of building a resilient and globally competitive developmental state in the 21st century demand 5G strategies and not outdated analogue methods.