There is an old Shona saying that literally translates to what is good is good there is no need to salt/spice milk. This adage came back to me with the recent expulsion of the 75 Year old vice president menacingly named the crocodile, and casting memory to the expulsion of one who was also named spill blood. Now these characters represent a system that has forced some of us to grow up in other countries as economic refugees exiled and domiciled in several countries with little or no hope of returning from what they call the Diaspora. In this confusion and desire for change some of are being lulled into a false sense of hope and sleight of hand that makes us believe or want to place our hope in the Expelled as agents of change or buy the illusion that Robert Mugabe alone is the problem and his removal is a solution to the problems that bedevil Zimbabwe. I speaking for true democrats not as a politician would like to aver that these Zanu Pf expellees that got expelled whilst proclaiming loyalty to Robert Mugabe, Zanu Pf and its ethos are salt in Milk and we should not welcome and expect them to lead us to salvation.
The upheavals in Zanu Pf do presents the democratic forces with an opportunity that has never been presented before. The dismantling of Zanu structures and the old guard is robbing the ruling party of institutional knowledge that cannot be replicated by any new appointees. The likes of Didymus Mutasa, Emerson Mnangagwa and Joyce Mujuru have been in government and Zanu since the beginning of Zimbabwe as we know it. If as the opposition claims there has been a lot of rigging then these people and the other purged ones should have ample knowledge to counter the rigging. The Zanu of 2018 won’t be the old Zanu Pf, it will not have the same faces and tricks and it’s vulnerable with a concerted opposition effort. Having them replace the defacto opposition is however not the choice and an alliance with them is not a desired objective. They are Zanu and have committed one crime which is to want to be a successor otherwise they see no wrong with the current situation the country finds itself in. It is important that they form their own parties and maybe win a few votes and constituencies but we must be wary of passing the button to the other version of Zanu with no guarantee that the leopard has learnt to eat grass.
If these people claim to have the interests of the nation at heart can they point to their successes and moves towards entrenching democracy. If people have spent 36 to 38 years in government but have no discernible or tangible achievements excerpt huge bank balances and building their monuments of corruption should we have hope that they will lead to democratisation of Zimbabwe. Have they build a no fee school, donated books, bought kids uniforms, built a road or done anything more concrete other than donating donated rice or inputs at election time or campaign rallies. I would take politicians who have done tangible things to uplift the areas that they govern. This is the problem that I find with the MDC who also have won constituencies, councils and municipalities but have no results to show. It is an excuse to say that there has been the Zanu Pf local government interruption but there are areas where wins could have been gotten by astute focussed leadership. Water and sanitation are areas where there is a lot of donor interest and it was and is possible to deliver on that without national government. Council clinic in local areas could have also benefitted from local government administration and the opposition would have tangible success to show that they honestly have the ability to deliver the Zimbabwe we want.
With Morgan Tsvangirayi ill with cancer and having tried to valiantly dislodge Robert Mugabe and Zanu Pf it is also time that the opposition chooses a capable and new leader. We need new names on our election ballots and it is not too bad to imagine a new Presidential candidate. I would not mind to see a Tendai Biti, Nelson Chamisa, Welshman Ncube or Thokozani Khupe step up and lead the opposition. Morgan whilst recuperating could be the Moses that led us towards the Promised Land and does not arrive as the leader but laid the ground work. He could be the wise elder and does not have to insist on being the leader and an active campaign needs to be carried out. If the new entrants in the opposition circles are to need a coalition it could be more in terms of governance or if there is a run off they would choose who to coalesce with. Coaalitions are necessary but we do not want one source of power so let the coalition come only for the necessary areas otherwise let people choose.
Everyone is aware that the youth vote is the important vote but what is the opposition doing about it. The media is no longer as important as it was in levelling the playing field with the advent of social media. Zanu Pf is busy with youth rallies roping in the likes of Souljah Luv etc. and what is the opposition doing? The likes of Madzorere are no longer singing and there is no active twitter feeds or Instagram and Facebook pages that are delivering a pro-democracy message. The elections could be proclaimed tomorrow and the opposition would have no active campaign or strategy. There are a lot of free resources and thoughts that are available to get the youth to vote and it is not the duty of ZEC or donors but just the time and effort. It’s time to take the American example and recruit a lot of volunteers to work on the campaigns. We cannot be reliant on donors or external help we have to walk the mile to reach our goals.
The likes of Mutsvangwa, Mahiya, Sibanda and co are welcome to provide the foundation or pillars of the pro democracy project as they have at least voluntarily and vehemently opposed the autocracy. The likes of Teurai Ropa and the Crocodile are vicitims of a system they support and benefitted them until they got spat out. I would take the new Zanu Pf over them as they have not repented or reformed just expelled. The problem is not Robert Mugabe or Grace Mugabe but it is the structure and style of government that Zanu Believes in. Whilst it’s out of the water the crocodile is not a lizard and certainly I would not welcome it as a pro-democracy force. Yes we may identify them as the lesser evil but they are part of the same poisonous ruinous force that has brought our country to its knees and it will be a dream that they have become true nationalists instead of the power retention specialists they are. To the leaders in the democratic movement I am ordering my milk as white, nutritional and pure as it is without any salt. In a country with a life expectancy of about 60 I certainly am not looking for a 75 year old saviour.