EDITORIAL COMMENT: Lessons to draw from Zanu-PF primaries

04 May, 2018 - 00:05 0 Views

The ManicaPost

ZANU-PF primary elections have been conducted, writing political obituaries of some party heavy weights in Manicaland.

The polls had their own share of irregularities like ballots with missing names of some contestants, delays in ballot paper deliveries, dodgy cell registers, prompting an avalanche of outcries in Mutare North where the result is under dispute and Chipinge Central and Buhera West where voting was stopped prematurely.

Concerns of dodgy registers are genuine and deserves the party’s ear as this led to the disenfranchising and creation of onlookers out of thousands of party supporters and stakeholders.

Rigging a primary poll had dire consequences because winning a party ticket is totally different from winning a community ticket, and there lies the real danger that Zanu-PF must avoid at all cost.

Apart from the aforementioned flashpoints, the outcome in other constituencies was widely accepted by candidates and their supporters, and the focus is now on main elections slated for July 2018.

Every election has to have a winner, and at this juncture, Zanu-PF should swiftly pick up the pieces following the electoral earthquakes that claimed the scalps of some party chefs in the province, unite supporters and build a strong support base.

It should emerge from the polls more united and tolerant as the process was meant to enhance internal participatory democracy, avoid imposition of candidates and minimise disgruntlement within its rank and file.

In the past, the party’s administration had been rightly or wrongly accused by their own members of imposing candidates, and by extension, of promoting a culture riddled with corruption and the primaries were meant to avoid these ills and should not leave the party in tatters and at the mercy of its opponents.

The party should therefore work hard to forge genuine, not contrived unity to avoid the reincarnation of the ‘bhora musango’ mantra that seeks to give away leadership of the country to a party other than Zanu-PF.

Divergent views whose hallmark is focused on amassing personal fortune and glory, typical of the ‘bhora musango’ hymn, are disastrous for the continued survival of any political party. Zanu-PF should nip an insidious seed of revolt within itself by exposing schemes that fed on corruption variously described as factionalism, economic sabotage, political pornography, treachery and political assassination.

No one in his sane mind celebrates the demise of a great revolutionary party like Zanu-PF.

Contradictions have the uncanny ability to stray even into sacred grounds. Some with impeccable liberation credentials have turned their back against their own story to become the gold that rusts.  If gold starts to rust, and, iron remains without blemish, it becomes inevitable to revalue iron beyond the status of what we thought was gold and it is against that background that the polls gave way to a crop of new leaders who are expected to fuse new ideas, usher in a new culture of doing things, fresh perspective and trajectory.

These leaders should use this opportunity to serve and resuscitate Zanu-PF not devise deceptive ways to consolidate and stay forever in power. They should not throw internal party democracy again to the back banner.

The incoming political hopefuls must account for a clean break with the past, without compromising reason at the alter of choruses that may have the potential to make the bad situation even worse. The field of politics thus clearly requires sober minds that are a function of experience and exposure in a particular setting.

The question evokes thoughts that suggest the need to reflect on why difficult times continue to punctuate our lives notwithstanding the existence of elected office bearers whose mandate is to craft and put into effect measures that mitigate the stubborn hardships in our midst.

The making of laws is the responsibility of MPs who sit in Parliament to deliberate on issues of concern that need legal cover to address them. These issues affect the wards within a constituency, district, province and nation.

Politics is thus an endless exercise of feeling, measuring and constantly paying attention to the pulse of the community and the nation at large.

People look to politicians as persons that identify with their aspirations by satisfying their needs, promoting their interests and addressing their concerns in a socially and culturally acceptable manner, and, in accordance with shifting priorities and interests.

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