opinionBy Dingilizwe Ntuli
IT was embarrassing to watch Zanu PF national chairperson Simon Khaya Moyo making a fool of himself at the African National Congress (ANC) national elective conference in Mangaung (Bloemfontein) on Tuesday.
Conveying his party's solidarity message, Khaya Moyo probably mistook the 6 000-plus ANC delegates for a captive Zanu PF audience putting a damper on the conference with his drab pro-Zanu PF chants.
Instead of merely congratulating the ANC for electing their top six leaders, Khaya Moyo subjected the delegates to a tirade in which he declared that Zanu PF would not tolerate any tampering of the views of the people in drafting Zimbabwe's new constitution.
"Our party has always stood firm in advancing the views of the people," bellowed Khaya Moyo. "We believe that agreeing to anything from sources other than the views of the people is a betrayal of the revolution. We will resist such manipulation at all cost."
The ANC delegates were understandably bemused by Khaya Moyo's attempt to link Zanu PF's ruinous policies like land seizures to those of the ANC.
Khaya Moyo said former liberation movements hold common perspectives on issues of territorial integrity, sovereignty and the African goal of political and economic empowerment. However, the two parties could not be further apart with Zanu PF devoid of any intra-party democracy as well as a disdain for human rights and the rule of law.
The only similarity left between Zanu PF and the ANC is they are both former liberation movements and nothing else.
Attending the ANC gathering just a week after his own party's mediocre and uninspiring rubber-stamping annual conference, Khaya Moyo should have noticed the gaping difference between the two gatherings.
How could he equate Zanu PF to the ANC, especially speaking soon after the party's new top six leadership had been announced.
There was a bruising leadership contest pitting President Jacob Zuma and his deputy Kgalema Motlanthe for the ANC's top job.
Can Khaya Moyo remind us when last President Robert Mugabe was challenged for the Zanu PF leadership?
Can he tell us the extent to which individuals who disagree with Mugabe's views are marginalised or victimised?
Democracy is alien in Zanu PF which is top-down, elitist and highly lacks a climate for free, open and critical debate.
Khaya Moyo should have simply told ANC delegates that Zanu PF will not tolerate tampering with Mugabe's views in drafting Zimbabwe's new constitution, because that's essentially what he meant.
The impasse in the constitution-making process has all to do with whittling down Mugabe's imperial powers and not what ordinary Zimbabweans said.
But the clout of the ANC lies in its branches. Key policies and decisions are often mooted and determined at this level. It is branch delegates that attend the party's national conference and these men and women are the ones who get to decide on the leadership core that will run the party for the next five years. The same delegates also formulate the country's future policy trajectory.
Former South African president Thabo Mbeki can testify that power in the ANC is vested in party branches.
After sacking current President Jacob Zuma as state deputy president in 2005, he also piled pressure on him to relinquish his role as ANC deputy president. Zuma obliged but delegates at the 2005 ANC national general council rebelled against Mbeki and demanded that Zuma be reinstated as party deputy president despite attempts to keep the issue off the agenda.
Zuma rode on that momentum which eventually saw him defeating Mbeki at the 2007 conference in Polokwane.
Now a sitting deputy president just challenged his boss and although he lost, he still remains deputy president of the country.
Now this is the ANC Khaya Moyo is trying to equate Zanu PF to!