31 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Zanu-PF Must Bury Factionalism

Photo: Ofeibea Quist-Arcton
ZANU-PF Party headquarters.

The recent Zanu-PF Annual National People's Conference held in Gweru this December identified factionalism and corruption as stumbling blocks which needed to be dealt with to win elections due in 2013.

All the delegates were in agreement throughout the conference that these two vices should not be given any further chance if ever Zanu-PF wants electoral victory.

It was a consensus from all speakers beginning with President Mugabe that the party has been torn apart by factionalism and corruption in which people were bent on seeking personal aggrandisement instead of accommodating the interests of the party.

Corruption though it was also viewed as synonymous with MDC-T run-local authorities, Zanu-PF agreed that it has to be weeded out for the party to become clean.

People applauded the move to denounce corruption and factionalism. Speakers at the conference pointed out that time was now ripe for Zanu-PF members to up their egos and support the party for it to win resoundingly in the 2013 elections.

As the country is preparing for 2013 harmonised elections which Zanu-PF has declared on its National Annual People's Conference in Gweru that the elections would be "electoral victory", it now gives its supporters room to campaign vigorous for such a declaration to materialise.

For the party to win resoundingly a lot of homework needs to be done in order to lure back those who were thinking that the ship was sinking.

An accommodative approach of people's will and zeal to campaign accompanied by unity in the party could see Zanu-PF winning elections without problems.

As such, factionalism and corruption which have been identified as vices destroying Zanu-PF should be buried deep underground forever in order for the party to restore popularity.

Of late, Zanu-PF has been divided on factional lines and admission by delegates at the just ended conference that the party has been engrossed with factions could not have come at the right time.

The revolutionary party has shown that it is the party that is open to criticism as all its leadership stood firmly and came out clearly at the conference denouncing factionalism and corruption.

It was agreed that the party has not been doing well because its members were concentrating on dividing people on factional lines instead of working for the improvement of the party.

The leadership blasted its members for wasting their time on corrupt activities instead of uniting the party to get support through normal channels.

President Mugabe castigated factionalism openly in Gweru and it should be buried as the party has not been performing well because of it.

Zanu-PF supporters were aligning themselves to individuals. Some went on to declare themselves as supporters of certain individuals, thereby making it impossible for them to work for the party.

The party is losing support, as most of its members no longer trust each other because of their factionalism. Corruption that was rightly denounced by President Mugabe at the conference is also making the party to lose support.

President Mugabe specifically identified the Zimbabwe Republic Police and Zimbabwe Revenue Authority as some of the Government institutions that are involved in corruption. He also said that some Cabinet ministers were corrupt, resulting in even foreign dignitaries complaining.

Zanu-PF as the party viewed in the Inclusive Government as wielding more power than others gets the blame whenever any Government institution is on the receiving end. As such, the alleged corrupt activities by ZRP, Zimra and ministers impact negatively on Zanu-PF. Beside factionalism and corruption being identified as destroying the party, imposition of candidates is also of major concern to the party.

People are losing interest in Zanu-PF as senior party members were said to be using their political and financial muscles to sponsor certain candidates who are no longer popular at the expense of the party.

This has to end to ensure the party regains the confidence of the people, who have for log been the bedrock of it 32 years of power. In fact the party should take people's concerns aboard for it to woo new members and win over fence-seaters so that election victory becomes certain.

Imposition of candidates is not good as people end up voting for the opposition and some can opt for voter apathy and "bhora musango" concept.

The youths, who constitute the new generation of voters tend to support new faces in the political field; therefore Zanu-PF should make sure that there are no sacred cows in carrying out primary elections for the party to have vibrant candidates in the coming elections.

The forthcoming 2013 election is considered watershed as all political parties in the country are geared for a win, hence Zanu-PF should not let this opportunity fly away by allowing factionalism, corruption and imposition of candidates to take place.

Hanyani a Harare-based social and political commentator.

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