Zanu-PF scared of the Mutinhiri effect

Zanu-PF scared of the Mutinhiri effect
Published: 07 March 2018 (504 Views)
It is often said that the more the merrier, but not in Zimbabwe's political context.

In successive polls since the 1990s, the ruling party has survived attempts by opposition parties to take power because of the absurd divisions among its opponents.

The most prominent example was the 2008 poll when former Finance minister Simba Makoni's Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn (MKD) party chiselled off eight percent of the national vote to deny MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai (now late) a clear victory.

It has been said that those who voted for the MKD leader were disgruntled Zanu-PF supporters who could have voted for Tsvangirai if Makoni had not muddied the waters at the last minute.

The 2008 elections were probably the best chance the opposition has had. Fast forward to 2018, Zimbabweans are likely to witness another dog's breakfast that could work in favour of Zanu-PF.

Over 70 political parties are stampeding to take part in the plebiscite, with the major actors being the MDC Alliance fronted by Nelson Chamisa; the People's Rainbow Coalition led by former vice president Joice Mujuru; Nkosana Moyo's Alliance for People's Agenda and Dumiso Dabengwa's Zapu among many others.

Just when Zimbabweans thought they had seen enough of the madness, retired brigadier general Ambrose Mutinhiri has gate-crashed onto the scene through the New Patriotic Front (NPF), whose midwives are disgruntled Zanu-PF members.

While the Zanu-PF leadership is putting a brave face in the face of NPF's formation - assuming a statement by party spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo is anything to go by - its appendages are betraying fear running deep inside the party by threatening to take unspecified action against former president Robert Mugabe, who is believed to be the brains behind Mutinhiri's party.

Zanu-PF is obviously scared of the 2008 Makoni effect, which took away its votes. That the party has stubbornly refused to reach out to former members who were dismissed in 2014 at the behest of Mugabe's overbearing wife, Grace, has compounded the party's fears.

It has been argued that those who defect from Zanu-PF find it difficult to fit into pro-democracy movements because, like oil and water, their ideologies do not mix.
But if the ultimate prize driving these dissenters is to dislodge Zanu-PF, Zimbabwe's opposition parties must cast aside their differences and work in common purpose to bring about change.

At the rate the political situation in Zimbabwe is evolving, we could be headed towards a closely fought poll which might produce another run-off.



- dailynews

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