Editorial Comment: Time Zanu-PF showed some teeth
TODAY the Zanu-PF Politburo is scheduled to meet for an emergency session necessitated by negative developments in the party manifesting in the assault of some youth executive members and purges of the same in some provinces as contending factions jostle for supremacy ahead of the party’s elective Congress in December.Equally disturbing are reports that some senior Politburo members were implicated in vote manipulation and vote buying that sucked in six of the party’s 10 provincial chairpersons one of whom even had the temerity to lobby for the First Lady to seek a “political home” in Mashonaland West, President Mugabe’s home province.
These events are hardly surprising given Zanu-PF’s notoriety for inaction in the face of clear problems.
In 2008, some senior Zanu-PF members openly sabotaged the party’s presidential election campaign by telling party members to vote for a Zanu-PF councillor, House of Assembly member and Senator, then Simba Makoni for president a development that cost Zanu-PF victory in the first round of the presidential contest that saw President Mugabe trail MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai.
That myopic self-destructive decision, dubbed “Bhora Musango/ibhola egan’eni’’, nearly cost Zanu-PF power but for the constitutional provision that requires the president-elect to score 50 percent plus 1 of the votes cast.
Despite this clear sabotage that forced Zanu-PF into a four year, dysfunctional coalition government with the MDC factions, no heads rolled for “bhora musango”.
The saboteurs lay low only to rear their heads in the provincial elections that followed last year’s landslide harmonised election victory.
There again disturbing reports of vote buying and manipulation emerged including cases where some districts were barred from voting all to ensure preferred candidates won. Once again no heads rolled, and the results were allowed to stand.
Fast forward to 2014 to the Women’s and Youth League conferences. Disturbing reports of intra-party violence and abductions of party members emerged and at the Youth Conference in particular several senior Politburo and Central Committee members as well as six provincial chairpersons were implicated in vote buying and manipulation.
But again, no heads rolled and the results were allowed to stand.
The aftermaths of the conferences have been characterised by open victimisation of some party members, including reported purges of youth leaders who refused to toe the factional line; culminating in the Youth Leagues’ decision to mobilise and brief President Mugabe on his return from his State visit to China culminating in the emergency Politburo meeting called for today.
We have said it before and we reiterate, fire once teased snarls all the way to ash. Zanu-PF’s inaction on saboteurs since 2008 explains the prevailing problems.
Unless those behind the shenanigans are made to answer for their actions, they will continue their nefarious agenda safe in the knowledge nothing will happen to them.
To this end we hope and I am sure we speak for the generality of Zimbabweans, that the special Politburo meeting will not be another talk show. Heads must roll or must be seen to roll to foster discipline down to the grassroots.
Where the alleged irregularities are proved, results must be nullified so that intra-party democracy triumphs.
We would like to believe the party’s code of conduct is not like a spider’s that catches flies and other smaller insects and lets bigger vermin run right through.
Those implicated must be made answerable for their actions and where the cases stick appropriate comebacks must apply.
Isn’t it ironic that from a highly successful State visit to China where he signed a number of ground-breaking deals, President Mugabe returns to a party in chaos when it is that same party which informs the Government which should operationalise these deals?
It is high time the problems in the party are confronted head on so that undivided attention can be given to implementing Zim-Asset, and operationalising the progressive deals struck in Beijing.
We take this opportunity to draw the party leadership’s attention to Edmund Burke’s enduring words, “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.’’