Lloyd Gumbo Senior Reporter
The revolutionary and ruling party, zanu-pf, has seen its credentials incrementally eroded by unscrupulous elements who have brought to the fore greed, corruption, name-calling, lack of respect for the leadership and malice, among other vices.
Plots, counter-plots and conspiracy theories have become the order of the day in the revolutionary party in the process drifting away from what the party must stand for.
Unfortunately, the constituents of those who waged the armed struggle against the colonial regime naturally continues to dwindle while a new crop of party officials, some of whom don’t qualify to be referred to as comrades – in the traditional revolutionary sense – is increasingly growing.
The majority of this new crop appear ignorant of the fact that those who fought the settler regime did not place personal wealth accumulation or power as their objectives.
Selflessness was their forte yet the new crop is obsessed with selfishness.
This new crop also has no idea of the Leadership Code that was adopted at the zanu-pf People’s Congress in 1984 where in its preamble, it stated that “zanu-pf regards corruption as an evil disease destructive of society”.
As a result, the code declared that the leadership shall not: “Accept or obtain from any person or any other person a gift or consideration as inducement or reward for doing or failing to do or for having done or foreborne to do any act in relation to the party’s business or business of the Government or for the purpose of showing or forebearing to show favour or disfavour to any person in relation to the affairs of party and Government . . . ”
This position is probably the reason the late Maurice Nyagumbo committed suicide after being fingered in the Willowgate scandal in which senior Government officials, among them ministers, were accused of abusing a Government facility to buy vehicles at Willowvale Motor Industries and reselling them for profit.
It’s possible that Nyagumbo could have committed suicide because of embarrassment given he was aware of the Leadership Code yet today, officials are alleged to be looting and continue to loot with no shame at all.
The major problem today is that some of the zanu-pf officials right from branch leadership up to the Politburo have no idea what the revolutionary party stood for when it fought the liberation struggle and what it stands for today after attaining independence in 1980.
Some think joining zanu-pf opens avenues for them to loot while others see it as an opportunity to get into leadership positions in an institution whose ideology or founding principles they do not understand.
This explains why some people in zanu-pf today are identified with corruption while others are known for unbridled ambition.
Moreso, some don’t even know the full name of zanu-pf beyond the abbreviation.
Ironically, now you find people who only joined the party less than five years ago holding influential positions both in the party and Government.
Some of them now represent the party in Parliament because some influential cadres imposed them on the people.
But all the blame must be directed at zanu-pf that has been loud in its intention to establish the Herbert Chitepo School of Ideology since 1980 but glaringly silent on instilling the ideology of the party into its new recruits.
As a result, some of these new recruits are now all over the shore while those who brought the independence we are enjoying today are relegated to the periphery or assume less influential positions in the party.
At the end of the day, zanu-pf is now portrayed as a party without an ideology grounded on the liberation struggle.
For the past 36 years, zanu-pf has been talking about the need to establish a Chitepo School of Ideology but that idea is still to find expression on the ground.
Over the years, we have been told that the revolutionary party is looking for resources to construct the school.
But is ideology in the infrastructure or it is just a philosophy that has to be instilled in the people regardless of the physical infrastructure?
Surely, zanu-pf cannot claim that the school hasn’t been established because there is no physical structure.
If the zanu-pf Headquarters hall can be used to host music shows and church gatherings, what stops it from hosting party officials to be lectured about the revolutionary ideology?
War veterans who have an appreciation of the party ideology right from the liberation struggle are available to instil this ideology to all party officials and those aspiring to belong to the revolutionary party but are just not being utilised.
Some of these comrades are in the security forces, business and Government, as such they can carry out these responsibilities at no extra cost.
What is so glaring is that zanu-pf is slowly losing itself and its unique revolutionary identity anchored on strong ideology and discipline.
This explains why some party youths have the audacity to attack or disrespect the same war veterans who brought them the Independence that enabled them to join the ruling party today.
These are the same youths who are at the forefront of looting whatever resources are availed either by Government or the ruling party because they think opportunities are exclusively theirs and not the people.
zanu-pf even has some ministers and MPs who cannot articulate its election manifestos or policies because they have no appreciation of what the party stands for.
Their aim in joining the revolutionary party was not to serve the people but to line their pockets.
This is why there have been reports about how some ministers and MPs diverted agricultural inputs that were meant for their constituents to their own use.
If people have no appreciation of what their organisation stands for, they end up elevating their own desires ahead of those of the party or Government.
It is therefore prudent that zanu-pf sets up the Herbert Chitepo School of Ideology as a matter of urgency without regard to physical infrastructure because there is already the zanu-pf Headquarters hall that has been used to host music shows and church services.
Without instilling this ideology, zanu-pf risks losing itself and that which it stands for.