Mukachana Hanyani Correspondent
It is a fact that Zanu-PF is still powerful but it should ensure that its electoral groundwork is solid to avoid the backlash which other revolutionary parties in the region faced some few years ago. In most instances some opposition political parties which were formed by disgruntled members of the ruling elite towards elections become threats to the ruling parties.
Recent reports by both the private and public media indicating that the People First project led by former Vice President Dr Joice Mujuru has registered with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) as a political party should be a wake-up call for zanu-pf to ensure that it gets united and focus more on the total implementation of Zim-Asset.
The People First project, which is now known as Zimbabwe People First Party (ZPFP), is now reportedly to be on a drive to recruit its members from both the ruling party and opposition political parties.
So the coming in of the ZPFP into the political limelight is not good news to the ruling party considering that this new opposition political party is made up of mainly former Zanu-PF members who were fired after the December 2014 6th Zanu-PF People`s Congress.
Those people felt that they were not fairly treated when they were dismissed from the revolutionary party and they chose to form their political party as a means to challenge Zanu-PF in the 2018 harmonised elections. It is their belief that their dismissal from Zanu-PF was not procedural hence the move to form an opposition party to seek their innocence through the ballot.
History has shown that political parties formed by disgruntled former members of the ruling elite towards elections sometimes take ruling parties by surprise in general elections. Zanu-PF should make sure that it continues to be on the ground meeting the electorate and making sure that the 2013 harmonised elections promises are fulfilled in total.
Factional wars and divisions within the ruling party should cease and all members come together to prepare for the 2018 harmonised elections as a unit.
The formation of the ZPFP cannot be taken lightly considering that the 2018 harmonised elections are some few months away and the People First party may want to ride on the economic problems prevailing in the country. zanu-pf should be united and ensure that the factional wars that are threatening to destroy this revolutionary party are stopped forthwith, replacing them with the unity of purpose.
Current factional wars and dismissals of individuals in the party are not healthy as such a move can come to haunt the zanu-pf in the 2018 harmonised elections. Those dismissed from the ruling party allegedly end up finding themselves sheltered in this new ZPFP, making it appear as a saviour to those facing their political demise.
It is a fact that zanu-pf is still powerful but it should ensure that its electoral groundwork is solid to avoid the backlash which other revolutionary parties in the region faced some few years ago. In most instances some opposition political parties which were formed by disgruntled members of the ruling elite towards elections become threats to the ruling parties.
It should be known by the zanu-pf leadership that its dominance could be tested if those spearheading factional wars are not restricted. It has been discovered that some revolutionary parties which lost power in the region were removed by new political parties which were formed by disgruntled members of those ruling parties towards elections and zanu-pf may not be an exception if factional wars are not stopped.
Zimbabweans in general and zanu-pf in particular should recall that in 1994 Malawi Congress Party (MCP), which was led by Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda, fell victim to Bakili Muluzi’s United Democratic Party (UDF) which was formed only two years earlier. Some former disgruntled members of the MCP who felt that they were sidelined by the leadership of MCP in many important issues decided to form the UDF and the results were seen in the defeat of the MCP in the 1994 general elections.
While some people would want to call this writer a prophet of doom those with zanu-pf at heart should take this writer seriously. In Zambia, the United National Independence Party (UNIP) led by Dr Kenneth Kaunda – in power for more than three decades – fell victim to the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) in 1991, just a year after Frederick Chiluba formed his party to challenge UNIP.
UNIP, a revolutionary party like the MCP, has now disappeared from the political limelight because the then ruling elite failed to see the dangers associated with those new political parties. zanu-pf should take that as a lesson and create unity within the party before it becomes history like other revolutionary parties that failed to see the writing on the wall.
For that reason, zanu-pf should ensure that its house is in order to counter the emergence of People First. The ZPFP, being a party formed by disgruntled members from the ruling party, could come to surprise zanu-pf in the 2018 harmonised elections the same way UNIP and MCP were surprised by the MMD and UDF respectively in their countries.
Divisions within Zanu-PF could lead to the ZPFP harvesting more supporters from those disgruntled members from the ruling party.
It should also be known that the Kenyan African National Union (Kanu), which was then under Daniel Arap Moi after the death of its founding president Jomo Kenyatta, lost power to the coalition of some opposition political parties in 2002 as some disgruntled members of that revolutionary party parted ways with it and formed a myriad of opposition political parties
Mwai Kibaki, who headed the National Rainbow Coalition (NRC) in 2001, found himself the new Kenyan president after the 2002 elections, meaning that new political parties formed towards elections are always a threat to revolutionary parties. As such, zanu-pf should guard against that so that the ZPFP won’t replay what other new political parties did in the region.
Recently the Masvingo Provincial Coordinating Committee (PCC) was advised by Cde Josiah Hungwe, the Politburo member from that province, to stop dismissing people from the party saying that doing so was campaigning for People First. Cde Hungwe`s advice to the Masvingo PCC should be heeded by all zanu-pf members across the country so that the ruling party is not defeated in the 2018 harmonised elections because of disunity.
Some people may fail to appreciate and understand the importance of such advice but those with the revolutionary party at heart should take that advice seriously and make the ruling party stronger again.