After primaries: It’s time for Chitepo School of Ideology

Gibson Nyikadzino


Now that Zanu PF is done with the primary elections, the official results who many are awaiting will be out soon. 

The outcome will be a key factor in knowing and understanding that in any healthy democracy, the minority are always a victim of that process.

 The reaction of those who did not win should be gracious. 

While at it, the biggest question that ought to be addressed now is “after the primary elections, what is to be done?” There is more that has to be done by the party, the contestants, winners and non-winners of this democratic process. 

It should also be stated that the contestants who participated during the primary elections underwent a thorough security check by the party to have their participation cleared. 

Another check also needs to be done. This relates to the ideological orientation of all those that will represent the party, the new entrants and the recalibration of the old guard to instil and maintain the values of the party. 

The Chitepo School of Ideology is now the place of reference for those who will represent the party in various capacity to understand and appreciate what it means to have servant leadership for the people.

Modern politics will only function and be properly understood by reference to the great ideological movements, that is, conservatism, fascism, liberalism, socialism and so on.

It is equally important that Zanu PF instils the centrality of party values for the party to be ideologically driven instead of having candidates merely driven by aspirations of doing the right thing without undergoing training.

Why Chitepo School of Ideology

A few years ago this writer wanted to join the military. Upon making inquiries from colleagues in the service, most of the responses indicated that joining the military meant I was going to stop thinking as a civilian at some point and be infused with a new way of thinking.

 The summary of wanting to be in this job is summarised by the liberation song, Nzira DzeMasoja. 

There has to be a new thinking that corresponds with the demands of a particular office or job. 

It is confirmed that there has been an overwhelming response to Zanu PFs internal processes through primary elections and this has an opening to two things. 

Firstly, Zanu PF is not dying anytime soon or later and in that party there remains an open-door-policy in terms of welcoming back prodigals and mobilising new members, secondly, to some, the revolutionary party is undergoing renewal.

A drone view on the composition of participants in the primaries informs that these people from various backgrounds also need a way of thinking that corresponds with the objectives of the party.

Because they are elected by the people, they need to ensure that decisions they make are informed by the interests of the people, if they were high ranking officials in other jurisdictions, now they have to lower their rank and live with the people and not become elitist.

Political leaders at times can be boastful and in the end think of themselves as ‘untouchable’ and betraying people who elected them. 

There is no one who should turn a blind eye to the needs of the people. 

Going to the Chitepo School of Ideology is a way to teach political humility without a chicanery, how to walk the party into the future and how to defeat the enemy.

 It is only through ideology that the party, its members and leaders can move towards the progressive acquisition of consciousness.

Ideology is politics in practice

Political ideas and ideologies shape how leaders behave and are central to efforts to legitimise the exercise of power. Is it therefore possible for political parties to exist and operate without an ideology? No! 

Politics and ideology are basically synonyms. Politics is ideology in practice. 

If any group claiming to be a political party, but without a set of ideas and ideals to start a system of politics, it means they will never be an alternative.

Any unstable political ideology can push democracy towards a dangerous political wire of instability.

That is why in Britain the Conservative party after Boris Johnson went through a period of instability, the same happening in the Netherlands and even Germany after Angela Merkel.

Having an ideology makes party leaders fecund with ideas, helps politicians to theorise and proffer solutions to societal problems based on their circumstances.

An ideology is a practical way to solve problems, formulate solutions and understand how to approach circumstances.

For Zanu PF, having an internal robust discussion and orientation about ideology remains an integral feature of the ruling party’s way of life. 

Consensus not contention 

When a people are defeated on the information front, they are twice dead in the race to survival. 

Those that control the means of ideological production have dominance over sectors and sub-sectors of society that do not have control over the same.

The same goes when watching local and international media channels from any jurisdiction. 

The CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Fareed Zakaria and Don Lemon are all ideological proponents that represent and advocate for the Democratic Party in the United States. 

While their job is to inform the people, they also espouse political values.

Those who appreciate good journalism and communication strategies may have an overly idyllic view of how the relationship between Zanu PF and other ideological structures such as the media should work interrelatedly.

Media institutions that are also oriented in the framework of the revolutionary emancipation should not be ashamed of emphasising the liberating values that are found, at party level, in attending the Chitepo School of Ideology.

There are social media campaigns by those who have been oriented negatively about what Zimbabwe wants, they are amplifying extreme views, polarisation, coming up with conspiracy theories and casting doubts about the democratic institutions and processes in Zimbabwe.

In a war or fight of ideas, such views should be disparaged and fought with the media ensuring the party stands as an oasis in the desert. They should nourish and feed others on the importance of ideology and how it creates upright people.

There should be no spoils from those who think along the lines of “it is my time to eat” mentality.  Zimbabweans, remember we are one. This is homeland!

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