Zim communities get raw deal from political party leaders
THE current political crises in the country, highlighted by the fight over the
control of the country’s opposition party, the MDC, and the way president
Emmerson Mnangagwa came to the helm of the country’s leadership, has
brought to the fore questions on internal party democratic processes of the
main political parties.
Do the masses in our community have any real say as to how the political party
leaders are elected?
Our communities face the brunt of any political decisions that are made and
should naturally have more say in how political party leaders are elected.
At face value Zimbabwe appears to have the most popular leaders that preside
over the main political parties, with leaders being unanimously elected at party
congresses without any competing rivals.
One cannot remember a time when the deposed President Robert Mugabe
presidency was last challenged at a Zanu PF congress.
However, we all vividly remember the late Zanu PF liberation war hero, Edgar
Tekere being forced to form his own party after falling out of favour with the
party’s move to create a one party State.
Then we have the late veteran politician Eddison Zvobgo regretting being the
force behind the Zanu PF constitution that entrenched Mugabe’s autocratic
Still on party constitution, the MDC has a constitution that appears more
democratic but the issue now at play is; was if followed by the popular Nelson
Is it not the issue behind the change of names of the opposition party, with
such names turning out to be personality centred?
Chamisa, like Mugabe and his party predecessor the late Morgan Tsvangirai
became leaders at their party congresses without being challenged.
While news headlines screamed that these “popular” leaders were
“unanimously elected” the same are screaming more regards the implosion in
the party’s regarding the power struggles at the top which curiously are at
tangent with the perceived popularity of the leaders.
Let’s take a look at our neighbours in South Africa.
On 18 December 2017, the current president Cyril Ramaphosa was elected
leader of the ANC at the party's 54th Elective Conference, defeating his rival
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, ex-wife of former president Jacob Zuma, by 2 440
votes to 2 261.
Back home Zanu PF leader and president of Zimbabwe like his precedessor
faced no opposition as party president, so did Nelson Chamisa at his party
However, as we have said before, why then do we have such deep seated
leadership disputes post the congresses of these political parties.
Is it due to the top to bottom style of appointing leaders?
The behaviour on the political stage of the political parties in Zimbabwe has
raised doubts as to their adherence to democratic principles.
It is imperative that they make deliberate efforts to extend democratic
decision-making by making participatory democracy both a goal of social
change and a means of bringing about the desired change.
The majority of the population — do not have ready-made means to change
either their lot in life or the societies in which they live.
Any attempt by these individuals and groups of individuals to bring about
change is met with harsh repression.