Of Zanu's sinking ship, US and China polls

HARARE - The Bull Eland, an ardent follower of local and international politics this week marvelled at the close of the US presidential campaign and election.

While the candidates battled their wits, their supporters sat peacefully together in bars and homes arguing about issues they care about and why their candidates were the best man for the job.

There remains no doubt that the man in the middle lacked the Zec type of bias in running the election.

Ballots are counted properly and results were announced transparently on time.

A president chosen by a free people carries an unshakeable mandate. It is a simple lesson in democratic civilisation.

Our Zanu PF comrades ought to learn; learn fast and soon.

I remembered the March 2008 election at home, the most vivid memory I have of it is that of George Chiweshe, then Zec chair, literally running away with the actual election results.

I envisioned the loser of that election, one Robert Mugabe in a Mitt Romney moment conceding defeat with grace, wishing the winner well and pledging to serve Zimbabwe and his kinsman.

Throughout the campaign and election, the US military, with all its mighty was nowhere near the process or the result.

The Rugejes, Chedondos and Nyikayarambas of this world, and fewer partisan goons behind them, could surely take a clue.

Looking East — Chinese Communist Party is undergoing the process of leadership renewal. The old guard has served for 10 years and a new and younger team will step in. Once a decade, the Communist Party internally changes regime.

The party spokesperson defines the changes as greater efforts to promote “inner party democracy”; another lesson Zanu PF desperately needs to learn. It is a pity the Zanu PF provincial leaders who went to Beijing to learn a few tricks on how to win elections came back prematurely.

The crew missed the most important trick of all — the party must have a plan to get rid of “old” leaders and bring in new leaders.

The plan does not even need to be made public. How do you approach Banda, Kabila, Guebuza, Khama, Zuma and others to say we don’t know who will take over after Bob or when and expect them to understand?

While Zanu PF may remain unreceptive to taking anything from violence-free US presidential campaigns and elections, the old party may yet salvage something from the communist giant.

As Zanu PF heads to its conference in Midlands next month, the meeting agenda must certainly include an item on ages of its national leaders and its vision for renewal. If the cowards who have been waiting to step into leadership positions are serious about the party’s future, they must insist on it.

Apart from the obvious problems of Mugabe’s age (I will not mention health) Zanu PF’s other aging-in-waiting leaders will soon pass their sell-by-date.

It is not a secret that the main factions of the cruel party have considered and had this discussion.

The plots by the Tsholotsho gang were premised on Mugabe’s age.

The WikiLeaks saga on the other hand confirms these internal worries. But real leaders do not worry helplessly; they stand up and get counted. Like Nkala, Mavhaire, Dabengwa, Dongo and Simba Makoni, you call a spade a spade.

You tell one he is old, you praise his past contributions and plan for a future without him. Better yet, like Morgan Tsvangirai, you challenge him to an election and beat him thoroughly. Several times!

It is difficult to comprehend why Emmerson Mnangagwa, 66-year-old, would be campaigning for an 88-year-old Mugabe for another 10-year term.

Emmerson will be 77 by the time Mugabe finishes that term.

At least Joice will be 67 in 10 years time, by Zanu standards mwana mudiki (she is a minor). She has time on her side.

John Nkomo and Simon Khaya-Moyo, will no longer be in the leadership race.

Sydney Sekeramayi born in 1944 will also fall by the wayside if Mugabe gets his way — he will be 78 then.

Mutasa, born July 1935, is also beyond his prime. Mugabe has eaten into their time and hopes to lead the party. He continues to do so. All along, they have waited for a miracle which is not coming.

Congress after congress, conference after conference, they wait helplessly if not aimlessly. The party’s failure to come up with a plan, such as the Chinese, further deepens division and suspicion.

These in turn sustain Mugabe. He plays one against the other, promising everything to everyone. Violent elections remain their only hope that they will get a chance.

Will the Midlands conference come and pass with the same rhetoric and blind support for the past or will someone stand up and belatedly chart a new course for the sinking ship? - Bull Eland

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