Need for a paradigm shift

HARARE - Despite the bravado exuded by the Zanu PF leadership and the hollow constant call for elections, President Robert Mugabe’s party is far from being ready for elections.

Our fear is that this sabre-rattling could force that party, riddled with factionalism, to resort to medieval ways of trying to win elections.

Zimbabweans will remember the charade that became of the 2008 run-off elections after Mugabe’s crushing defeat to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

The apparent refusal to institute security sector reforms raises once again the spectre of another bloody election given the role militia played in the systematic State-sponsored violence in 2008.

We frown at the abuse of chiefs and politicisation of the role of traditional leaders as shown by letters flying between Mugabe and chiefs in Mashonaland West’s Hurungwe district over a row with a local legislator.

There is a glaring need to level the political playfield before any elections are held. Now more than ever, the Global Political Agreement (GPA) guarantor, Sadc should move in as a matter of urgency to insist on reforms and adherence to the rule of law.

Zimbabwe cannot afford another disputed election. We cannot continue to be held to ransom for more than a decade by one party because of the same problems that sullied almost a dozen successive polls in the past decade.  We need to forge a brighter future for our kids.

This country is bigger than individuals or political parties. Zanu PF is and will remain an important institution in the history of this country.

Going forward, this country has to change and adopt a new paradigm.

Zanu PF need not be blind to the fact that other liberation parties in the region that have failed to regenerate themselves have died natural deaths mainly because of  poorly-managed successions.

Zimbabweans should be vigilant and insist on nothing short of a free and fair poll.

Our political parties should also learn that parties are not governments and we should be able to distinguish between the arms of the State and political institutions.

Zanu PF’s internal problems are not State problems. If Mugabe’s party fails to arrest its factional slide and lose anticipated elections later this year, its leadership should accept defeat and move on to try to re-invigorate the party for future electoral fights.

Our hope is, the party will be able to resolve its issues before elections in order to offer Zimbabweans the opportunity to choose competent political parties and progressive ideologies and not resort to coercion and terror tactics due to structural failure.

Elsewhere in this edition, we report on the shenanigans to bar the UN team from coming into Zimbabwe to assess our electoral needs at a time we have no money! We implore all players in government to put nation first before parochial party interests. - Staff Writer

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