'Zim needs a united opposition'

HARARE - Zanu PF, which won last year’s contested elections, sealing its autonomy to continuously rule for 38 years, has begun preparations for the watershed 2018 polls, the Daily News is reliably informed.

Sources close to the developments say the liberation movement — heavily riddled with factionalism and jostling of positions to succeed President Robert Mugabe — is putting machinations in place to completely wipe out the opposition from national politics.

This paper recently exposed a plot by Zanu PF in conjunction with Israeli firm Nikuv Projects International (Nikuv) to rig the 2018 elections.

The opposition alleges that there are seven large containers that are being shipped to Zimbabwe with materials which are meant to be used to fix the crucial 2018 vote which Mugabe is unlikely to take part in due to advanced age.

Although, the pleas to unite the pro-democracy factions against Zanu PF are as old as multi-party politics in the country, academic and civic society leaders say if the move succeeds, it will ensure a resounding victory for democracy.

Political analysts also pointed to the advantages of a united front by former Prime Minister Morgan

Tsvangirai, Welshman Ncube’s MDC and Simba Makoni’s Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn (MKD) against Zanu PF.

Calls for a united opposition come as the Zanu PF-led government has failed to deliver its election promises to the masses.

Through the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset), the revolutionary party promised to create over 2 million jobs and grow the economy by an average of 9 percent in the next five years but today, the economy is showing serious signs of contraction.

Companies are closing and banks have been hit by serious liquidity crunch.

“Zimbabwe’s leadership silence on the worsening economic situation in the country is clearly because they have no clue what to do to halt it and are therefore choosing to bury their heads in the sand and hope that when they raise their heads again it will be gone,” said political and economic commentator Makusha Mugabe.

“Unfortunately there is no such thing as a miracle economy; everything has to be planned, with one grand vision that can be nationally agreed on with all opposition parties and ruling party as a national vision.

“Examples are to raise the standards of living of rural people by 50 percent in 50 years, or to ensure nobody travels more than a mile for clean water, everyone has electricity in 10 years, or a sustainable source of energy, universal access to primary school education in 10 years,” he added.

Mugabe noted that the problem with Zanu PF was the liberation movement no longer agree on any plans because individuals have vested interest with his or her own partners and preferred outcomes.

He said the recent losses and closures were due to unclear policies that have discouraged investors.

“The land that is being wasted by the chefs who were allocated farms that they are holding for speculative purposes or in trust for their children has to be put back into production by being subdivided and given to those who really need it and can use it,” he said.

Mugabe said that to halt the economic decline, there was need for an immediate U-turn on indigenisation policies, “stabilisation of power generation, leadership to start talking about the economy”.

Economist Christopher Mugaga said the worsening economic conditions will deprive government of the crucial Paye and VAT to fund its activities.

“Government must, as a matter of urgency, address the country’s external debts because as long as this debt remains in place it would be difficult for Zimbabwe to attract foreign direct investments, cheap loans and overseas development assistance,” he said.

He said Parliament must begin to discuss and deal with corruption decisively adding that government should sponsor high tech penetration to all electricity, Internet into the rural areas and encourage local industry to produce agricultural equipment.

Mugaga told the Daily News that there is also need to drastically reduce salaries for bosses in parastatals and local government, while incentivising the modernisation of plant in mining, and industrial production.

Political commentator Reason Wafawarova said the answer to our economic problems lies in production and accountability.

“We cannot go anywhere without production in our industry, and without institutional accountability to ensure sustainable revenue flows,” he said.

Francis Mukora, an information and publicity officer with the Zimbabwe Community Development Trust said the dismal performance by business, both private and public, was rooted more in mismanagement, corruption and a lack of economic common sense in government.

“In fact all these losses are pointers to gross lack of capacity by political leadership which has cascaded into most facets of everything that is proudly Zimbabwean, be it political as exemplified by

inter and intra-party instability, economic as represented in business closures and employee retrenchments and even sport as shown by Cuthbert Dube’s re-election to Zifa chairmanship against recent disclosures of his miserable performance as Premier Services Medical Aid Society chief executive and Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation board member,” he said.

While, Zanu PF has cemented its power through contested means, some analysts say opposition parties should capitalise on the ruling party’s failures and build a strong opposition that can effectively lure majority votes.

Comments (6)

Besides being united the opposition must share certain principles. There is no point in bringing communists and capitalists together for the sake of removing ZANU PF. Such unity will not work as there will be internal fights all the way and this saps the energy to dislodge the ZANU PF monster. People must agree on certain principles and all the members of the opposition must subscribe to the principles that would reflect themselves in the constitution and policy documents. There is also need to ensure that the electoral playing field is level as it's no use to unite only for NIKUV to subvert the people's will. The international community can be helpful in pressuring ZANU PF to adhere to SADC protocols as well as international conventions governing elections. The international relations section of the party/ coalition must be therefore manned by people well-versed with regional and international protocol.

Sidiniwe Ndhlukula - 14 April 2014

This is the Best article I have read in a long time. Imagine Tsvangirai as Leader of the oppsition flanked by Welshman Ncube and Simba Makoni as his deputies, that would be the last stroke that broke the camel's back. ZANU PF would stand no chance at all. However, a fight over positions in such a coalition is what would make this a stillbirth. Put the people first and change will come.

Dr Know - 14 April 2014

I want to believe that the whole purpose of a united oppsition would be to make sure that elections are carried out only after all SADC guidelines to free and fair elections are observed. Without that, no-one should participate in an uneven playfield. I hope they take this into consideration.

Sinikiwe Shumba - 14 April 2014

A united opposition in Zimbabwe is not going to happen because the opposition leaders sqauble a lot like kids at kindergarten school. These men are not yet mature enough to form a coalition.

Dhongi - 14 April 2014

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