Mugabe dumps liberation values

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe is constructing a reconfigured personalised rule, or a regime unbounded by rules — one that operates at total variance with the ruling party’s 1980 manifesto.

The ruling party’s politburo has bestowed upon Zanu PF’s first secretary the authority to allow internal Zanu PF elections at its December 2 to 7 “elective congress” to be suspended, and enabling the 90-year-old president to directly appoint his deputies, giving himself wide discretionary powers to anoint his successor. 

Zanu PF’s No. 1 policy according to its 1980 manifesto was to liberate Zimbabwe from colonial bondage and establish a “nationalist, socialist, Pan-Africanist and democratic Republic of Zimbabwe.”

One of the major beliefs of Zanu PF, according to one of its 12 beliefs, is that “Zanu PF believes that power must vest in the people both in respect of the party and in respect of the government of the country.”

“This is why Zanu PF wants DEMOCRACY in Zimbabwe, requiring that there should be democratic elections based on adult suffrage to enable the people to choose their own government,” the 1980 manifesto reads.

Yet Mugabe and his politburo have unilaterally changed the Zanu PF party to allow him to handpick his deputies, in a move that flies in the face of the 1980 Zanu PF manifesto’s preamble, signifying the ruling party’s dramatic descent into personalism — which entails immense discretionary power for the Zanu PF leader, and conforms to popular notions of autocratic governance as “rule by one man.”

Zimbabwe’s 10 provinces’ power to elect the two Zanu PF deputies have been stripped and the politburo has placed total power in the hands of the first secretary, typically with the justification of protecting the ruling party from internal threats and restoring stability.

In reality, however, the emergency-like powers are being systematically employed not only to confront legitimate internal challenges but to intimidate, harass, or persecute opponents loyal to Mugabe’s potential successor, Joice Mujuru.

The beleaguered ruling party has accused half of its top leadership of being “a fifth column” which is controlled by Mugabe’s deputy Mujuru, with all her key allies now either suspended or fired for backing her. 

By his threatening actions and treason and graft allegations levelled against the embattled Mujuru, Mugabe is purposely trying to rile up Zanu PF voters and intimidate any remaining pragmatic politicians in his quest for near-total control of the party, just as an oligarch holds absolute power of his company. 

Concurrent with this, Mugabe is forging a very narrow but loyal coterie of followers, whose lifestyles, indeed lives, depend on allegiance to him and his wife Grace.

The suspension of internal elections is one of the most controversial periods of Zanu PF’s history.

It also shows that the ruling party is on the brink of self-implosion given the endgame in the face of such a huge disenfranchised constituency.

The unstable result of this is the dystopian descent of Zanu PF towards personalised dictatorship, all with the enthusiastic backing of the politburo.

Not only that, but Zanu PF has an extensive history of human rights abuses and political oppression, so there is already a discernible track record for what can happen to those who disagree with Mugabe’s grand plan.

Another of Mugabe’s pursuits is to split Zanu PF from Mujuru and whip up belligerent rhetoric against the widowed VP that she plotted to assassinate the president ahead of the 6th Zanu PF congress, with the hope that voters will agree to suspend the motions of democracy imprinted in the party’s 1980 manifesto in ousting his political adversaries under the guise of “patriotism.” 

Although this deepens the political tumult in the ruling party, it conveniently takes the focus away from the deepening economic crisis and misleadingly blames the country’s problems on internal Zanu PF enemies. 

Mugabe is engaging in a calculated risky move to centralise control over the party, but he is dangerously faced with a Catch-22.

He wants to increase his power on the back of nationalists such as  Emmerson “Ngwena” Mnangagwa who could land the vice presidency after Mujuru is dumped in the rubbish heap, but Ngwena’s power and ambitions will only grow along with Mugabe’s and can likely turn on him in the future.

Mnangagwa, the scheming Zanu PF legal affairs secretary, Justice and Legal Affairs minister and an increasingly visible successor to Mugabe, has tried to convince party supporters that he was best-suited to succeed Mugabe and run the 51-year-old party hampered by factionalism and corruption,  and has also demonstrated the patience and steely endurance amid endorsement from the First Lady.

Autocratic regimes like the one Mugabe is installing attract less investment, and experience less economic growth. 

More often than not, when these regimes fall, the end is more likely to be violent and sudden, like in the case of Libyan tyrant Muammar Gaddafi regime who was killed by a youthful rebel. 

In light of all this, Zanu PF now needs to take stock whether it is still loyal to its founding principle, and whether it has created the kind of society it envisaged when it earned independence in 1980 after a protracted bush war with the minority settler regime.

The 1980 Zanu PF manifesto envisaged that come congress time, the ruling party’s system of voting forces supporters to engage in the process and voters were urged to take their duty seriously. 

Yet, the politburo unilaterally took away this suffrage last weekend, and clearly this has worrying trends attached to it.

The attempt to clean out Mujuru loyalists in the name of a clean-up has been such a disaster that recriminations are taking on a life of their own.

There are mounting fears of a split.

Even after the monumental disaster of the purge, Zanu PF is descending into a deadly leadership fight.

The cabal that dreamed up the strategy to purge Mujuru loyalists, are trying to dislodge some of the most well-liked MPs.

The attempt to get rid of the Mujuru loyalists has already broken many traditions in the party, including paying respect to elders.

In itself, it is a dangerous strategy; but the implementation of the strategy is becoming even more disastrous.

Does this Mujuru purge and her loyalists warrant the suspension of Zanu PF rules and elections?

All of the good things that this nation stood for at birth can be found in the 1980 Zanu PF manifesto. They are almost biblical principles.

The 1980 Zanu PF manifesto is anchored on 13 fundamental rights and freedoms:

1. Franchise rights (yet elections have been suspended)

2. Freedom of speech, assembly, association, procession, demonstration and strike action (yet dissenting officials have been booted out).

3. Freedom of religion and role of the Church.

4. The right to work and the right to a fair wage

5. Freedom from racial discrimination

6. Freedom of person and his home

7. The right to education

8. The right of women to equality with men

9. The right to life

10. The right to rest and leisure

11. Freedom from hunger

12. Right to personal property

13. The right of recourse to courts.

Zanu PF’s 1980 manifesto is the cornerstone of Zimbabwe’s liberty.

The nation State we call Zimbabwe today was founded on this manifesto.

Of all the political systems of morality in post-independent Zimbabwe, none appears so pure as that of the 1980 Zanu PF manifesto which the party is now conveniently trashing.

Stories of deviation of the movement from its founding principles are standard fare for criticism of liberation movements of all persuasions.

But measured against their Sadc liberation movement contemporaries, Zanu PF has become the worst, from leadership regeneration now to outright tinkering of the constitution to consolidate rule by one man.

So it should not take too long for Zanu PF to pore over the entrails of these latest developments and realign the party to its founding values. 

Zanu PF must revisit the party’s founding principles.

Put simply, the 1980 manifesto prescribes a better and more decent way of life for all.

Instead of running from the ideology fight or quitting, Zanu PF officials have to find the courage to break the bad news to Mugabe and the powerful Zanu PF heavyweights pulling the strings right now that they have not been paying their fair share and it is time they did in the interests of the voting masses, and reinstate their voting rights.

The 1980 Zanu PF manifesto has more decency and dignity and the best of human qualities than any other political document. 

But it is forgotten, gathering dust somewhere as the Zanu PF ship loses course. The 1980 Zanu PF manifesto cannot possibly stand if our country is given over to immorality, idle talk, and the evilness that she is facing right now.

Just as the manifesto says in its introduction that this country came through “action, action and consistently more action,” perhaps it is time to revisit this document and implement its recommendations.

Only by re-engaging with this ethos can the party avert an imminent split and shore up its diminishing support base and bring the natural constituents back into the fold.

If it cannot do that, many Zimbabweans who prefer a reformed Zanu PF, will be the poorer for it.

Zanu PF must come to terms with its role as a modern political party.

The faction system, which was once based on a battle of ideas between left and right and the meaning of a democratic socialist party, has been supplanted with a factional system based on personalities.

The dominant Mnangagwa faction has created a personal fiefdom, imposing its hegemony on Zanu PF, with the backing of the first family.

The factional system is in fact worse than the so-called bad old days of Zanu PF because, without ideas, the acrimony is based on personal hatreds, paybacks and revenge.

Zanu PF has in-fact failed to make the transformation from a liberation movement rooted in socialism to a modern political party which is in touch with everyday working and non-working Zimbabweans, who are in the majority, and who believe Mujuru must succeed Mugabe.

Comments (32)

We didn't hear you complain in 2004 when principles were violated to elevate Joyce Mujuru. Yes a lot of unprocedural things are happening, but they certainly did not start now nor with Mnangagwa. Just because your horse is now being flogged you resurrect these founding values.

Bobby Maguranyanga - 26 November 2014


Musona - 26 November 2014

Bobby cannot compare what happened in 2004 and what's happening now. The architect of the political scheming in 2004 was a smooth operator, the down-to-earth General. What we are witnessing now borders on the macabre, driven by evil and cruel people. And in the process, decimating the once great revolutionary formation.

Tongo - 26 November 2014

There is no better way of killing a faction than this one. For those who are still to learn Zanu Pf politics, be informed that it is a revolutionary party. revolutions entail radical changes in all facets of its existence.yesterday we witnessed radical change in land tenure , today you have an opportunity to to learn how it is going to align its post mugabe regime, smoothly muchingopopota mahara. Bhora mugedhi pacongress and losers are going to be chearing .

Jonso - 26 November 2014

Just because you put something down on paper and call it values it doesnt make them true. Zanu is a mafia organisation set up by Mugabe with the sole role to stay in power and pillage. Remember from 1980 people were pursuing a one party state even faning tribal & racial hatrade to achieve that goal.

Lt General - 26 November 2014

ZanuPf has no beiefs my friend so what beliefs are you talking about. Pamba pane jongwe one ne mhambo. Tumwe tumachongwe kana twakukurudza tinotutengesa kana kuurayira vaenzi. Mhambo tochichengetera mazai, saka don't expect anything from mhambo dzaMugabe, tumachongwe takutengesa kana kuurayira vaenzi.

maita - 26 November 2014

The party now has no checks and balances. Yes Mugabe can manage to keep the party united and desist from abusing his powers for as long as he remains the first secretary. But what will happen when he retires. The constitution must protect the party from unscrupulous leaders. As it is the chances of the party being hijacked and turned into a personal project are very high. Ordinary members of the party should question the leadership on the issue of democracy or is it "guided democracy".If at every congress the party constitution is amended then the future of the party is in jeopardy. Animal Farm by George Orwell is being dramatised by the goings on in the party.

Jaku - 26 November 2014

"Colonial bondage" - utter, utter, utter garbage. You will not get away with this nonsense when I am around.

Musona - 26 November 2014

All the ancients in ZANU PF should take fundamental right number 10 on their manifesto that speaks of 'the right to rest and leisure' and apply it upon themselves, they have totally failed to uphold their own constitution or follow the guidelines of their own manifesto for the past 34 years. What miracle can they perform now?

Dr Know - 26 November 2014

That so called manifesto was just a board room document that was used and adhered to. If this manifesto was used we will not have known Zanu PF's evils and Mugabe as a messenger of darkness. For someone to talk of ZANU PF's fundamentals is an insult to true Zimbabweans. We all know of the countless number of people who were abused, murdered, incapacitated, and tortured etc since 1980. If people could be truthful our country will be far by now meaning prosperity for its people. But as usual we seat on the fence bemoaning our misfortunes. Mujuru camp and the other camp are all evil people, there are fruits of the same tree "zanu pf". Mugabe and Zanu PF have destroyed Zimbabwe and its not a secret and those who are suppose to provide an alternative Government are enjoying the news and doing nothing to capitalise on this devil devouring self alive. To there are in-competences and immaturity there are busy debating about party colors and consolidating small powers, What a shame?

I AM - 26 November 2014

To free the country From "colonial bondage" into "zanu pf bondage." Its 2014, No jobs, no clean water, no health, no democracy. Zanu pf created its monster and now it can't contain it. Its all lies. The good thing is that the end is near and its inevitable. You can't currupt it, bribe it, hide from it, run away from it or hire nikuv. It does not need constitutional changes, Politiburo endorsement, central committe approval, provincial votes or Vote of no confidence. Its called "DEATH".

X-MAN IV - 26 November 2014

That so called manifesto was just a board room document that was never used and adhered to. If this manifesto was used we will not have known Zanu PF's evils and Mugabe as a messenger of darkness. For someone to talk of ZANU PF's fundamentals is an insult to true Zimbabweans. We all know of the countless number of people who were abused, murdered, incapacitated, and tortured etc since 1980. If people could be truthful our country will be far by now meaning prosperity for its people. But as usual we sit on the fence bemoaning our misfortunes. Mujuru camp and the other camp are all evil people, there are fruits of the same tree "zanu pf". Mugabe and Zanu PF have destroyed Zimbabwe and its not a secret and those who are suppose to provide an alternative Government there are enjoying the news and doing nothing to capitalise on this devil devouring itself alive. To show that there are political novices and politically immature there are busy debating party colors and consolidating small powers, What a shame?

I AM - 26 November 2014

colonialism was the worst thing that ever happened to this country. the suffering we are going through is a legacy of colonialism. the so called settlers peddled with our own version of development which could have gotten us far much better than places like tswana land. we would have traded with whoever we wanted not the mess we inherited from smith and his cronies. the worst thing that ever happened to us is colonialism.

taurai - 26 November 2014

cant you see you are wasting your time. Websites have been taken over by postings from one side. People have been employed to comment on all the websites using different names

chimurenga 5 - 26 November 2014

Since when did Mugabe ever uphold liberation values? He values himself and immediate family. Remember this "plot to assasinate him" is not a new thing. remember Ndabaningi Sithole, Mdala Nkomo, Tsvangi have all veen accused of ploting to assasinate him. now its Mujuru and company. come on bob, tinyarewo mhani. If he had Zim at heart, he should have gone the Nyerere/Mandela way a long time ago. Here we have another Muamor Gadaffi of Zimbabwe.

Tichaonerera - 26 November 2014

Can someone write the History of Zimbabwe post Independence entailing all this! We need to read about this 10, 20 years later and our kids should study this at school then. Seriously!

wiseman of the east - 26 November 2014

Taurai, if you are so hell bent on colonialism being the worst thing that ever happened to this country then all we bantu's better head back north of the Zambezi from where we came from before we colonised this land from the Arabs, who in turn colonised this land from the bushmen. The Bushmen/ rock dwellers are the original aboriginal rightful owners and not we Bantu. If colonialism was so bad why has our government still using the settler borders and boundries and more to the point why is our president still going to parliament with a British/ colonial motorcade/ rolls Royce and horses instead of a Donkey and scotch cart??????

ronaldos - 26 November 2014

ZANU vanhu vanhu I ZANU. Ingombe chete inorova kwete munhu. Ngozi herombe igandanzara. Ivhu chete rinoziva kuti mwana wembeva anogwara.

Vote of Confidence - 26 November 2014

If you decide to enter into the political arena you have to have a plausible agenda. You cannot stand in front of the crowd and say things are okay - nobody is going to vote for you, not least if you say so in Zezuru or Ndebele. You have to come up with a plausible ideology, in colonial English. It can be an idiotic ideology but if you say it in good colonial English the gullible will sit back and take notice. An aspiring politician could never go wrong by blaming colonialism and/or blaming people with a different skin to the majority - this was a plausible and common default position. Looking at the Zanu manifesto of 1980 you can see most of it is utter nonsense. Number 2 - Freedom of Speech, blah blah blah. - not with a black government. Laughable. Under white rule people could say what you liked but there was little or nothing to complain about. What? Number 3 - Freedom of religion and role of the church - nonsense - I don't remember anyone being stopped from forming their own church or praying as they wished. Number 4 - The right to work and the right to a fair wage - Idiotic and meaningless - you earned what you negotiated with your prospective employer (WHY INCLUDE EMPLOYMENT WHEN INDUSTRIES WERE INTRODUCED BY WHITES AND WHEN COLONIALISM WAS/IS SUPPOSED TO BE EVIL?). Number 5 - Freedom from racial discrimination - meaningless and very idiotic - if a rich white person built his own company he had every right to choose who he wanted to employ, by the same token, a rich black George Tavengwa had every right to employ who he wanted in his own companies - there was no racism there. John Ruredzo, owner of a Bus company, employed white diesel mechanics to fix his buses. Number 6 - Freedom of person and his home - again idiotic - I was very free and all people I lived with in Salisbury and elsewhere were free and I must add there was security during white rule. (Cont'd below)

Musona - 26 November 2014

Number 7 - right to education - I could write volumes on this issue. EDUCATION WAS INTRODUCED TO THIS LAND BY WHITES (why include education and then say colonialism which brought education was evil? - stupid). I do not know of anyone who was forbidden from being educated. Whites built schools for blacks in the townships and those who were too poor to pay the nominal school fees were given a remission on school fees. Number 9 - Right to life - totally idiotic - not worth commenting on. Number 11 - Freedom from hunger - very silly. Number 12 - right to personal property - during white rule there were property rights now ZanuPF thugs can invade properties at will and you have no recourse to courts. Number 13 - the right of recourse to courts - this right was there before but now the courts are manned by a corrupt and partisan judiciary which sucks up to ZanuPF. The 1980 manifesto was far too quixotic - meant to con gullible voters. People like me, the pro-colonialism, should be the only ones talking about EDUCATION and WORK not the anti-colonialism. Politicians are the ones whose views are covered in the media - they get away with lies. I was born in Salisbury, S Rhodesia under Godfrey Huggins, I do not accept being told what was happening as if I was blind and deaf. Why should I be told what it was like by some idiot politician when I was present? I can make my own mind up what works and what doesn't, what is good and what is bad and what is wrong and what is right. “Liberation” - only a mirage.

Musona - 26 November 2014

If Mugabe really hated colonialists he would not use their capital city Harare as a capital city for a an independent zim . he would have made his own capital just as the whites did when they defeated king lobengula they never made Bulawayo their capital but they made their own sozibeli . From 1980 Mugabe had been trying to be white but failed his trips to white owned countries are countless just be with whites . the guy is a disgrace in the continent

Diibulaanyika - 26 November 2014

Mugabe from the 1980's was a always preaching about One Party State so anyone who can recall his Slogan in those days can tell you where he was herding. He has never followed democratic principals now anyone can now see his true colours. Read this book quoting Mateu Zvimba he says openly says there is going to be a leader from the Gushungo Clan and this leader can only be removed by a boy because of his Dictatorship policies

Karigamombe - 26 November 2014

Mugabe has never had liberation values - how can he dump them. His sole objective was to get into power and remain there.

david taylor - 26 November 2014

We the voter dont like this. Zanu has lost its appeal.

Voter - 27 November 2014

@ maguranyangaYOU ARE STUPID, KUTII KWAWANYORA APA We didn't hear you complain in 2004 when principles were violated to elevate Joyce Mujuru. Yes a lot of unprocedural things are happening, but they certainly did not start now nor with Mnangagwa. Just because your horse is now being flogged you resurrect these founding values.

benzi - 27 November 2014

It has been Mugabe for Mugabe (Chikerema) and now that the threats have been neutralized the presidium is going to be Mugabe(he),Mugabe(she) and second Vice will definitely not be Mnangagwa.The sidelined will have no sleep from now onwards.If he was so popular why was he so scared to death to be contested,like Dongo's proverbial 'Mugabe's wives' they were all scared to death to put their names in the hat.At 91,the captain will take us no where.

Malaika waMalaika - 27 November 2014

the script was on the wall first term of office, ending 1985.If u remember why Two boy parted ways wth Zanu, he was the only one who refused to deceive the masses when he told Mugabe that , u are now departing frm the founding values of the liberation. All u guys you were adamant and u wanted to loot and clandestinely enrich yourselVES first. It led to Tekere's dismissal as he went to form his on part ZUM. RECOLLECT EVENTS , what Mugabe is doing is not new. yOU ALL KNW IT MACOMRADES. AHHHOIIIII

mutowo mr - 27 November 2014

For every situation God has got something to say. Kuipa kwezvimwe kunaka kwezvimwe. Watchout for 2015 ! ! ! Makeke chaiwo.

Faith - 27 November 2014

musona, you are an exception. many people i know would not agree with what you are saying. your advantage is your colonial knowledge. there was no wage negotiations in rhodesia. the whiteman gave you what he wanted to pay. there was no fredom of speech. there was no equality of persons; the white was superior by virtue of being white. i wonder which salisbury you are talking about. the one i knew of belonged to the whites. but in any case, they forced themselves on us and we had to fend them off with the burrel of the gun. we defeated them. what we now need is economic emancipation. i am hopeful that it wont be long before our nation is restored to its rightful place; second best economy in africa.

taurai - 27 November 2014

ZANU maiona vakomana nevasikana vana baba nanamai inorwa Hondo muZimbabwe. Gore rakavambwa ZANU 1963, ZANU ichizobhanwa 1964, 66 Hondo yoenderera mberi , 67 vakomana vepaChinhoyi.......

norest - 27 November 2014

I can't understand what Joice Mujuru's crime is. When is it a crime for an Assistant Manager to prepare themselves to one day take over as Manager, or a deputy headmaster to prepare themselves to take over as headmaster. That's why there is a deputy or vice, to assist and to prepare to take over. I can't believe educated Zimbabweans can be this dull. There must be another agenda.

Jonso - 27 November 2014

Ndo ZanuPF chaiyo iyoyo,haina maprinciples auri kutaura aya,when elections were rigged in 2008 where were those principles,pamberi negarwe

pakaipa - 27 November 2014

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