What's next for the opposition?

HARARE – Opposition political parties in Zimbabwe should wake up from their deep slumber and smell the coffee because President Emmerson Mnangagwa is fast moving with the ball of change.

And already, Mnangagwa seems to be pre-empting everything that the opposition has been fighting for and his first port of call has been clamping down of Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP)’s wings.

For years now, opposition political parties and the generality of Zimbabweans have been complaining bitterly about the ZRP’s unprofessional conduct, especially on the roads which had also irritated tourists.

The police force had also been blamed for riotous eruptions every time Zimbabweans or the opposition took to the streets for peaceful protests.

The opposition was also denied the right to hold rallies. Mnangagwa has heeded Zimbabweans’ cries; hence he put the ZRP under lock and key.

And ordinary Zimbabweans, not only motorists are happy that the police is off the roads.

People were getting to work late because of the numerous police check points that had coloured roads and streets leading into towns and cities.

In the eye of the public, reining-in the police has been a major score for Mnangagwa and recent calls by the opposition that the ZRP should come back to the streets soon without the monitoring of army officers are at the least surprising.

The opposition should not be blind to these developments as they are happening just a few months before the elections — they need to read the mood of the nation otherwise people will turn against them.

At the pace at which Mnangagwa is playing ball, the opposition will be surprised when the president among other pressing issues orders for electoral reforms to be implemented, scraps some controversial laws, allows international observers to monitor the elections and lays a conducive atmosphere for campaigning ahead of the 2018 elections.

I am sure Mnangagwa would like the issue of bank queues done with as soon as possible so that come 2018; he would have amassed a lot of trust from ordinary Zimbabweans.

While most Zimbabweans would have loved to see Mnangagwa appoint a Cabinet inclusive of opposition political figures that could have seen MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai bouncing back as prime minister, his new setup, however, best suits democracy.

We all agree that Zimbabweans, including opposition Members of Parliament, took part and celebrated the removal of former president Robert Mugabe, but that does not entail that all who participated had to be part of Mnangagwa’s government.

A Government of National Unity would have taken time to put together and this would have meant changing the Constitution to create the prime minister’s post.

Opposition parties have a lot of work to do within the few months left; they had all along been clamouring for Mugabe to resign or step down, and he has.

So what’s next for the opposition when they cannot even agree to form a grand coalition?

Meanwhile, Mnangagwa is stealing the limelight; calling for the white farmers to be compensated for the farms they lost, engaging with the West and fighting government corruption which had become a cancer!