Zim opposition must start thinking, again


HARARE - Zimbabwe's opposition political parties, especially the Morgan Tsvangirai-led Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) — who have been in the trenches for the past several years trying to unseat former president Robert Mugabe and his party — must be panicking over the latest developments in the country.

Mugabe — their longtime adversary — was booted from power in a military intervention that put him under house arrest on November 15.

While military takeovers have never been supported the world over, the Zimbabwean version was from a different mould.

It had the support of long-suffering Zimbabweans who were keen to see Mugabe’s back, especially when he seemed to support his ambitious wife Grace’s march to the throne.

What happened with the army takeover may have been the beginning of the internal transformation of Zanu PF. This reinvention, if it is amply supported by evident results on the ground, especially in the form of a significant improvement in people’s lives, may be difficult to beat.

At the end of the day, it is the people who matter in winning any election not misdirected eliticism that we have seen in the opposition fold in recent times.

Criticism of the new dispensation under President Emmerson Mnangagwa without reason may lead to the MDC losing the people. The new government’s latest approach to the country’s challenges has been applauded although it may require some bit of time. The reduction of unpopular police checkpoints — which had become too many — must have come as a relief to Zimbabweans.

Regeneration of the police force, especially those in the traffic section, may take ages as it had become synonymous with corruption.

Mnangagwa’s Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa — whose many attempts at reviving Zimbabwe’s economy hit snags with an uncompromising boss in Mugabe, has gone back to those very issues his former boss had thrown out like reduction of Cabinet, revisiting the unpopular indigenisation law, ghost workers and re-engagement efforts among other measures that will definitely find the support of the majority of Zimbabweans who are keen to see an improvement of the lives of the country’s citizens.

Industry’s revival is key and queues must disappear from the banks, and Mnangagwa and his team may after all get the people’s support.

These are the issues the opposition has been running with all these years. They therefore urgently need to go back to the drawing board and come up with workable alternatives.