By Farai Mutambanengwe
There’s something about sitting and basking in the absence of electricity that gets one’s mind thinking along strange lines. So today I just decided to throw the MDC guys a bone. Maybe, just maybe, there’s someone out there listening who will be able to knock sense into the right heads so that at least in 2023 we will have some form of competition for Zanu PF.
First and foremost, let me just say forget about getting into power before 2023. You and the Zimbabwean people simply do not have what it takes to pull that one off. So please stop the funny schoolboy antics before someone gets seriously hurt.
But you can score a landslide victory in 2023, and here’s what it will take. Unfortunately, just like eliminating corruption isn’t in Zanu PF’s DNA, somehow I think strategic thinking isn’t in yours. But here goes:
As I pointed out, eliminating corruption is something Zanu PF is incapable of doing, and therefore is their Achilles heel. What you need to simply do is shine a bright light on that persistently between now and 2023, while proffering solid solutions to the multiple problems that Zanu PF is creating or refusing to solve. That “Leader of the Opposition” position that CCC refused, that’s actually the key to power. Forget about the last election, it’s the next one that’s important.
There’s so many naked abuses of the law that Zanu PF engages in it’s not even funny. Let’s start with the simple. A budget was announced end of last year. To what extent is it being adhered to? I can tell you the answer: zero percent. So why is the MDC quiet about that? Is it perhaps because your MPs also received foreign currency at 1:1 when the market rate is 1:9? Was there a line item for the purchase of your cars for $180 million?
Then Mthuli’s going to town about his fiscal surplus, meanwhile the economy is reeling from hyperinflation. What does that tell you? Do you guys not have anyone with half a finance brain who can interpret that? Sorry, I forgot you’re a bunch of lawyers. Calculate how much government is subsidising fuel by if they’re giving foreign currency to the cartels at 1:4.5 while buying it at 1:9 and you have all the makings of a nice Parliamentary debate!
All I’m trying to say here is: show the Zimbabwean people – the people who matter – that you are able to govern and the vote will swing so much in your way no amount of rigging will be possible. Not that there was rigging in the last plebiscite anyway. If you really want confirmation, look at the urban voting pattern for the 2008, 2013 and 2018 elections. You will see that your popularity in urban areas has waned, then ask yourself why. The fact that the white community, yes those same people from whom farms were taken, sought audience with ED and not with CCC immediately before the last election should speak something to you. Perhaps the volume is too low, though.
What I’m trying to say is, form a shadow cabinet. Put experienced experts in each portfolio who can talk knowledgeably about specific areas. This business of chinhu chema lawyer will keep you engaged in UBA-style theatrics kusvika machena musoro without ever tasting power. Form a structure which is stronger and more credible than what Zanu PF is currently wielding and get the right people to take you seriously. If mainstream people in industry and commerce are lining up to identify more with Zanu PF than with you, that’s a problem. It isn’t because they are scared. It’s because they know where their interests align better.
People are very ripe for change, but a good proportion prefer the right change, rather than change for its own sake. It is common cause that at least a third of the people who voted for Zanu PF did so not because they like Zanu PF, but simply because they did not want MDC to come in. Give those people enough comfort that you can be better, and the next election will be a breeze. Continue on the same track you are on now and you can be rest-assured, you will be in Concourt again in 2023 with no V11s.