By Dr Panganai Kahuni
An election of any nation the world over is supposed to be democratic and those aspiring for political office must be democrats themselves. Most importantly, those aspiring for the highest political office on the land must exhibit democratic traits in themselves and in their political parties setting foot to convince the electorate that indeed the aspiring national leaders will uphold tenets of democracy.
The one centre of power brought into the revolutionary party Zanu-PF by a political turncoat “Professor Jonathan Moyo” wanting to sanctify factionalism was a well-thought-out demon that nearly destroyed Zanu-PF.
This political philosophy of “one centre of power” was a convincing and revealing political strategy that left many people falling for it regardless of its negative political impact.
Prof Moyo, applying the Machiavellian tactics and oratory skills, managed to convince nearly everyone that the one centre of power was the best concept Zanu-PF could employ.
With the passage of time, the concept however, proved beyond any reasonable doubt that applying it was undemocratic
Having noticed the salivating appetite that most cadres in Zanu-PF had for this concept, Prof Moyo and Saviour Kasukuwere were able to create factions around the “one centre of power”.
The concept was expertly employed to conceal the mushrooming of the G40 cabal whose major intention was to make Zanu-PF a neo-liberal and undemocratic party.
It is this very concept that was unceremoniously used by the G40 cabal to fire war veterans and elected members from the party.
Using the one centre of power principle, Prof Moyo was able to create from his head two factions that seemingly were at each other’s throat.
Hiding behind one centre of power, the G40 cabal concealed its political ambition by using some members of the youth and women leagues to viciously attack, fire elected cadres and undemocratically install unelected members into the structures of the party in order to advance their agenda.
This is how bad the undemocratic use of one centre of power had become and thank God Operation Restore Legacy sanctimoniously helped Zanu-PF from the jaws of collapse.
In the MDC-T camp, while dirty tricks were taking toll on Zanu-PF, the political unholy machination was also happening in the opposition party.
Seeing that Mr Chamisa was beaten to the post of secretary-general by Mr Douglas Mwonzora, the late MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai single-handedly appointed Mr Chamisa as the third VP of MDC-T.
The appointment was made outside congress, which was viewed by political analysts as dictatorial and unconstitutional.
The action can clearly be observed as an undemocratic move which was aimed at out manoeuvring the elected VP Khupe from the MDC-T succession matrix.
The move cannot only be characterised as undemocratic, but can also be seen as unconstitutional.
Fellow Zimbabweans, imagine a party that claims to be paragons of democracy now seen to be undertaking such an illegal political process that is not in line with its constitution.
The issue here is not about Dr Khupe having or not having support, but it is about MDC-T party practising tenets of democracy
The assertion by some MDC-T that Khupe has no support does not hold water in a democracy.
In a democracy, no one group or party should act or behave undemocratically or unconstitutionally just because the group or party believes it has the majority.
Thus neither Zanu-PF nor MDC Alliance should be allowed to use oratory language in place of democracy with an objective of crowding out small political parties claiming that small parties have no large following
The said MDC-T unconstitutional practice of appointing a third VP out of congress has continued to pose succession challenges in the opposition party.
This has seen it riddled with legal challenges in courts.
The undemocratic appointment of Mr Chamisa has seemingly created fissures threatening to divide the self acclaim democratic party through legal battles.
Fellow Zimbabweans, democracy as a virtue practiced by political parties, is an animal that must first be practiced within a political party setting.
When ED was undemocratically fired from Zanu-PF, which saw events leading to the resignation of the former President Robert Mugabe from office, Zanu-PF did what is enshrined in its party and government constitutions.
Zanu-PF made sure that its supreme law and that of the national constitution were respected.
The Central Committee sat and agreed to appoint ED as the party president and subsequently the national President as dictated by both their party and national constitutions.
After the former president resigned, no one in Zanu-PF declared him or herself President of the party.
No organ of the party declared anyone as the leader of the party without following due process laid down in the party constitution.
ED was selected as the party leader by the Central Committee awaiting confirmation and endorsement by congress. Indeed ED did not declare himself as the substantive leader of Zanu-PF until after congress.
Fellow citizens, such a practice can clearly be observed as resonating with good tenets of democracy.
Reading from such a practice and from what ED has been preaching in regards to democracy, the nation can be hopeful that Zanu PF has the capacity of democratically leading Zimbabwe.
The signals of Mr Chamisa’s undemocratic practices that Obert Gutu, Khupe and some sections of MDC-T level against the youthful politician indicate a threat to both tenets of democracy and good governance. The fact that MDC-T did not go for congress as Dr Khupe claims is an indication that the party is far from being a democratic party.
If indeed the MDC-T constitution as continually highlighted by Obert Gutu says only congress shall elect someone to be President of MDC-T, then Mr Chamisa is an unconstitutional MDC-T President.
Again, if indeed the MDC-T constitution says Dr Khupe as an elected VP shall act as President of the MDC-T in case the leader passes on or is incapacitated, then Mr Chamisa is an illegitimate MDC-T President.
If indeed the constitution of the MDC-T says there shall be a congress to elect a party president when the incumbent passes on, then Mr Chamisa is an unconstitutional MDC-T President.
Fellow Zimbabweans, imagine a party that speaks passionately about democracy, constitutionalism, good governance and practising the rule of law does not walk the talk. Who is fooling who here?
Fellow Zimbabweans, if the above undemocratic practices in the MDC-T are anything of substance then voting for the party becomes a threat to constitutionalism in Zimbabwe.
One tends to see a threat to our culture too in that MDC-T hurriedly chose to elect Mr Chamisa before MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai was buried.
In our culture, there cannot be an heir to the throne before the incumbent is laid to rest.
Fellow citizens, the question that begs a million answers is “how can Mr Chamisa, a lawyer by training, and the MDC-T abound with lawyers, fail to observe both intra-party democracy and the goodness of our culture?”
It is therefore my humble conclusion that Zanu-PF and ED are more politically mature and democratic than MDC-T, MDC Alliance and Mr Chamisa as exemplified by comparisons given in this article.
Dr Panganai Kahuni is a political socio-economic commentator researcher and diplomat in the SADC Region writing on his own behalf.