EDITORIAL COMMENT: Time Zanu-PF closed ranks, stopped bickering

YESTERDAY Zanu-PF supporters held a demonstration in Bindura against the party’s national commissar, Comrade Saviour Kasukuwere. He is accused of trying to undermine and frustrate a similar demonstration by members of the Women’s League against the organ’s deputy, Eunice Nomthandazo Moyo and finance secretary Sarah Mahoka.

Also on the charge sheet is that Cde Kasukuwere is trying to undermine the authority of the President.

Meanwhile, the ruling party is set to hold its Politburo and Central Committee meetings on Wednesday and Thursday this week where most likely Cde Kasukuwere’s activities in the party are expected to come under the spotlight.

Whatever the outcome of those deliberations, we hope that this will put an end to the current bickering in the ruling party. This is good for both the party and the nation.

To start with, Zanu-PF is a voluntary association. But it also has rules and regulations governing the conduct of its members. Those must be followed. Those who feel they can no longer be bound by such rules and regulations should leave. We believe this allows for a period of self-cleansing and examination about the health of the party. More broadly, nothing gives the opposition more joy than to see a fractured Zanu-PF. Anything that suggests the ruling party is divided gives the opposition an illusion of its own strength.

Of course they know and we know better. They know Zanu-PF to be stronger than they would wish it to be. Witness the endless consultations and discussions around a coalition. There is no need to form a coalition against a weakened enemy.

Witness also the persistent calls for electoral reforms and wild claims by none other than presumptive coalition leader Morgan Tsvangirai that Zanu-PF is already rigging the 2018 harmonised elections by the mere fact that it is conducting door-to-door voter registration and mobilisation of party structures.

They are raising self-fulfilling prophecies for what they know will be a heavy loss, hence their prayer that Zanu-PF could continue bickering and split its vote.

Time is clearly not on Zanu-PF’s side even with an opposition that is terminally ill and without a sellable policy. The party must quickly resolve these internal contradictions which are giving the opposition false hope. It is time to get to the core of Government’s electoral mandate.

Since 2013 Government and the party have had to wrestle with the twin vagaries of unpredictable weather elements and in-fighting, both of which have distracted attention from a full implementation of Zim-Asset. Where this had been done, so far it has seemed ad-hoc, such as providing stands for residential accommodation and Command Agriculture.

The same can be said of the introduction of the new school curriculum. These are noble programmes which have been clouded under the cacophony of intra-party fighting.

It is these fights which have dominated news headlines rather than victories being scored against hunger through Command Agriculture, what the new curriculum means for our future as a self-confident nation charting an independent path, the impact of Statutory Instrument 64 towards import substitution and how the introduction of bond notes has eased transactions and reduced a dangerous dependency on the American currency.

Zanu-PF has to face facts: the factional fights may be exaggerated by those hoping to make capital out of them. But they exist and they are not good for the image of the party and the Government. They portray an impression of a party obsessed with self-preservation rather the welfare of those who voted it into power.

It is for this reason that we hope this week’s Politburo and Central Committee meetings will finally put an end to the endless din caused by factions or personality clashes. We believe it makes the President’s job easier if he is left to work only with those who, by and large, share his vision.

That way the ruling party avoids the “bhora musango/ibhola egan’eni” syndrome going into the elections, and that’s not far away even given a prospective bumper harvest.

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