By Wisdom Mumera
Around 2007 ZANU PF found itself under siege. It had lost broad mass support, the economy was in a tailspin and the international and continental community was unanimous in its opposition to the shenanigans of rigging and skull-bashing (or duggery).
After losing in the 2008 elections and later unashamedly competing against itself, after Tsvangiral walked out, the party relented and did the unthinkable.
It agreed to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) which gave birth to the Government of National Unity (GNU), which gave birth to a robotics Professor and verbosity in politics.
Ironically, that capitulation by Mugabe and ilk, into a strange fellowship with the supposed stooges and puppets of the West, was the one move that actually revived the party.
It’s flailing and flaccid impotence, brought so near to the virile energy of the virgin opposition, suddenly found new life.
Allowed into government after so many years in the dirty and muddy trenches many opposition figures couldn’t behave properly, maintain their ideological straight-jackets or remain attached to their struggling supporters.
They began to operate and behave just like ZANU PF.
Infamously and to capture the new mindsets of the opposition leaders, Nelson Chamisa defended the acquisition of luxury vehicles.
At a whim the opposition leaders had been swallowed.
By the time the 2013 elections came around the opposition, fat and sinking in the luxurious pool of plenty, had lost its virility and activism.
It was defeated heavily.
New Times, Old Tactics
Nearly 10 years later it seems ZANU PF is reviving the same tactics on the opposition.
First were the legislators who were given “loans” for US$40 000.
The money is allegedly a loan for each one to acquire a house. The argument goes that government has been struggling with hotel bills.
The acquisition of houses will thus lessen the burden and save government a huge bill in the future.
In essence it’s hogwash.
In practice each one was offered US$40 000 and it’s up to them to do as they wish with it. Hwende is already doing rabbits and Government will continue booking hotels for them.
In reality few if any will be able to pay it back as some, especially from the MDC-T, are certain of losing come 2023.
As expected the opposition has been attacked more by the electorate, as compared to the ZANU PF legislators.
People have argued that as the alternative government in waiting they should behave differently. They have not.
Dangled a carrot by ZANU PF they have swallowed the bait and lost their moral right and standing to attack the ruling party for profligacy or poor prioritisation.
Alone in the mountains of prayer Chamisa tried to save the situation with a pathetic selfie-video. It fell flat on its face, both for strategic and practical reasons.
Councilors Getting Connected
Secondly came the Councilors. Open Council reported how Harare has been installing Wifi at each of the 46 Councilors’ residential places.
According to Mayor Mafume this is another money-saving enterprise in the long run. However the long run is a factor in a country with a future and stability.
In Zimbabwe ‘in the long run’ is another term for ‘please let us eat in peace’.
The Councilors have also been caught up in elaborate schemes where they are allegedly getting land on the cheap and renting it or selling it at a premium.
In Bulawayo Mayor Solomon Mguni, another opposition figure is reported to be on the receiving end of a very ‘ZANU PF’ deal.
He intends to lease Lot 3 of Lot 3 Lower Rangemore which covers around 3,5 hectares for a paltry and staggering monthly rental of ZWL$165.
The deal will be for a period of 25 years.
At a time the country has recognised corruption as the biggest disease, watching opposition figures being ensnared so easily and clearly is a death knell for many still-hopeful souls.
During his ill-fated campaign former presidential aspirant Dr Nkosana Moyo summer up the main opposition in bland words that stung many.
Moyo said what he saw was an opposition that was not fighting to change the system but to be part of the high table.
He was vilified and attacked for that and the sugarcane eating.
Today, as his white beard disappears and another white head emerges calling itself Chapman, to occupy his spot, the truth faces us all that the man had a point.