Zimbabwe’s exiled former Information Minister, Professor Jonathan Moyo, says the Nelson Chamisa led Movement for Democratic Change has been the target of heavy infiltration ever since.
Moyo was responding to a Tweet by Glen Sungano Mpani who had said, “Reality is growing number of Zimbabweans genuinely seeking change want out /can’t join ZANU PF for obvious reasons.The same people find MDC Chamisa disorganized, intolerant, immature & not strategic in its politics. They are aware it’s suicide to be independent or form a party.”
“To say the MDC-A is the most infiltrated party in Zimbabwe today would be the understatement of the century,” said Moyo.
Moyo alleges that a glaring weakness of the MDC Alliance is that it is Harare-centric; yet Zimbabwe is not Harare and Harare is not Zimbabwe.
Below is Jonathan Moyo’s full instalment:
1/24 This is a trenchant observation @glenmpani, as it aptly & criticallly captures the current Zimbabwean political dilemma: a nation trapped between a rock & a hard place, in a Gramscian Interregnum, unable to move forward because the old is neither dying nor birthing the new! https://t.co/QbBsRkAES6
— Prof Jonathan Moyo (@ProfJNMoyo) August 11, 2021
This is a trenchant observation @glenmpani, as it aptly & critically captures the current Zimbabwean political dilemma: a nation trapped between a rock & a hard place, in a Gramscian Interregnum, unable to move forward because the old is neither dying nor birthing the new!
Although your observation is based on the state of political parties, from a critical unpacking of the prevailing balance of forces in Zimbabwe and in the region; the writing is on the wall that political parties are withering away, and nascent coalitions are replacing them!
The dilemma of those who are finding it challenging to be Zanu-PF or MDC or Independent, has a context; given that there is no political party in Zimbabwe today with a discernible and coherent ideology or policy programme that’s commensurate with the demands of the moment!
Witness how Zanu-PF no longer operates as the ubiquitous political party it used to appear to be. Outside politburo or central committee meetings, there isn’t much of Zanu-PF politics. Hence Mnangagwa does politics more with Passion Java than with Commissar, Patrick Chinamasa!
While Zanu-PF is missing in action as a political party, the MDC in all its suffixes is not faring any better; as it too is missing in action; not taking advantage of Zanu-PF’s manifest slumber, because it is too preoccupied with its self-destruction triggered by @DMwonzora!
Mnangagwa has used @DMwonzora as a willing tool to destroy the @mdczimbabwe by having him recall its MPs and Councillors; dispossess it of its head office, Richard Morgan Tsvangirai House; steal its Parliamentary funds earned at the 2018 polls and demobilize it, politically!
The public has been shocked, disappointed and dispirited by the MDC-A’s lack of any response to the recalls of its MPs and Councillors and the seizure of its headquarters and Parliamentary funds. All the MDC-A has been able to do is to keep turning the other cheek!
In addition to having its elected representatives recalled, property ceased & Parly funds stolen, the MDC-A has been the target of heavy infiltration ever since. To say the MDC-A is the most infiltrated party in Zimbabwe today would be the understatement of the century!
Given the huge cross-party support that @nelsonchamisa got in 2018, after getting historic votes from #Zanu-PF strongholds in Mashonaland to win more constituencies than his party, it’s incomprehensible why the MDC-A has not kept and grown that support; but has let it shrink!
An opposition political party that wants to be taken seriously, as a government in waiting, has a duty to itself; to show not just capacity but also some fighting spirit & spine, against all odds; so far the MDC-A has shown none. Where it has OPPOSED, it has not PROPOSED!
When researching and preparing its election manifesto and campaign strategy, #Zanu-PF identifies & spotlights the MDC-A’s weak links, with emphasis on the weakest. #Zanu-PF too has many weak links; the MDC-A can gain strategic mileage by spotlighting Zanu-PF’s WEAKEST link!
A glaring weakness of the MDC-A is that it is Harare-centric; yet Zimbabwe is not Harare and Harare is not Zimbabwe. Conversely, #Zanu-PF, as the military & the State in general, is strongest in Harare but is exposed and very vulnerable in the outskirts and around Zimbabwe!
Related to its Harare-centricity, the MDC-A often comes up with great ideas, like Citizens Convergence for Change & Cleanup Campaign; which end up only as bad photo ops, and fail like a bright but delinquent undergraduate who fails to graduate due to incomplete assignments!
From the outside looking in, the MDC-A seems to be thin on resources, after losing Parly funds. In the Tsvangirai days, he appeared to have benefactors with deep pockets. There will be no new benefactors or viable public contributions, without visible action on the ground!
Also & rather strangely for a young political party with a young leadership; too often for its own good, the MDC-A has exhibited tired and detested #Zanu-PF tendencies of getting too preoccupied with PRINCIPALS over PRINCIPLES; to the detriment of good ideas & good policies!
Principals may get more media coverage than principles; but voters, prefer policies & programmes; and they not only want to HEAR promises from politicians but they also want to SEE outcomes of the promises on the ground. Words with nothing to show for them is bad politics!
LESS THAN 24 MONTHS before the next constitutionally due election; political parties in Zimbabwe, including Zanu-PF, are at their weakest point in living memory. This stands to reason, given that Zimbabwe, once a de facto one party state, is now a de facto military state!
By definition, military states and political parties mix like oil and water. While the military has always been a pivotal factor in Zimbabwe; what is relevant and needs attention is that the Nov 2017 coup created a new situation which has DEPOLITICISED the public sphere!
So, @glenmpani, in your intervention to which this thread is a rejoinder, you say people who want change:
1. Want out/can’t join #Zanu-PF
2. Find MDC-A unfit for purpose
3. Think it would be suicidal to be independent or to form a party.
Yes, and what a change-opportunity!
As noted here upfront, you have defined the dilemma that everyone can see and is experiencing well: the old in Zimbabwean national politics is neither dying nor birthing the new. Political parties have no hope on the horizon & no dealers of hope with a message for EVERYONE!
Since a well-defined issue or well-posed question is half the answer to a problem; your observation on the decay of political parties is a useful premise for looking beyond the parties, given that there is more to Zim, than political parties; there is the rest of SOCIETY!
The fact that there’s widespread disillusionment with political parties is not catastrophic. Political parties are no longer viable as mobilization tools for getting power; hence #ZDF intervened in Nov 2017 to save #Zanu-PF, a ruling party. So, now, WHO will save SOCIETY?
SOCIETY does not wait for theorists to interpret it or politicians to lead it; it interprets and leads itself through praxis. This is key to understanding politics. Just like theory follows practice; good leaders follow society. In Zim, SOCIETY is way ahead of politicians!
While Zimbabwe is in a logjam apparent in the failure of political parties, to let the old die & the new to be born; SOCIETY is pregnant with a new diverse and inclusive formation; a coalition for change to break the #ZDF/#Zanu-PF axis. A MIDWIFE is urgently needed for this!