Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Let's Embrace Principles of National Symbolism

Let’s embrace principles of national symbolism

Tuesday, 24 January 2012 00:00
Zimbabwe Herald
Panganai Kahuni

History tells us that any institution that is focused and has a clear vision; that is innovative, creative and has a clear strategic plan, that works as a team and has unity of purpose will most likely enjoy continued growth, development and expansion.

The growth, development and expansion are not only a phenomenon of business but could also equally be a phenomenon of politics.

For Zimbabwe to remain sovereign there is great need for its leadership to embrace principles of national symbolism. There is also need for its nationals to understand the value or cost that accrues from having or lacking national symbolism.

Imposition of candidates occurs in situations where those who impose candidates have become politically irrelevant to the electorate.

They begin to surround themselves with men of less courage but full of gossip and blackmail.

The leader who imposes candidates is continually told lies by those who seek favours to be placed in positions of authority.

The concept then becomes both cancerous and politically treacherous. Zanu-PF, a revolutionary party, straddles between imposition of candidates and factionalism that brought sad memories of a near defeat which resulted in the country having a hang parliament. The hang parliament gave birth to the coalition government that has been largely dysfunctional. The IG has been riddled with an avalanche of boycotts and political bickering that have resulted in poor service delivery.

The current Zanu-PF, is a hybrid revolutionary party, borne out of the Unity Accord signed by Zanu-PF and PF- Zapu in 1987.

Both parties participated in the excruciating war of liberation and are aware of the need to keep Zimbabwe a sovereign state. The two former liberation parties (Zanu -PF and PF- Zapu), were led by revolutionary luminaries and pan-African icons, namely Cde Mugabe and Dr Nkomo.

These two great leaders led their parties not on factional lines and did not impose any individual to any posts. Even traitors like "Dzino" acknowledge that Rev Sithole was renounced by the people and Cde Mugabe was chosen to replace him by the people.

Equally, Dr Nkomo was a people's choice to lead PF- Zapu.

The President has talked against these evil practices on many occasions. He has given the party both the vision, wisdom and the political trajectory which should be followed. It is therefore instructive that every party cadre and leadership at various levels must stand up and be counted in the fight against factionalism and imposition of candidates. Individual aspirations, desires and ambitions must remain subordinate to the party.

The party chairman, Cde Simon Khaya Moyo, has on many occasions, in different fora, embraced the President's call for party cadres to shun factionalism and imposition of candidates. For true cadres of the party, the question to ask is whether engaging in corruption, factionalism and imposition of candidates resonate with the party's norms, values and practices. The answer lies in people getting motivated by non-imposition of candidates, as an adopted resolution of the last people's conference.

During the liberation struggle, comrades used to talk bad about liberalism. Liberalism was described as a deliberate act of not reporting anyone found practising corruption or committing an offence. Those who were found to be of liberalism tendencies were punished more than those who had committed the offence or act of corruption.

The departments of commissariat and security where the watchful eyes of the party, who kept weeding the party of wrong doers.

The weeding was both correctional and punitive with an objective of yielding a party with high class cadres. This made the party remain respected and its leadership people driven.

Dear reader, the questions to ask is: Are those practicing corruption, factionalism and imposition of candidates known by the departments of commissariat and security?

If they are known what correctional or punitive measures have been taken against them? If they are not known, does it mean that the party no longer has an effective commissariat and security system capable of reorienting these people and weeding out the unrepentant as was the norm during the war of liberation? For how long are these people going to be allowed to continue destroying the revolutionary party from within?

Fellow Zimbabweans, we fought for and liberated this country not to practise these evil cancerous acts that are threatening to take our great nation back to the jaws of colonial slavery.

Zanu-PF, as a revolutionary party, needs to learn from Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) of Tanzania that has ruled that country from independence to date winning over 75 percent of the votes.

There is also the need to study how Swapo and Frelimo have managed to continuously score over 70 percent of their total national votes. Such an honest research and analysis should be good enough to get Zanu-PF out of factionalism and imposition of candidates. Time is never lost; it is only energy and hard revolutionary political work that is needed.

If Zanu-PF managed to withstand the devastating effects of d├ętente between 1974 and 1975, this writer does not see why it cannot fight and win the war against factionalism and imposition of candidates. If both Zanu-PF, PF-Zapu managed to withstand the napalm bombs and all sorts of atrocities perpetrated by the notorious Rhodesians, I do not see them failing to reposition themselves and win resoundingly in the next general elections.

Zanu-PF is party that has the skill and experience of working out strategies of dealing with difficulties and overcoming them. If everyone respects the principle that says the party is greater than any individual, it should be easier to fight factionalism and imposition of candidates. Zanu-PF membership across its organogram should always remember that the party's principles, values, norms, practices and culture are greater than individuals.

This writer was extremely exuberated by Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa's address to people during rallies in the Midlands and Masvingo provinces when he told them that he was prepared to be contested come party primaries. This showed that the talk against factionalism and imposition of candidates was being effectively and efficiently operationalised.

However, the party must be vigilant and guard against some individuals who may want to continue with these treacherous practices. Of concern are allegations of some provincial leaders are against intra party elections.

It is also alleged that in these provincial leaders' constituencies and farm areas did not perform well in the 2008 general elections. Are these not "anabhora mudondo"? If these allegations are true, these leaders need to carry out a serious self introspection with a view of re-positioning and re-aligning themselves to the party trajectory set out by Cde Mugabe.

A look at the voting pattern in Mt Darwin North and Chirumanzi-Zibagwe constituencies, one would see no sign of imposition of candidates. It may be necessary for the party to use these examples as benchmarks and case study which could help eliminate factionalism and imposition of candidates.

The pattern of results in the above mentioned constituencies are sumptuously good from the councillor, MP, senator and President.

In these constituencies, indications are that there were no "bhora mudondos", no imposition of candidates and no factionalism.

Dear revolutionary party cadres, imposition of candidates occurs in many ways. The prominent ways are where some leaders deliberately say "this man/woman is a preferred candidate of the presidium thus he/she cannot be contested. The other way is where the leader says "uyu munomuzivaka pane asingamude here; handiti tose tinomuda? In some cases the party constitution which stipulates very clearly that restructuring of the party should be done from bottom to top, people choosing their preferred candidates, is deliberately not followed.

An installation by the national commissar, published in The Herald, cancelling the DCC elections that were earmarked for 13 and 14 January 2012 and preferring to verify party structures from village/cell, branch, district, DCC, province, ignited some memories of excitement. This practice demonstrates a revolutionary commitment that resonates with the cultures, values, norms and practices of the revolutionary party Zanu-PF.

This practice must, therefore, be embraced by all members of the revolutionary party's cadreship and leadership as it stands to re-invigorate and re-juvinate the party as it re-positions itself for a landslide victory in the next general election.

It must be noted that re-engineering and re-tooling are not the preserve of commercial industries. These are tenents that Zanu-PF should never shy from; learning from what strengthened the Chinese Communist Party on its traverse of making China a global economic giant and a sovereign state now respected by America.

Fellow cadres of the party say "Bravo" to the national commissar for doing the right thing at the right time and environment. Let us all shun liberalism, factionalism, imposition of candidates and any form of corruption as the party positions itself for posterity.

Aluta continua! Pamberi nechimurenga.

Panganai Kahuni is a socio-political commentator.

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