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Zimbabwe Political Parties Endure Political Wilderness

HARARE – Newly-launched political formations in Zimbabwe are finding political life a dangerous mine field, resulting in many crumbling be...

HARARE – Newly-launched political formations in Zimbabwe are finding political life a dangerous mine field, resulting in many crumbling before they even challenge the incumbent President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party.

Various parties have been formed and crumbled such as ZUM, by the late Edgar Tekere – and many other have been a one-election wonder. Soon after, they disappeared. Recently, People First, a party orchestrated by dethroned former Vice President Joice Mujuru has caused a stir in Harare.

Even old establishments such as Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) fronted by Morgan Tsvangirai has split infinite times, rendering it insignificant. MDC has its roots within the labour movement. Lovemore Madhuku followed suit converting the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) into a political force. He has found the going tough.
 Zimbabwe Political Parties Endure Political Wilderness
 The latest causality is the newly-formed Youth Advocacy for Reform and Democracy (Yard), a brainchild of firebrand politician Temba Mliswa. As of writing, the party has been hit by fissures, with its Harare province coordinator, Zechariah Mushawatu tendering his resignation, according to the NewsDay.

Mushawatu claimed he was not comfortable with reports linking Mliswa to Zanu PF, although the former ruling party Mashonaland West chairman disputed claims he longed to re-join the party. In a letter seen by the daily, addressed to Mliswa dated November 7, Mushawatu said he did not want to be associated with any links to Zanu PF in any way.

“While I am strongly of the view that a youth organisation that embraces youths from different backgrounds and political parties is a noble idea, your history with Zanu PF has made it virtually impossible for me to build a vibrant provincial structure.

 Zimbabwe Political Parties Endure Political Wilderness
“Zanu PF is extremely unpopular in my province, where it has been losing parliamentary and local government seats since MDC was launched. The fact that it has failed to create the 2,2 million jobs it promised during campaigns leading up to the 2013 elections has made it especially unpopular.”

Party hoping has been witnessed especially towards elections, with members skipping from one camp to the next for various reasons. Mliswa, a former Zanu PF parliamentarian lost his seat and later booted out of the revolutionary party for insubordination. He has been linked to Mujuru and Tsvangirai.

However, Mliswa said there were no fissures and Mushawatu’s resignation could not be viewed as a serious issue.

“Yes, Mushawatu has resigned. I fail to understand the prominence his leaving has to anyone, considering that when an organisation is still at its inception stage, invariably one expects to see people dropping out.”
 Zimbabwe Political Parties Endure Political Wilderness
He cited misunderstanding, inability to perform tasks delegated, unfulfilled expectations as other reasons for the split. Yard’s national administrator, Patson Dzamara said almost everyone in the group was linked to a political party and the organisation was about political tolerance.

“One, therefore, wonders why and how Mushawatu had to use his belonging to one political party and others to another as the reason for his resignation. He knew the composition and thrust of Yard from the onset. It goes against the gospel of tolerance we are preaching actually.”

Failure to hold fort during elections has been the main reason for Zanu PF’s prolonged stay in power, observers have noted. – The Aloe News/NewsDay

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