Saturday, 5 April 2008

Zanu-PF to the marrow!

Manheru: Zanu-PF to the marrow!

Make no mistake about it I am Zanu-PF to the bone and marrow, ever will be until politics dzamera nyanga. And so it is this column which will not mind if the shorthand to its name is Zanu-PF. Few of us went to vote last Saturday, and that included yours truly.

For various reasons, many withheld their vote, which is why I fault fatuous claims by the international media that Zimbabweans turned out massively "to vote for change".

Simply put, they did not.

Aptly put, they stayed indoors to allow fighting minorities to decide the fate of this rich and sacred country.

Thank God those minorities from all the parties, Zanu-PF included, did not succeed in usurping the prerogative of the majority, which is why there is the current deadlock of a zero outright winner.

Lawyers tell us a run-off will decide the day. What they do not tell is that in practical terms, the run-off will bring back and reawaken the majority to play its rightful role in deciding which direction this country takes.

In their short-lived euphoria, the MDC (Tsvangirai) faction has had no time for this sobering truth, which is why they are in for a rude awakening.

Probing attack

The figures availed us by ZEC — and more are still to come — clearly suggest that the MDC’s momentary success hides a longitudinal decline, which will show abundantly in the run-off.

It did its best-est to mobilise its supporters, and got the result it could ever muster.

In urban areas, its supposed strongholds, it suffered a net decline relative to its past performances.

It managed a simple win, a slender margin, which is why its many seats could not translate to a majority by way of popular vote.

Where it made forays into rural areas, much owed to disgruntlement and apathy within Zanu-PF, than to a new found appeal likely to endure politically. But much worse, these forays masked and made up for its terminal decline in urban areas.

In any case, these forays did not make for hefty margins against Zanu-PF, a factor which will turn out decisive in the run-off. However you look at it, the margins are with Zanu-PF. So is growth, given that the vote which is dormant and available is in Zanu-PF strongholds. For Zanu-PF, the harmonised election has been something of a probing attack.

The placement and calibre of MDC guns are now fully located and known. I said Zanu-PF wields the prerogative of growth. For sure it does. This is the only party in the harmonised electoral game which allowed its vote to go to sleep, or to be recklessly playful in a very serious matter at a critical juncture.

There is much that Zanu-PF is implacably guilty of, including simply not waking up to its enormous responsibilities as the party of liberation, indeed as a vanguard party in Southern Africa’s politics of anti-imperialism.

Friends coming back from shopping trips in Mozambique tell me our neighbours are angry. They accuse us of selling the country. We nearly did, either by complacently going to sleep or by tolerating dissent within when the castle was under siege.

Judging by what I saw somewhere yesterday, the result has been a wake-up call and MDC faces a wounded tiger in the run-off. This is dynamic number one which will snuff out MDC’s illusory defeat, carting the British to their nadir.

Playing reckless with white vote

More importantly, the results of the harmonised elections have reissued the land question, and reissued it with venom and vengeance.

The MDC has been extremely reckless with its white money and vote. Buouyed by this illusory success, the MDC allowed white dogs out, fatefully loosening them into acquired farms in which the new farmers inhabit.

White former commercial farmers made stunning visits in Mashonaland West, Central, East and Masvingo. Directly, often cynically thanking the new farmers for being reckless caretakers for the period they have been away.

Their message was the same: "we are coming back and please start packing!" Not helped by a document leaked from the MDC, outlining its take-over plans which include making Ian Kay minister of lands, and inviting some Germans to take over control of the Central Bank.

The MDC has made a monumental blunder, in the process provoking a vicious dog it had better let sleeping. The war veterans are aroused and dire statements and resolutions have been made.

For them far more important than the vote is the land which now stands threatened by MDC’s returning white farmers who have massed around Espungabeira, Chirundu, on boat houses in Kariba and in various lodges across the country.

Some even flew in, using their small planes. The patina of nationalism which MDC had contrived using copious advertisements it was granted by a curious management at ZBC, stands all torn and sharded, with its pink-nosed policies obtruding bare, ugly and menacing.

Today, even the most phlegmatic member of Zanu-PF is actuated, agitated by the sheer awesomeness of what the current result could have done to the gains of the revolution and to the country.

This dynamic will be key in the run-off.

Awesome little pen, paper and box

I notice the Tsvangirai faction of the MDC is sobering up a bit, after a reckless glow it had developed from pampering by the West.

It is beginning to wake up to the fact of a run-off which will rivet national attention on the attributes of its leader against the incumbent.

It is beginning to wake up to the fact that Zimbabweans have been jolted into realising that the outcome of that contest between Zanu-PF and MDC does have a direct bearing of who will govern them, with whom and how.

Equally, it does have a direct bearing on the land question. All these are grave questions which until now seemed unrelated to what one does with that little pen on that slip of paper, in that small box.

A clear causality has now been established and a sense of responsibility weighs heavily on every voter, including those in Zanu-PF who have been snoring.

It will never be the same again. And

especially for Zanu-PF, the present

result has brought to the fore a very ugly prospect. Now every one in the Party knows that when the skies come down, even the little bird that flies so high still flies under the

falling sky, and is thus inescapably doomed by the crumbling dome.

To the collapse of the Party are no nooks for hiding. Everyone is flattened. What is worse, rammed home is the clear message that if Zanu-PF plays shy with the succession issue which proved so divisive and detrimental, the British are always on hand to resolve it for them through Tsvangirai’s Presidency.

Such a prospect is a red cloth to a raging bull. And the British did not mitigate this rage by going oh la la before the elephant had fallen and was truly dead.

Short dalliances, no long mating please

This uninformed international media think Welshman Ncube and his 10 seats may very well be decisive in the run-off.

Plain wrong! In the first place, they write as if the position of Ncube’s MDC faction is not known. Intense courtship by Tsvangirai’s faction has taken place and concluded.

Tsvangirai has failed the test of handsomeness. Ncube’s MDC has chosen the path of noncommittal dalliance.

It has decided to go into Parliament as a minority party, leaving itself open to courtship by any party, but not for a lasting mating.

It prefers short squeezes based on one legislative exigency per time. That means everlasting bidding for its attention. . . or everlasting importance in spite of its being a minority party.

Quite a clever posture, if you ask me. But never important enough to decide who governs Zimbabwe after those 21 days. What does is whoever rouses the sleeping vote which materially is a Zanu-PF vote. The MDC knows this, and so does the British. Which is why there was a bit of desperation to stampede both Government and ZEC into announcing faulty results that would have rigged Tsvangirai into an outright win. Or triggering civil unrest to open the way for international mediation which would have handed power over to Tsvangirai.

The maturity of Zimbabweans did not help matters, which is why MDC is daunted by the prospects of a run-off and now seeks an arrangement that would obviate such a development.

With only two years to go in leadership (in terms of MDC constitution), once beaten Tsvangirai will never be able to make another bid for Presidency. With only two years to go, Tsvangirai feels he has come closest to the Presidency, which the run-off now places so far away.

He has made proposals which one cannot write about, but which his propaganda people would want ascribed to Zanu-PF. History will reveal this offer some day and this column is not that history, this Saturday that day.

That takes the burden off me. But one thing is clear. The emerging dispensation clearly allows for no new law-making, except by consensus.

Which means the current laws will reign, and these are Zanu-PF laws. Zanu-PF now needs to defend Presidency so it forms the next Government.

Both Zanu-PF losers at party primaries and at the national level now stand as equal losers whose prospects in politics are raised by the ruling party’s ability to defend its presidency. This is clear to all.

When Makoni collapsed

So this all that Simba Makoni is worth? Goodness me!

He is a shocked and unhappy man. And we almost came close to a tragedy.

His system just could not take the bad result and the man slumped into an elevator, unconscious.

He had to be helped out and home. Today he has nothing to take to Morgan Tsvangirai, except his desperate need.

He wields zero leverage and has withdrawn into his shell. Much worse, Welshman Ncube blames him for the hefty vote swing in Bulawayo, away from his party to Tsvangirai’s MDC.

In consequence, Welshman Ncube has told Simba never to lay claim on the 10 seats won in Matabeleland, which means Simba no longer has the 190 000 plus voters ZEC theoretically records against his name.

And if Tsvangirai is kind enough to admit him, even the remnant renegade vote he had attracted from Zanu-PF will desert him the same way voters in Bulawayo deserted Welshman at the mere mention of the name Simba Makoni.

And Ibbotson Joseph? Oh my God! Buried and soundly sleeping under a fresh mount of red earth.

Killed both as a political mulatto and as a social scientist who carved hare-brained scenarios for the consumption of the British media.

No one pays regard to him, and he sleeps ignored. But hey, grant the man good calculation. He now rests a defeated, stout man, with very good prospects of wielding estate beyond our borders, somewhere in the scenic Cape Town. Nhaka yemapenzi inodyiwa nevakangwara. Icho!

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