By Dr Masimba Mavaza
The enduring popularity of ZANU PF amid the pandemic does thus point to at least one secret of its success: the party’s ability to invest in the people.
Rarely has a political party wielded so much power, for so long, with so much consistency and accountability.
One of the most respected academicians and a great patriot who saw Zimbabwe as a country not a political divide, Dr Dzapasi Tizora wrote in his book “ ZANU PF has continued to win elections because it is not only a political party but it is Zimbabwe’s history in itself.”
Dr Tizora continued “One can not talk of Zimbabwean independence without talking about ZANU PF. It is part of the history and it carry’s with it the whole hope of the whole nation. There is no legacy to talk about without talking about ZANU PF.”
Dr Tizora had done so much for Zimbabwe and had so much to offer unfortunately those who disliked him did their best to put him down. The president was fed with lies and Dr Tizora was thrown in the political dust bin. But to those who read what he wrote will see the wisdom bestowed in this academician. He was not prepared to dance in the mud with some political pigs who enjoyed splashing mud at him. Of all the politicians surrounding the president there will be no such brains like Mhofu Dzapasi.
Taking up from his writings Tizora drew lines on the world’s political parties. So let’s follow his thought.
The Western world has not entirely liked any revolutionary party. I am more qualified about my own country and my own party ZANU PF. ZANU PF has won all elections since fair elections started in Zimbabwe. It has continued to win without interruption. ZANU PF has faced fierce opposition from the opposition and from the masters of regime change.
What has irked and provoked the wrath of the West about the historical success of the revolutionary party.
ZANU PF has been holding on to popularity for forty one years now. The most reason to this success despite the enemies was that ZANU PF has invested in people so it people and people are ZANU PF.
The people of Zimbabwe have moved step by step with ZANU PF such that where things get tough people do understand. The party has its own way of doing things which are peculiar to it and it’s people. It has tried and tested policies and any foreign motivated policies introduced by the foreign funded opposition do not appeal to ZANU PF.
It is not only ZANU PF which has won so much that winning becomes its name. America has accused ZANU PF for clinging to power because it has been the only party in government since 1980 making it 41 years in control. Unfortunately for America democracy does not mean changing political parties like panties. People have a right to be led by the party which has the majority. So majority is not determined by how much the party has been liked by its people.
Statistics on “History of U.S. presidential elections 1789-2020 shows that political parties can be voted in power for as long as they perform.
The United Kingdom the prime minister Margaret Thatcher gained power in 1979 and began 18 years of Conservative government. Her successes in Falkland Islands in 1982 and the government’s strong opposition to trade unions helped lead the Conservative Party to another three terms in government. Thatcher initially pursued monetarist policies and went on to privatise many of Britain’s nationalised companies such as British Telecom, British Gas Corporation, British Airways and British Steel Corporation. She kept the National Health Service.
Thatcher’s successor, John Major replaced the Poll Tax with the Council Tax and oversaw successful British involvement in the Gulf War. Despite a recession, Major led the Conservatives to a surprise victory in 1992.
The events of Black Wednesday in 1992, party disunity over the European Union and several scandals involving Conservative politicians led to Labour under Tony Blair winning a landslide election victory in 1997.
Ironically the Conservative Party (also known as Tories) is the oldest political party in the United Kingdom and arguably the world.The current party was first organised in the 1830s and the name “Conservative” was officially adopted, but the party is still often referred to as the Tory party.
The Tory party once held on to power for over twenty nine years. It is hypocrisy for the West to accuse ZANU PF for democratically winning the elections. The Conservative Party was strengthened in 1886 when it allied with the Liberal Unionists, a faction of the Liberal Party that opposed the policy of Home Rule in Ireland put forward by the Liberal leader William Ewart Gladstone.
Thus reinforced, the Conservatives held office for all but 3 of the next 20 years, first under the leadership of Lord Salisbury and then under Arthur Balfour. A split over tariff policy caused them to lose the election of 1906 in a disastrous landslide, and they did not regain power until they joined a wartime coalition with the Liberals in May 1915. In the election of 1918, most of the candidates elected to support the coalition were Conservatives. Like ZANU PF
The Conservative party is Britain’s oldest and most successful political party. It has been the party of the land but also the party of the city; the party of little England and the party of empire; the party of protectionism and the party of the free market; the nasty party and the party of gay marriage; the party of Europe and the party of Brexit.
The list of its many mutations is a long one. IT IS the party which is currently in power. The question is why should we as Zimbabwe be told when to leave office.
It is a fact that ZANU PF is the most loved party and the most popular party and the party of people. As Tizora said ZANU PF is the legacy and has the legacy. It brought freedom and it is freedom. It has the people at heart and it is people and people are ZANU PF.
So in the UK in the 101 years since democracy was conceded the Conservatives have governed either alone or in coalition for two-thirds of them. To do that they have always had to draw much of their support from working-class voters.
Opponents have often wondered why ZANU PF has been so successful, in marked contrast to many other parties of the centre-right. How has this party of property and privilege won so many elections. Part of the answer lies in the ability of the party to reinvent itself, not to allow itself to get stuck in a ditch, always to be pragmatic and flexible. This has meant giving priority to statecraft and the pursuit of power rather than to ideology.
When taken in the refreshing waters of office any pill can be swallowed. In July 2018, Zimbabwe’s newly elected President MNANGAGWA welcomed “a new dawn.” ZANU PF had secured its largest parliamentary majority since 2008 Almost 30 new seats had swung the ZANU PF way, including many in the urban constituencies.
In all the excitement, it was easy to forget that this was the Party’s eighth election win in a row—its first such sequence in the new dispensation MNANGAGWA simply did what the party always do: win elections. ZANU PF has a record of victory that has earned it the moniker of “the most successful political party in the world.”*
The main opposition, meanwhile, spends most of its time as just that: the opposition. Since the formation of the MDC in 1999 a source of existential anxiety for ZANU PF at the time only in the social media has MDC won elections.
Such single-party dominance might well alarm the citizenry of a proud, democracy.
It is often said that ZANU PF simply “know how to win elections.”
As the opposition plan to protest ZANU PF is fulfilling its promises. Zimbabwe has seen a lot of development more than what was seen in the forty years. The new dispensation has made it difficult to lose. Come 2023. ED will win for the party. The trick is that we have invested in people and people trust their party. Rarely has a political party wielded so much power, for so long, with so much accountability.
Come 2023, ZANU PF will win resoundingly and as usual MDC will cry foul. ZANU OF is focused and the focus is for the best interest of the people.
Yes 2023 ED Will do what he knows best. Winning elections.