Thursday, August 5, 2010

ZANU factions are the problem

Needless to say there are those that dismiss the reports of a dossier on Chiwenga as just more evidence of the factionalism within ZANU(PF). It is unlikely but not impossible that factions within ZANU-PF have played a part in this saga. But this is precisely the issue. I have long been arguing for the need for the party to overcome its factional differences and unite around a policy that traditional ZANU(PF) supporters can identify with. The party's factionalism - and its failure to focus on the real national interest - has undermined this traditional support and created the political space for the MDC to occupy. Worse still it has laid the country open to the sort of military takeover Chiwenga appears to be making plans for, whether in association with his nominal political masters or independently with the other security chiefs.

I have no ZANU faction axe to grind - my loyalty like that of so many Zimbabweans is to the ideals of the liberation movement rather than to the narrow political interests of any one faction My concern is that it is no longer the party but the security apparatus that is dictating policy. I lament that the party has lost its direction and grip to such an extent that it is a corrupt elite rather than the party that runs the country and that the elite is only able to run it by gradually ceding ever more power to the security forces. It is not any one faction that presents the challenge to our future prosperity but the creeping dictatorship epitomised by this growing dependence on an unelected security apparatus.

Ironically the so-called inclusive government is proving merely a mask behind which the status quo is consolidating its grip. The country is moving inexorably towards authoritarianism of the worst order - in which the security chiefs are inextricably linked in a corrupt partnership with a self-serving minority to deprive the mass of the people of their national inheritance in order to preserve their own position. What sort of improvement does this represent on the colonialism we fought so hard to defeat?

The wealth of Marange is being kept from the people and the government coffers by uniformed men armed with guns they are content to use against their own people to ensure that this fabulous wealth keeps the few in pampered luxury while the mass remain deprived. Much of the national wealth is being siphoned off abroad just as it was in the colonial era. The socialism our President once espoused has been turned on its head in the pursuit of narrow self-interest and not even the few beacons of the remaining free press are able to stand up to it. It is difficult to see who will.

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