By Leonard Koni.
Cape Town, South Africa. (News Of The South) – In the quest to rebuild and rebrand Zimbabwe, there are more players who have been caught in this euphoria and trying to impress and be part and parcel of this rebuilding process. In this stampede the intetnational community has not been left behind and it is flexing it’s muscle to position itself for sprouting business opportunities in the country.
On the other hand President Emmerson Mnangagwa has started oiling the machine to recovery and is accelerating at a speed of a rising phoenix. The President is putting the house in order and this has done a blow to the opposition which has been given a rude awakening.
The elections are around the corner and coming very soon maybe sometime in seven months or so and all is set for 2018 harmonised elections. Without taking anything away from President Emmerson Mnangagwa his approach on running the state’s affairs has been so far applauded by the people and other leaders outside the country.
This is a big challenge for the opposition political parties to swallow their pride and come under one strong coalition. They must embrace and engage one another to gear up for this election watershed and must disband the three coalitions. If the three coalesce and come under one banner surely they can decisively win fair and square. Failure to do that they risk being consumed in the political oblivion. The opposition is likely to face financial challenges as mobilisation, campaigns strain the budget.
Currently Zanu PF is partially divided and still smarting from the expulsion of the faction called G40 which derived its power from the former President Robert Mugabe.
As it stands Morgan Tsvangirai, Joyce Mujuru and Elton Mangoma are the three notable leaders who have separately formed coalitions to face the ruling party.
Judging by the current optimism and the positive position President Emmerson Munangagwa is embracing, most people, even those who have not been following the political sitiattion in the country have come out of the shell and are so much impressed by the abrupt change of the improved political dispensation in the country.
There are some theories being tested on the MDC-T leadership saying this new Zanu PF party now needs someone other than Morgan Tsvangirai who should face Zanu PF in the next election. A new face in the likes of Nelson Chamisa who is taunted to be the next leader of the Labour party. One school of thought said he is mature, youthful and charismatic leader appealing to the new generation. Nelson Chamisa is very popular in the MDC- T ranks and probably could be the most enterprising young blood to take over from Morgan Tsvangirayi.
Most people are preferably anointing him to take over soonest. He remains the people’s choice. This however will remain an internal issue that can be sorted out within the executive.
There is need for the opposition to up their game and leave no stone unturned if they are to win the people’s votes in next year’s election.
The Mugabe must go mantra will no longer suffice as of now and there is need go an extra mile to change the campaigning strategy. The goal posts must be quickly changed because Mugabe has been substituted now and is gone.
Talking about the land reform the opposition cannot again use this gimmick as this has already a sucess story and will propel President Emmerson Mnangagqa to another political victory as he implemented successful the Commmad Agriculture and has yielded positive results.
Alternatively Emmerson Mnagagwa would like also to prove a point as the new kid on the block. He had mastered the art of leadership for a long time and learnt a big lesson fron his predecessor Robert Mugabe’s mistakes and would like to capitalise on them. He is approachable and enjoys mingling with the people. He is already in the campaigning mood and he looks very focussed on the ball.
The local newspapers are also on a positive whirlwind campaign for the President coming up with nation building stories of pending economic deals being earmarked and ready to be signed. A number of countries are on the que waiting for their turn to work with Zimbabwe.
In this scenario the opposition cannot afford to sit and relax. The opposition cannot also be wished away. It must be the watchdog of the ruling party and must always keep checks and balances on the government. I see a very strong and rejuvenated opposition political parties in the next few years to come.
The opposition must find its feet and re strategize and come up with new campaigning strategies to win the election. It is now a do or die encounter, a little bit tougher now than during the Mugabe’s era when he was still the President.
Rural communities must be visited and voter registration to be doubled if possible.
It is difficult however to judge the mood of the people beause some are still skeptical and don’t trust the current leadership of Zanu PF and its ruthless chatacter. All what they wanted was to make sure that Mugabe is gone and start a new chapter. So it’s a catch 22 situation as we critically look at the current unfolding events. There are still disgruntled members from the purged G40 who appear to be fartherless and the opposition must be ready to pounce and utilise the prevailing window period to fish them out to their cabal.
The opposition has a mammoth task ahead of them and must not be too reluctant. A brand new campaigning strategy which will resonate well with the people will go a long way.
It must touch people of various political backgrounds. This is also a conducive time for the opposition to push for electoral reforms like media coverage where this has been a no go area for the opposition political parties in Zimbabwe.
There is still room for the opposition to put their house in order and concentrate much on the virgin and first time voters who appear to be the biggest number of people in the country. Embracing of young people shouldn’t be an uphill task at this time. There are possibilities that if young persons are fielded against older people votes can be swayed in their favour.
There is no need however for the opposition to press a panic button as this is now an open game where anyone can become victorious. What the opposition parties must do is to shake off their pride and accomodate each other so that the coalition works. Today’s pplitics has taken a paradigm shift where the ruling and the opposition must work together for the benefit of nation building.
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