It would be folly for Zanu PF and the Sadc regional leader to ignore the popularity of Citizens Coalition for Change (C.C.C).
The new political party lead by Nelson Chamisa has indeed, taken Zimbabwe by storm. The country is gripped in yellow frenzy as they yearn for change. One only has to reflect on the recent rallies held across the country by Nelson Chamisa as he introduces CCC.
The Citizens Coalition for Change has proven to be a huge crowd puller and the numbers at every rally held thus far are shaking those at Zanu PF HQ.
Chamisa presents the best chance to bring change and transformation to Zimbabwe, a nation that has been stuck in the doldrums of economic ruin.
The question is will Munagagwa’s Zanu PF respect to the people’s will?
Or will they once again steal the election?
Some people are already contemplating a situation that will force a power sharing government as was the case with Tsvangirai’s MDC-T.
Political Power-Sharing brings rival parties into unity governments and is often used as a way of resolving conflict by redistributing power.
In 2008, Zimbabwe was in crisis. Due to disastrous mismanagement, the country’s economy had shrunk by half over the decade. The national currency was beset by hyperinflation. And a cholera epidemic was abroad throughout towns and the countryside.
To make things worse, the incumbent Zanu PF had blatantly stolen a national election. In the March 2008 parliamentary contest, the two wings of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) together had won a majority of seats in the lower house, displacing Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) for the first time since independence 1980.
After a suspicious five-week delay, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission hesitantly announced that Tsvangirai had also beaten Mugabe in the first round of the presidential vote, but not by the absolute majority necessary to avoid a runoff. Turning to his close allies in the security forces, Mugabe engineered a vicious crackdown that resulted in hundreds of deaths and thousands of displacements. When, in a bid to end violence, Tsvangirai withdrew from the second- round election, Mugabe cruised to a Pyrrhic victory.
However, this time around the situation seems to present a completely different set of circumstances. The Zimbabwean masses seem to have no fear, there are tired and fed up with the corruption and empty promises from the incumbent leaders (ZanuPF).
In over 40 years of being in power, the country has regressed and seen almost all development reversed or wiped out by corruption. The Zanu PF government is out of sorts now resorting to drilling boreholes in urban areas that 45 years ago had running tap water.
It is against the backdrop of such incompetence that CCC is gaining momentum and significant political milage.
Add to that a leader who at best seems clownish and a Vice President regarded as a woman abuser, and clueless retired soldier. The country is ripe and ready for change.
All things being done fairly power sharing is not what the masses would opt for. Hence the burning question still remains will Zanu PF hand over political power if it loses the 2023 elections?
Are we going to see 2008 repeated? It has become common knowledge to all right thinking Zimbabweans that Zanu PF is accustomed to unchallenged dominance. It is evident that the corrupt ZANU-PF leadership is dead set against making any electoral reforms and much is to be seen as to what concessions they will be willing to make or how far it’s newest rival CCC will push for electoral reforms.
One hopes that Chamisa and his team have learnt lessons from recent history with regards, going to bed with Zanu PF and have devised ways to avoid the trap of power sharing with Zanu PF as did Tsvangirai.
Recent historical events must save as a lesson and reminder to Chamisa and his CCC that ZANU-PF entered the power sharing agreement with the Tsvangirai led MDC mainly to attract much-needed foreign assistance (including the lifting of targeted sanctions on its leaders) and to buy time to regroup politically. Don’t give or afford Mnangagwa and his Zanu PF that space or time.
Chamisa and his CCC must never forget that Munagagwa is committed to clinging to power and notorious for violence and genocidal killings case in point Gukurahundi all in the name of power retention.
Many young Zimbabweans and the hungry elderly have learned from experience that, an opposition party can win elections and still not accede to office. Thus, the all important question now is what plan of action will CCC take in 2023 should Munagagwa refuse to go?