The orgasmic thrill of victory is nowhere near the sobering reality of the loud thudding of defeat. Like the clanking of the closing of a jailhouse door, which has the unmistakable sound of finality to it, elections give a resounding message which, fortunately, may be altered by time yet impatience has caused elections to be manipulated to fit the wishes of someone in authority. At election time, the people’s will is always paramount but, once the electioneering is over, politicians somehow always try to “reach common ground” in the name of everything from “unity of purpose”, “looking forward”, “for the sake of the nation”, and all sorts of excuses.
While I congratulate the Umbrella For Democratic Change, I would like to warn them about one supposedly silly little detail that has to do with being too over-zealous to the point of embracing political foes for the sake of “unity of purpose”. While I appreciate their willingness to accommodate other political parties, including the ruling party, the UDC is better advised to try to win them over while relentlessly hammering through and implementing their ideology first before making overtures to any other grouping. It is at this time that they must show their doctrine and ideology so that when compromises are made later, they can be weighed against something the party stood for. They should not waver an inch. Those who want to work with the UDC should join them, not the UDC joining those who purport to want to work with the UDC as is already evident in Dumelang Saleshando always being a star at media conferences where the UDC is supposed to be espousing its positions.
The UDC must push for the implementation of its policies and doctrine now so that when they make concessions to any other party, people appreciate what their party is forfeiting for the sake of a common goal. Unless if they do not have a popular ideology, the UDC must never think that its enemy’s enemy is their friend because tomorrow, they will remain a conglomerate of parties that is only too willing to prostitute their ideologies for the sake of a show of camaraderie at a Freedom Square rally. It worries me because I am so keen to see an individual party espouse its own ideology and carry it to fruition without having to drop most of its ideological aims because of certain concessions.
All the official opposition in Botswana has to do is look at what happened across their border in Zimbabwe where a political party was formed by a conglomerate of groups whose common purpose was to get rid of Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF. The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) was primarily formed by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) whose then Secretary General was Morgan Tsvangirai. As the largest trade union, they had on their side students’ union groups, professionals in health, industry, education, agriculture, civil society organisations and other groupings with vested interests, such as teachers, nurses, doctors, transport operators, business people and just about everybody who felt change was needed for them to survive.
It is a tall order to come up with an ideology to satisfy all the different groupings that contributed and, as a result, the MDC fell apart and continues to fall apart. Duma Boko and his group better be advised to be careful because the UDC is not a political party and the ruling party has the means and muscle to pry these comrades apart from each other. Zimbabwe’s ruling party is disintegrating with its leader, Robert Mugabe and his wife, on the war path against perceived factionalism. The fall guy has become Mugabe’s own deputy, Joyce Mujuru, who has become so pathetically humiliated that so much sympathy is going her way even from members of other political parties. Mugabe, having successfully pried apart whatever it was that brought those coalition partners in the MDC together against him, has himself joined a faction ÔÇô the one led by Emerson Mnangagwa. Mugabe’s behavior makes one wonder when, really, a faction is a faction. Instead of bringing the two warring sides together, he has sided with one of the two but one which is not led by his chosen successor even though the constitution would have required that Mugabe sides with Joyce Mujuru.
With no opposition party to talk about in Zimbabwe, it is literally a free for all as ZANU-PF has split right in half with Mugabe now leading Mnangagwa’s faction and driving many cabinet ministers, party officials and civil servants from their jobs. The number of people who are being victimized for having been associated with Mrs. Mujuru is revealing in the sense that almost half the cabinet and almost all party provincial chairpersons have been kicked out or recalled, making one wonder who really supports Mnangagwa. Humans are an embarrassment to themselves. After five million years of evolution what do you get? You get Grace Mugabe, the woman who has managed to destroy ZANU-PF in a few months ÔÇô a feat that the likes of pro-Mnangagwa Jonathan Moyo failed to do for decades.
A novice who is totally ignorant of political protocol, Grace has swarmed all over the country, threatening and insulting people. She makes statements that Mugabe himself never dared to make and, of course, gets away with it. She is behaving like a nut and is totally power drunk. She continues to publicly accuse Mrs. Mujuru of corruption, ineptitude and treason without proffering any evidence. Her arrival on the political scene, having been engineered by the wily Mnangagwa, has seen half of the supporters of Mrs. Mujuru being sidelined in both the party and government. Every day, the Jonathan Moyo run government press and media publishes derogatory story after derogatory story about Mrs. Mujuru. The woman is being battered from all angles and has hardly time to breathe before another headline appears accusing her of something. And the syndrome of thinking that my enemy’s enemy is my friend has suddenly appeared as some senior people from the opposition ranks are expressing sympathy for Mrs. Mujuru. Things are not that easy or that simple.
The situation is a product of panic on Grace Mugabe’s part. Someone convinced her that Mrs. Mujuru, if elected president, would take away her business empire. And that was enough to jerk up the little girl. If Zimbabwe were not a lawless country, if that country was a democratic nation, both Mugabe and his wife would be in serious trouble. A few days ago, Grace Mugabe, in her euphoria, told the nation that she “trapped” Mrs. Mujuru in a mini-skirt and making love to her husband. She claims she has the tapes to prove it and Mrs. Mujuru has dared Grace to produce them. Grace was childishly trying to shame Mrs. Mujuru before the nation but the question that arises is why and how the First Lady managed to install a human spy or equipment to eavesdrop on the vice president not only at the vice president’s residence but in her bedroom. Grace has since repeated and boasted about the tapes again, totally oblivious to the implications it has not only on her but on her husband and government. Grace is taking a battering for her hate-filled rallies, comments and behavior. The heart of the matter is that, all things considered, if Mnangagwa thinks Grace Mugabe is going through all this for him, he needs to hire three more psychiatrists.