Samuel Kadungure Senior Reporter
THERE has been simmering tension between Zanu-PF winning and losing candidates stemming from the just-ended party primary elections, with several conspiracy theories being thrown around in developments that do not augur well for the ruling party, especially as the harmonised elections dates are around the corner on July 30.
On one hand, losing candidates are reportedly threatening to do a “Bhora Musango’’ protest votes in the upcoming general elections. Bhora Musango shook Zanu-PF in the 2008 elections, when party members dumped their presidential candidate, Robert Mugabe and voted for the opposition.
And on the other hand, some winning candidates reportedly have sinister motives, that once elected into Parliament, they would come together and move a motion to impeach President Mnangagwa.
This is an election year, which will determine the leadership of the country for another five years and Zanu-PF members, especially those in Makoni, should swiftly pick the pieces of the recent primary election earthquake and forge a united front for the harmonised elections slated for either July or August.
A divided house cannot stand. The guiding concept to victory is to stay united. When there is unity, people are in agreement and act together for a particular purpose. That is a resounding victory.
The 2018 elections would be fought better above petty considerations and to this end, factions and factionalism in Zanu-PF must be confronted and defeated in order to build a single party that embraces diversity as a strength.
Persistent calls by President Emmerson Mnangagwa for an environment of peaceful co-existence must be heeded. It is only in a climate of tolerance, acceptance and tranquillity that Zanu-PF can record a resounding victory in the district.
President Mnangagwa should be hailed for democratising and transforming the party by parting ways with recycled stock that was a liability and taking on board new dynamic and progressive players that voters look to for a fresh start.
What happened in Makoni excites many, with by far the majority celebrating the fusion of old and new blood in Zanu-PF.
In Makoni Central and Headlands, the party retained Cdes Patrick Chinamasa and Christopher Chingosho, respectively. The party also retained Cde Shadreck Chipanga and Cde Lucia Chitura as the Senatorial and Women’s quota representatives.
The new brooms are Cde Jeniffani Muswere (Makoni West), Cde James Munetsi (Makoni North) and Cde Misheck Mataranyika in Makoni South. The mixture of new and old horses should significantly improve Zanu-PF’s chances at the 2018 polls, as this resonates with the new dispensation’s thrust to improve the party and country’s battered image, revamp the economy and open Zimbabwe for business. President Emmerson Mnangagwa has insisted on direct relationships between the health of politics and the economy, saying the answer to the country’s teething problems lay with the new dispensation dispensing with the old order that had become an albatross around people’s necks.
In a game where credibility and integrity are essential elements to winning people’s hearts, Zanu-PF dispensed with old habits of imposing candidates and opened space for new entrants to enhance internal principles of democracy and free will of supporters.
Losing a hard-fought election can be a humbling and agonising experience, but it’s a reality that nearly every candidate will experience on some level.
No matter who he or she may be, there are essentially two options in an election: winning or losing.
Therefore, those who lost in Makoni should not despair.
Zanu-PF national spokesman Cde Simon Khaya Moyo put it explicitly: “This was not a war; it was a contest and in terms of Zanu-PF philosophy, nobody has lost and nobody has won, it was the party that won. Whoever will represent the party must be supported. We must all canvas for the party.”
Those who lost should congratulate and support the winners.
They must find ways of coming together, find the necessary compromises, bridge their differences and help restore and defend Zanu-PF.
Losing candidates should mobilise their support base and play a key role as trusted and loyal cadres.
They should operate above narrow political lines, slender ambitions and in conformity with values that are embraced by constituents.
They may have lost a contest, but they should remain relevant and prove that they are part of the ongoing political discourse.
Pre-eminent cadres control their political future by harnessing the ability to remain loyal and relevant to the system.
“I will work for Zanu-PF and ensure it wins the next election. I am Zanu-PF to the bone, and the party is bigger than individuals. I congratulated and offered myself to campaign for the winning candidate,” said Engineer Mukoyi, who came second in Makoni South.
Provincial member, Cde Joseph Makoni who lost to Cde Muswere in Makoni West, hailed the new dispensation for attracting practical, sensitive and responsive candidates who can propel President Mnangagwa to victory.
“We have a general election that is coming and we should ensure that the President wins. President Mnangagwa is the ideal candidate to shed off the party’s tattered past. Victory will be determined by the type of boots the party has on the ground, and both losing and winning candidates should smoke the peace pipe for the good of the party,” said Cde Mujati.
Zanu-PF owes it to itself to revisit a formula that made it the party of the people at independence by treating changed and changing circumstances as opportunities to redefine, reshape and refine a revolution that must continue to answer to the command of the ordinary citizen.
Politics of emotions must give way to politics of reason.
Women’s league boss, Cde Happiness Nyakuedzwa, who lost her Makoni South bid to Cde Mataranyika urged losing candidates to remain loyal to the party.
She said they should campaign and commit financial and grassroots support for the party even after a defeat.
“I am one of them, I lost in Makoni South, but we should find ways to come together, make necessary compromises and bridge our differences and defend Zanu-PF. We should mobilise and play a key role as trusted and loyal cadres to ensure the President and the party win.
“You lose because more people voted for the other candidates. Let us acknowledge our opponents’ victory and the will of the people. They should have our support; it is not about individual interests, but the interests of people and the electorate. We should not turn our backs on the party. Loyalty is a political aspirin that heals the pain of losing. We should pick up the pieces, deliver the goods for Zanu-PF and talk later,” said Cde Nyakuedzwa.
Zanu-PF can become the best across Africa, if only it looks beyond itself and continues to carry the liberation flame that sought to free both foe and ally.
Unity in diversity is entirely possible and is really what they should strive for. Unity is towing a party line, having a single identity, idea or goal.
When people are united the only guarantee is that they will be single-minded in the pursuit of their goal, whatever it is. But when people are not united you know exactly what they will do: nothing.
There has never been a better time to start living the Makoni dream than now.
So don’t add to the noise. Don’t feed negativity with personal attacks.
Zanu-PF’s future lies in its members’ ability to put differing personalities aside and focus on finding common ground to give President Mnangagwa the opportunity to lead in anticipation of a greater and better tomorrow.