Weak Zimbabwe opposition not good for democracy


featureOpposition political parties in Zimbabwe have been a great let-down; faced with an important election in a few months’ time they offer only but a whimper. The electorate, like in many elections before, is faced with a Hobson’s choice: take what is available or nothing at all. An incredible number of voters will take the latter choice. It is projected that turnout in the elections, to be held by August, will be a mere 35%? The electorate is disengaged and the youths are not fired up, hence the anticipated apathy.

A strong opposition is critical for a vibrant democracy. Zimbabwe has a democracy deficit because the opposition, since Independence in 1980, has failed to rise to the occasion except in the first decade of the new millennium when Morgan Tsvangirai often gave Robert Mugabe a good run for his money and won the 2008 elections with MDC-T. After that opposition parties’ fortunes have nosedived.

The opposition blames the strongman tactics of the ruling party for their misfortunes. They accuse Zanu PF of using its incumbency to infiltrate and repress opposition political parties and of creating a political environment heavily skewed against multiparty democracy. But a deeper look will reveal that most opposition wounds are self-inflicted. The opposition has become a mirror image of Zanu PF because of its opaque nature and tendency towards strongman politics perfected in Zimbabwe by Mugabe and now flourishing under his protégé and successor Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Without a doubt, opposition politics in Zimbabwe is now centred on Nelson Chamisa and his Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC).  Chamisa has given hope for change to millions of people, has a vocal and combative youth following which has turned him into a demigod but the electorate is beginning to see his darker nature.  Cultic leadership creates corruption and is the genesis of political violence, both traits endemic in Zanu PF now courtesy of Mugabe’s cultic leadership.

Chaos reigns supreme in opposition ranks, whether or not Zanu PF is its author  or not. The threat of Zanu PF infiltration by state operatives has worked to effectively paralyse Chamisa’s efforts to build a movement. We cannot dignify Douglas Mwonzora and the circus he leads by mentioning him in this discourse.

Last week Chamisa’s outfit confirmed that there would be no primaries for candidates and that there would be “a convergence where local people choose their representatives.” This is a euphemism for him cherry-picking candidates to run in the polls. These are nascent signs of dictatorship. Without a constitution, the party is being run by decree. No one wishes for that kind of governance in a decent political party.

Failure to hold opposition political leaders to account is a sure way of nurturing bad leaders at a national level. Opposition political parties need as much public scrutiny as the ruling party.

In Conversation with Lesley Marange


“We don’t stop going to war because of the terrain,we keep moving,” says CEO and Founder of Glytime Foods, Lesley Marange. Lesley says at the age of 11 he knew what he wanted to be even though his father believed a true man should be a farmer. His passion for food and food science has led him to create Glytime Foods, a business that focuses on creating healthy foods. His ambition is to motivate people to transition to healthier lifestyles . Please watch his episode here…

Audience Response

From the Lesley Marange episode, our community had this to say:

Tendai Robson Chiwara
Glytime Foods is a game changer, Lesley Marange is an African Industrialist on a rollercoaster, it’s just getting exciting.
Natasha Tariro
this is/was an inspirational interview and your products are 5 star! so far I have consumed granola and the oats and they are really good. Keep soaring high.
Taka Adams
I am inspired. Where was Lesley and Glytime Foods hiding all along? This success story needs more exposure in our Zimbabwe publications because the negative stories tend to be highlighted. Fantastic Zimbabwean story!

Coming Next: In Conversation with Ryan Katayi


Don’t miss the next episode with Partner and Co-Founder of Farmhut and Kwingy Mr Ryan Katayi In Conversation with Trevor.

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in conversation with trevorZimbabwean entrepreneur and newspaper publisher Trevor Ncube sits
down with various high-profile guests in a series of candid,
conversations that seeks to go beyond the headlines
and beyond the sensational.

Book of the Week

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Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek

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Recommended Reading:

Kolobe:i Led a Full Life

by Sosthenes Mokgokong

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