By BLESSINGS MASHAYA
EXPELLED former Zanu PF youth leader Godfrey Tsenengamu says Zimbabwe’s opposition needs to improve relations with securocrats and earn their trust to stand a chance of dislodging the ruling party.
Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, Tsenengamu also warned that the senseless brawling that has been consuming both the MDC and the MDC Alliance might have put paid to their hopes of also “currying favour with the electorate”.
“The opposition parties are failing to convince the 11th province and its constituencies because if you look at how the opposition relates with the security sector it betrays whatever they want.
“They are coming hard on the securocrats which makes them angry and block opposition parties’ efforts to get power.
“They must be in good books with the securocrats in case they win elections. They will be assisted to take power,” Tsenengamu said.
“If the opposition wins the elections, they will have problems in taking power because their approach to the critical constituency is not good.
“The opposition must know that winning elections is different from taking over power. The opposition must learn the politics of winning power, not just winning elections,” Tsenengamu added.
This comes as the securocrats have been previously accused of dabbling in politics and aiding the ruling Zanu PF to win elections — accusations which they have consistently strongly denied and dismissed.
It also comes as more and more people, including former opposition bigwigs and respected political analysts, have warned that the senseless fights in the opposition would lead to heavy shellacking by Zanu PF in the fast-approaching 2023 national elections.
And Tsenengamu yesterday added his voice to the growing choruses for cessation of the bloodletting which has seen opposition leader, Douglas Mwonzora and the MDC Alliance chief, Nelson Chamisa, going at each other’s throat without restraint.
“I think what the opposition parties are failing to realise is that in Zanu PF there are divisions but their strength is in their ability to come together and face a common enemy.
“This is what has been working in Zanu PF’s advantage over the years. As much as there are factions and fights, Zanu PF will manage to come together.
“This is a weakness on the opposition side that they cannot afford to come together and work as a single unity. Without this, it’s a tall order for them to remove Zanu PF,” Tsenengamu further told the Daily News.
“I think it’s important for individual opposition leaders to set aside their egos and find ways of coming together, burying their differences and agreeing on what has to be done.
“Looking at the current situation in the opposition, I don’t see any prospects of … dislodging Zanu PF in 2023 unless something serious comes up between now and 2023.
“But as for now, I don’t see the current opposition dislodging Zanu PF,” he added.
“Zanu has already started consolidating its structures and they have set up a fundraising committee to oil their machinery ahead of 2023.
“This is different from what is happening in the opposition parties. There is a lot of confusion in the opposition.
“They are putting more energy in internal fights and failing to prepare for elections. Zanu PF seems to be far way ahead in terms of preparations.
“Zanu PF is running around like they are the ones who want to get into power when they are just consolidating power.
“Those who are supposed to do more work to win elections, seem not to be moved by anything as they are concentrating on internal fights. There is a need for a reality check for opposition because they are taking the wrong direction.
“The fights in Zanu PF will not have much impact on how they are going to perform in 2023 because they put their institution first ahead of individual interests,” Tsenengamu also warned.
The forthright former Zanu PF bigwig — who now leads the anti-corruption pressure group, the Front for Economic Emancipation (FEE) — has become an arch critic of President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his government ever since his expulsion from the ruling party.
He was among several opposition and pro-democracy activists who were mobilising for the foiled July 31 anti-government protests last year, which they said were necessary to expose rampant public sector corruption.
Tsenengamu’s damning assessment of the current state of the opposition comes as there are growing warnings that its continued brawling would lead to defeat by Zanu PF and Mnangagwa in the 2023 national polls.
Highly-respected former MDC national chairperson, Lovemore Moyo, was among the opposition bigwigs who have said that the current state of opposition in the country does not inspire confidence that it could pose a formidable challenge to the ruling party in two years’ time.
“As it is now, the state of the opposition as a whole is not a good indicator that it can be successful in any election.
“We may think that we have a bigger brother in the MDC Alliance, but that has been the case since 1999, and yet we have not been able to dislodge Zanu PF from power.
“There is need for a serious paradigm shift which includes unity among us all, and that is a fundamental issue if we are to realise the change that Zimbabweans are desperately looking for,” Moyo — who now leads the United Movement for Devolution (UMD) — told the Daily News early this year.
“We cannot be looking at individuals and hope to remove Zanu PF from power. It will not happen.
“So, if we cannot find each other, we can as well forget about winning,” the forthright Moyo added.
One of the founding stalwarts of the MDC, Moyo also said that the opposition needed to push for significant electoral reforms to ensure a level electoral playing field ahead of the fast-approaching 2023 elections.- Daily News