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The retrogressive nature of Zimbabwe’s power politics: 2008-2018

Tatenda freeman Murenjekwa
This
article seeks to highlight the bad side of power politics drawing examples from
two major political parties namely the Zimbabwe African National Union for Patriotic
Front (Zanu PF) and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

The period
covered has been characterized by tense political and economic situations. The
article will also delve into the implications of power politics towards the
welfare of the generality of Zimbabweans. The old adage which says “When two
elephants fight grass suffers rang true to the writer in as far as the period
from 2008-2018 is concerned.

The writer is also going to pin point the
consequences of controversial elections in Zimbabwe as well as comparing the
holding of elections during the two epochs thus during the Mugabe
 and Munangagwa era. The need for Zimbabwe  in the post Mugabe to alienate itself from
power politics and went a step further even to imitate Mugabe and Tsvangirai
and Mutambara’s initiative for a power sharing deal which managed to provide
relief to Zimbabweans is also going to be discussed. The significance and
stumbling blocks towards a union of convenience between Munangagwa and Chamisa
are also going to be unveiled.
The writer noted political turmoil aftermath the
controversial 2018 elections and economic crisis taking a center stage in the
day to day basis.
  The economic crisis
manifested itself through petrol queues, cash crisis, price hikes and inflation
and the writer depicted the retrogressive nature of power politics towards the
prolonged suffering of the Zimbabwean populace.

A PRELUDE TO POWER SHARING DEAL
In
2008, elections were held in Zimbabwe with two main warring political parties at
loggerheads that is the MDC –T led by Morgan Tsvangirai and the Zanu PF led by
Robert Mugabe. The political and economic crisis that bedeviled Zimbabwe during
2008 gave an impetus for Zanu PF and MDC-T and MDC-M to engage in an endeavor
to ease people’s lives.
Raftopolous (2013) notes that the economy was in a worst
condition of the post-colonial era with hyper-inflation, unemployment, failure
of state services, massive human displacements serving as major indicators of
this crises. Raftopolous and Mlambo (2009) noted that hyperinflation reached an
official level of 230 million % by the end of 2008, devaluing both earnings and
savings.
Mutambara (2018) notes that under Mugabe’s rule, inflation has soared
and basic commodities have disappeared from the market. Edwin Tsvangirai cited
in Newsday May 6 2019, pleaded with the two political protagonists to talk in
the interest of the nation. He said, to save the country from further collapse,
opposition leaders must draw lessons from Tsvangirai who between 2009 and 2013
worked hand in glove with his rival Mugabe in a coalition government.
Setting
aside power politics and dialogue in the interest of the generality of people
proved to be the remedy towards resolving crisis in Zimbabwe.
According to
Paulo Freire (1968), the object of dialogical action is to make it possible for
the oppressed by perceiving their adhesion, to opt to transform an unjust reality.
The extreme nature of the growing political, economic and humanitarian crisis
in Zimbabwe in 2008 exacerbated by the contested June 2008 Presidential
elections added new urgency to the mediation discussions and on 21 July a
Memorandum of understanding was signed by three parties (Raftopolous 2013).
Alexander Jocelyn et al (2014) state that despite winning the 2008 elections,
the MDC agreed to a power sharing deal in which they were in practice subordinate
partners.
Masunungure (2009) notes that between March and June 2008,
Tsvangirai’s party had its electoral support base broken by all-night
indoctrination vigils, intimidation, public beatings and displacement. On
Tuesday 20 March 2007, the Zambia’s Levy Mwanawasa likened Zimbabwe to a
sinking titanic whose passengers are jumping out in a bid to save their lives. The
Global Political Agreement (GPA) in 2009 has managed to be a short- term
panacea for the country’s economic woes and political crisis.
Tatenda Freeman Murenjekwa is a
holder of Bachelor of Arts Honors Degree History and he writes articles for
educational purposes.

The views expressed here are expressly his and do not in any way reflect the standpoints of TellZim Newss

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