Is the opposition making any inroads against ZANU-PF?

WHILE the ruling ZANU-PF continues its grip on the levers of power and State apparatus, opposition parties do not seem to be making a dent at all in dissolving such hold.

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GUTU

Mr Obert Gutu

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By maintaining its grip on State institutions such as the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, among others, the ruling party’s strategy is clear: maintain control and gain ground in previously Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) strongholds such as the urban areas.

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The million dollar question becomes whether or not opposition parties are making any inroads at all in traditional ZANU-PF strongholds; and if at all they are safeguarding gains in areas that have been supportive of them.

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Opposition politician, Moreprecision Muzadzi, president of the little known Voice of the People, said it was lamentable that opposition parties were not doing much to mount any formidable contestation for the ruling ZANU-PF.

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“People are totally disgusted and disillusioned by the numerable faux pas and dunce like decisions (made by the main opposition, the MDC). It’s twilight for the opposition sadly,” Muzadzi said, adding that the MDC had in the past years stood as the only opposition to talk of.

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“All other parties are nonentities. There is no realistic chance for them. Only in the future will nascent parties rise, resources permitting,” Muzadzi said.

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While the view that the MDC formations have lost the plot was common amongst observers, MDC-T spokesperson, Obert Gutu insists his party has a strategy in place which could take ZANU-PF by storm and deliver victory and change for the masses of Zimbabwe.

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But Gutu, who is known for blowing hot air, would not be drawn into convincingly discussing details.

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“As the MDC, we don’t have to discuss our strategies with the media. Suffice to state that we have got a game plan that will ensure that we will obtain the desired results sooner rather than later,” Gutu said.

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“ZANU-PF is in terminal decline and the fact of the matter is that it is not making any inroads into our strongholds. The MDC is getting stronger by the day and the massive attendances at the No Reforms No election rallies that president Morgan Tsvangirai is currently addressing throughout the country is a clear testimony of the party’s increasing popularity,” he continued.

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What Gutu could not, however, explain was why, if the MDC-T was increasing in popularity, its much touted Gweru unemployment rally a month ago was attended by barely more than a couple hundreds of people.

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Transform Zimbabwe, a new party still in its infancy, launched only last year was more forthcoming about its progress, saying it was benefitting from the chaos presenting in both ZANU-PF and the greater MDC.

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The two parties have in the past year been embroiled in in-fighting which has seen some key members ousted in the ruling party and a sore split in the democratic movement.

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“We have found that on the ground people no longer want ZANU-PF but they are unwilling to come out in the open because of fear or perceived or real danger,” said Sungai Mazando, Transform Zimbabwe communications secretary.

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“Our main thrust has been to bust this fear and cause them to realise that there are many people against ZANU-PF than for ZANU-PF. ZANU-PF is deeply divided and we will capitalise on that. We will pounce on this window of opportunity the Lord has presented to us.”

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Mazando said some chiefs and ex- ZANU-PF members were actually coordinating Transform Zimbabwe meetings, while “most of our activists are former MDC members.”

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MDC Renewal Team’s Elton Mangoma, who also did not want to reveal specifics of their strategy, told the Financial Gazette that those who underestimated his party did so at their own peril.

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He said his party was making inroads amongst the grassroots.

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“We are making progress and our membership is growing significantly,” said Mangoma who confirmed that the Renewal Team was having meetings – oftentimes daily or nightly – with grassroots people across the country including in rural areas which have generally been ZANU-PF strongholds. “We are covering ground quietly because we do not want to compromise our efforts by inviting infiltration.”

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ZANU-PF which does not take any threat lying down, has unleashed its usual reign of terror in areas where by-elections will be held with reports coming out that Hurungwe constituency is the hardest hit by the violence.

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The party risks losing the Hurungwe constituency to their former member Temba Mliswa who was ousted from the party and toppled off the legislator position on grounds he was part of a faction which was allegedly plotting against President Robert Mugabe. – FinGaz