What Zanu-PF can learn from ANC

Tau Tawengwa
One undeniable fact is that several pro-Zuma faction supporters were bitter, and remain bitter, about what they perceive to be a manipulated December 2017 conference outcome.

In December 2017, South Africa’s African National Congress held its 54th conference and Cyril Ramaphosa emerged President ahead of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

At that time, I said President Cyril Ramaphosa and the ANC faced several challenges that urgently needed attention and tact.

Chief among these urgent matters was the issue of factionalism in the ANC.

Dlamini-Zuma (who was perceived as the leader of a pro-Zuma faction) narrowly lost to President Ramaphosa (seen as the leader of the “renewal” faction) by only 200 votes.

It’s in the context of the recent ANC conference that we can understand the fragile nature of South African politics at present.

One undeniable fact is that several pro-Zuma faction supporters were bitter, and remain bitter, about what they perceive to be a manipulated December 2017 conference outcome.

These people also perceive former president Jacob Zuma’s corruption charges relating to a multi-billion-dollar arms deal that took place 20 years ago as an extension of factional politics and overt manipulations of state institutions in attempt to annihilate their camp.

As a result, reports are emerging that former president Jacob Zuma’s loyalists in KwaZulu-Natal are hatching an elaborate plot to oust President Cyril Ramaphosa as ANC leader.

The reports state that pro-Jacob Zuma supporters are planning to split the votes in the 2019 election by voting for the ANC in the province but giving their national ballots to a political party sympathetic to their cause should their plan to remove President Ramaphosa fail.

This is what we commonly refer to in Zimbabwe as “bhora musango”.

Yet, before they implement their 2019 bhora musango campaign, this group of people have another plan in motion in the interim.

After David Mabuza was elected Deputy President of the ANC at the December 2017 conference, his seat as Mpumalanga provincial chairman and as a member of the provincial executive council became vacant.

Now a Provincial General Council is due, and Mabuza stands accusing of undemocratically “imposing” his successor, Mandla Ndlovu.

If we recall, David Mabuza was a close ally of Jacob Zuma and some people say he is part of the pro-Jacob Zuma faction.

Furthermore, if we recall, Mpumalanga may have tilted the ANC December conference in favour of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma had David Mabuza openly endorsed her candidacy.

Instead, he called for unity and told Mpumalanga delegates attending the December elective conference to vote as they saw fit.

Today, he is perceived to be the leader of the pro-Jacob Zuma faction in the ANC and if he retains control over Mpumalanga through his alleged proxy Mandla Ndlovu, the pro-Jacob Zuma camp may have control of five out of South Africa’s nine provinces – enough room to influence and perhaps even force a vote of no confidence in Cyril Ramaphosa, and ultimately depose him as ANC leader.

Now, when I perceive the goings-on in the ANC, I arrive at the conclusion that Africa’s oldest liberation movement is in need of unifying figures that can bring everyone to the table and bring about peace and cohesion in the same way that Nelson Mandela would have done.

The same is true here in Zimbabwe.

As Zanu PF wraps its primary elections, and moves towards the national campaign, what’s needed among all party structures at all levels is unity and more unity; peace and more peace.

As it stands, the ANC political situation is dicey, and Zanu PF would do well to avert the type of factionalism we are seeing in the ANC and instead promote cohesion at all levels of the party.

Only a united Zanu-PF will bring about resounding victory in the forthcoming elections.

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