On April 18 2016, Zimbabwe will celebrate 36 years of independence.
This will represent 36 years of Zanu PF’s hegemony over Zimbabwe under the same leader, Robert Mugabe. In these 36 years, Zimbabweans have watched their lives being emasculated and decapitated by an insensitive regime that has no concern and love for its people.
It is a period which in respect of Zimbabwe’s social indicators, have collapsed to deplorable levels only seen in countries that have been involved in war. Zimbabwe’s multiple indicators in the areas of household characteristics, mortality levels, literacy, education and child protection, make a sad reading.
That some 36 years after independence Zimbabwe finds itself in the company of South Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea in terms of social underdevelopment and decay surely cannot be good enough and is an indictment.
The epicentre of Zimbabwe’s devaluation lies in Zanu PF and Zanu PF alone. Zimbabwe was hijacked by a rogue dominant party formation that failed to live up to the challenges and obligations of a modern party that puts delivery and development at the centre of its philosophy.
On the contrary, Zanu PF has remained a centralised, militarised and a captured organisation whose sole motive for existence has been power and power retention alone.
Further, while other movements and dominant state organisations have undergone transformation and internal regeneration, Zanu PF has remained imprisoned in a dark past dominated by slogans of exclusion and delegitimisation.
The likes of Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) of Tanzania, Frelimo of Mozambique, BDP of Botswana and Swapo of Namibia, have all undergone some form of internal modernisation and renewal.
Part of these changes arose out of the fact that the founding president of these movements for one reason or the other is not in charge.
In the case of CCM, the retirement of Julius Mwalimu Nyerere oversaw major changes and in the same, allowed the party to regenerate other leaders like Ali Hassan Mwinyi, Benjamin Mkapa, Jakaya Kikwete and now John Magufuli.
The lesson that Zanu PF has not learnt is that apart from death, the only constant is change. Resist change and die.
Over the past years, liberation movements in Africa which have refused to change have died a natural death. In Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda’s United National Independence Party is no more, as is Kanu in Kenya.
However, in Zimbabwe, Zanu PF and Mugabe have refused to accept change.
In 2016, for the people of Zimbabwe, it is time to end history, this history and bring an end to Zanu PF’s hegemony. We as the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and others are determined to work for the creation of the necessary key reforms and a grand coalition, which is a precondition to the Zanu PF demise. This is possible.
Another Zimbabwe is possible.
Tendai Biti is the president of PDP