The politics of Africa have largely been inflicted by the plague whereby the ruling parties believe in the leadership system in which a single being is granted unlimited, but dangerous powers.
Party members, especially from parties that fought liberation wars, stand firm to support dictatorial tendencies, which provide them with opportunities to loot from state coffers and at the same time according them powers to justify policies that are detrimental to the welfare of the majority. These politicians are undemocratic to an extent that even if a leader deserves rest, they swiftly move in to thwart chances of succession from among themselves. They are all power-greedy, but they lack the courage to challenge their “charismatic king”.
The common result is the creation of intra-party camps that will only unite if the lion roars. Such fragments within the party can hardly identify appropriate solutions to resuscitate the ailing economies of their nations, nor do they have any capacity to think beyond “lootocracy”.
Their core business as government ministers or as parliamentarians is to siphon mineral and other resources for nothing more than self-aggrandisement. Being a top government official in most cases, translates into being an instant millionaire. The views of the masses are regarded as irrelevant and incompetent. If through the ballot, citizens express their desire for fresh leadership and register their dismay towards parties that have failed to deliver since gaining power from colonialists, they get beaten up.
Jingles and slogans are crafted to buttress the skewed notion that only one leader is perfect.
The demonstrations that swept across the Middle East and North Africa and are still infiltrating other parts of the world today, are all products of monolithic political tendencies that will eventually degenerate into dictatorship.
Ruling by intimidation serves to curtail ambitions of succession from other party officials. That disease is worsened particularly by the militarisation of the state.
This scenario succinctly applies to Zimbabwe, whose volatile political landscape seeks to derail smooth transition of power from President Robert Mugabe to any other person within or outside Zanu PF. Mugabe has been treated as a supernatural being, whose power cannot be challenged. Thinking of succeeding him from within Zanu PF has been made impossible and those who have tried it have found themselves being labelled as outcasts.
All those who participated in emancipating Zimbabwe but quit the ruling party become villains. Heroes speak, eat and dream Zanu PF! No wonder an indoctrinated member of Zanu PF, born 10 years after independence can become a hero for killing anti-Zanu PF activists during election campaigns.
Zanu-PF thrives on docility, drunkenness and irrationality. This has been proven by the way it handles issues that relate to the holding of political rallies, whereby the police are instructed to arrest the innocent citizens and in the process violating their democratic right to support what they believe in.
By using coercion to streamline the masses, Zanu-PF suicidally chases away its sympathisers. Without a notable successor, the party is forced to rely on outdated policies, intolerance and the torture of those who seek justice.
The party’s tight grip on the broadcast media and the state-controlled press is a clear testimony that it lacks innovation — an ingredient that may allow it to convince its already existing support base. Jingles can become senseless when listeners oppose the propagated ideology. Excessive propaganda in the press trying to sanitise Mugabe and Zanu-PF has since become an ineffective campaigning tool.
For lacking a clear successor, Zanu PF in the end serves to propel its rivals’ appeal. Despite negative publicity against the MDC formations by state-controlled media, the masses, whose wishes have been thwarted since the 2000 parliamentary poll, will never be fooled into believing that a decomposing dog will resurrect to bite again.