HomeOpinion & AnalysisLeadership deficit has kept Mugabe in power

Leadership deficit has kept Mugabe in power



There seems to be a consensus in Zanu PF that the party would crumble like a cookie after Mugabe. The people surrounding him are so corrupt that they cannot be national leaders. Those who aspire to the highest office have very ugly histories trailing them.

They were involved at various stages of our short history in all dark acts that have divided the country. These include Gukurahundi, Murumbatsvina and the looting of War Victims Compensation Fund and  the country’s natural resources such as minerals and wildlife.

Some have allegedly been openly criminal in their behaviour involving themselves in poaching and smuggling of diamonds. This can be seen by the amount of wealth they have inexplicably accumulated in the past few years.

Many of them are multiple farm owners when government policy should be one-man-one-farm. This has shown that their involvement in the land reform programme was not for the national good but for self-aggrandisement. They have all the land while the common people for whom the land reform programme was ostensibly instituted, have nothing. They are simply not acceptable as national leaders.

Most of these leaders are avowed tribalists who instead of uniting people would tear the country apart. Indeed the factionalism in Zanu PF is based on tribalism.

Former Media, Information and Publicity minister Jonathan Moyo recently dismissed Mugabe’s potential successors in in the party, saying they had not shown vision or policy to take the country forward.

“We know who they are, but we do not know what they stand for, their policy or ideology,” he told a meeting. Moyo was right but for the wrong reasons.


He was right because indeed no one knows what the faction leaders stand for. His reason for stating this is he wants to repair his relationship with Mugabe after the WikiLeaks fall-out which happened too soon after he had been re-admitted into the party and into its highest decision-making body outside congress, the politburo.

His other reason for stating this is pure bootlicking: “Mugabe remains the only person who talks to the people and who talks the indigenous talk, we are better off with him than the others.”

Mugabe doesn’t talk to the people any more hence they rejected him in March 2008. His talk of indigenisation though high-sounding, is populist politicking. There is an election coming and the only straw that his party can hold on to is indigenisation.


But like the land reform programme launched in 2000, the reasons are based on self-preservation rather a genuine will to empower the people. We are all aware of the negative impact of the indigenisation policy so far; the country has lost billions of dollars in new investment as a result.

Mugabe has remained in power for so long by default; there is a leadership deficit in the party and that is unlikely to be filled any time soon hence there is real fear that his demise will also be Zanu PF’s demise.

But Zanu PF is hardly the only party in Zimbabwe facing a leadership crisis. The MDC-T and its fragments the MDC-N and MDC-M are in equally debilitating crises of leadership.


When the nation pinned its hopes of change in Zimbabwe on Morgan Tsvangirai, they thought they had found a leader to match Mugabe. Tsvangirai had gone through a crucible in the past decade and his supporters had heaved a sigh of relief that they had finally got a tried and tested leader.


Many people died fighting his cause but events of the past few weaks show that their faith may have been misplaced. Many watchers say Tsvangirai will definitely survive the current crisis.


They say so because the majority of his supporters wouldn’t care less what he does in his private life. They argue that those repulsed by Tsvangirai’s behavior are the few people in the middle class and their vote is miniscule. This may well be so. Whatever the case might be his reputation is mortally injured.

But what is important to this discourse is that no one in the MDC-T has the guts to challenge him to step down for the sake of the party. In mature democracies the right thing for Tsvangirai to do would be to step down but his supporters point to the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky case where Clinton bedded a white House intern and escaped impeachment and went on to complete his term of office.


But at the heart of the matter for Tsvangirai is not one woman; not two women but several who have claimed he not only bedded them but also left them with child. This now becomes indefensible considering the circumstances we live in.

In his marriage debacle, he will survive but there will be casualties, weaker people who will be used as scapegoats. Who are Tsvangirai’s possible successors and what do they stand for? We don’t know them because the party has become a one-man show surviving probably solely on Tsvangirai’s charisma and the stature — now under threat — he has built for himself in the past 20 years.

When one looks at the fragment of the MDC headed by Professor Welshman Ncube, one does not know whether to laugh or cry. This year he has gone on a spirited campaign to denounce Tsvangirai; once sinking to an-all-time low of describing his former leader as uneducated. But what is unfolding in his own formation must surely show him that education without common sense counts for nothing.

He has been deserted by the core of his party, the few individuals who were where they were because people voted for them. All his aspirations to build his fragment into a party with a true national outlook has come to naught simply because, when we come to think of it, Ncube is not a politician; he should go back to Law School and contribute better to national building by teaching.
But why is Zimbabwe so cursed? Where are Zimbabwe’s leaders?



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