Mangaung: Critical lessons for ZANU-PF as Zuma issues veil warning to Mugabe and his friends
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Prior to the conference, there was widespread media speculation that the conference would be marred by chaos and violence. Reports predicted that delegates will fight each other during the campaigns leading to the election of the top six of the ANC. None of that happened and I was left with satisfaction that democracy resides in the ANC. I am sure even the ZANU-PF delegation led by Simon Khaya Moyo agreed with the ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe when he mentioned the fact that he had in the past attended conferences where therebobby bro was no interaction at all between delegates and leadership.
He said some regional liberation movements' conferences he had attended before were usually dominated by leaders who attended conferences to tell delegates what they were supposed to do and who were to be elected leaders. In my mind zoomed in ZANU-PF party where in the past, we have never seen or heard about delegates questioning they leaders about the state of the party.
ZANU PF is known for coercing their members to endorse their life leader, Robert Mugabe. Even after the conference, SABC 2 broadcasted live the new ANC top six who took the stage to answer even uncomfortable questions from business leaders and society, answering them without threatening anyone. We have not seen this happening from a myopic Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation which covers ZANU-PF conference in very unprofessional and partisan attitude. Most of the time Mugabe and other ZANU-PF leaders are allowed to waffle for hours on end with reporters, mostly clad in ZANU-PF regalia, nodding in agreement.
Back off Mugabe
One of the most interesting highlights for me was when Zuma gave his closing address to the conference. In his speech Zuma called on the ANC faithful to unite and pledged to deliver service to South Africans; he warned all those that were working with the ousted ANC Youth leader Julius to back off as they were playing a dangerous game that was bound to have serious reparations.
While much of the reference could have been directed to ANC members who backed disgraced Julius Malema in what is seen as a move to destabilise ANC, it took no rocket scientist to realise that Zuma's warning was also directed to President Mugabe of Zimbabwe. Prior to the conference, there were several rumours that ZANU-PF had put its weight behind Malema, pledging to support his ways up to the end. Even news of former SA president Nelson Mandela's ill-health were dominated by criticism from ZANU PF supporters who were saying Mandela was not the hero that everyone thought of, dismissing him as a sell-out who made an unfair deal against black South Africans with the former apartheid regime of FW De Klerk.
From what I read at the conference after Zuma's speech, it was clear that ZANU PF is up against a hill they may fail to climb if they continue their support for Malema and his friends who most delegates dismissed as unruly and anti-progress.
It is very sad to note again that Zimbabwe's president does not care about important issues that affect the country. His call for March elections seems to be a dirty plan to throw Zimbabwe back to chaos. Khaya Moyo addressed the ANC Conference about progress that was being made by Zimbabwean leaders to make sure that SADC protocols were being implemented to make Zimbabwe's elections free and fair. He said elections will only be held after the completion of the constitutional process, something that we seriously doubt.
The process is marred by a lot issues that need urgent resolving and instead, Mugabe has decided to take a month long holiday in his favourite Asian destination. This, he has prioritised over issues of national importance, leaving us to think that he cares less about whether proper procedures will be followed.
An interesting comment was made by Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition who made a reference to the United States President, Barack Obama, who had to cancel his holiday to attend to matters of importance in the US government. Our Mugabe feels his family comes first and I guess it will be a foolish choice for Zimbabweans to let this man steal another election.
ANC boasted of many presidents the party has had since its formation and I wonder what ZANU PF has to say about this democratic need for leadership renewal.
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