Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Budget, Congress, Election: Zanu Pf's Firm Intention on Perpetual Power/Hegemony

By Takura Zhangazha*

When newly re-appointed Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa presented the projected Zimbabwe government budget for 2018 he did not mince his words.  Paramount in the intentions of government is the embrace of (neo) liberal economics of the free market with a  dash of state capitalism also known as 'command economy'(intervention).

It was a budget statement that was received with cautious optimism by those in ‘big business’ and skepticism by those in small ones.  For the rest of the public the sentiment is either one of give them a chance to do what they want and see if things improve. Or just downright nonchalance until something actually changes.  Either way, the ruling Zanu Pf party is well aware of the key challenge of meeting the standard requirement of ‘performance legitimacy’.  Both for its supporters and in part in order to win a scheduled harmonised election in 2018.    

When the military coup/ intervention  occurred on Wednesday 15 November 2017, there was a clear message from its progenitors.  It was an act of the guerrilla wing of a former liberation movement (though they may still think it still is).  A wing that strongly believes it has a stake in a post independence political arrangement as long as it is alive.  And for as long as it could pass on what it has since referred to as 'Operation Restore Legacy' to a subsequent generation of young Zimbabweans who would value the same, it is in this for the long haul.

Not only via pushing an appreciation of our national liberation war history and understanding of this military-political complex but also by way of political patronage, a strategy that had been tried by former president Mugabe's acolytes who had called themselves Generation 40.

The political processes that immediately followed the coup or military intervention no doubt made it a ruling party problem to resolve as it occurred.  The Sunday 19 November 2017 Zanu Pf central committee meeting that ushered in a new party leader and set the course for his 'interim presidency' put paid to any calls for a transitional or unity  government in the short term.

The complexity that has however emerged is that of retention of power in the long term.  On this the ruling party is going for broke in the wake of its momentous, even popular but evidently undemocratic change of leadership (events/actions).

But the ruling party has a plan. And its a pretty intricate if not disarming one.  It has announced a (neo-liberal economic development plan (never mind its insistence on a Robert Mugabe's ZimAsset economic blueprint).  Its promise is to implement the latter better and with a full throttle of macro-economic reforms that are palatable to investor interests.  And these include former Rhodesian capital's interests (if the statements from the special advisor of the 'new' president, Christopher Mutsvangwa are anything to go by.

The strategy is probably three pronged.  First is to get the  economy rejuvenated via a (neo) liberal approach the national economy.  That would mean promising to get the government's game up to scratch with global trends vis-a-vis the free market through pursuing privatization of the state and in order to maintain performance legitimacy through outsourcing the role of the state in keeping with IMF intentions of a not only reduced civil service but also a redundant one.

The second is ensuring a return to political legitimacy and validation of domestic political processes via the long (worn)  tradition of the party extraordinary congresses and confirming a presidential candidate in the year preceding elections.  All in order that the party and its leadership must demonstrate a popular claim to power.  At least internally to the party faithful and significantly to a  SADC dominated by former liberation movement governments.

However to effect such an electoral victory in what are tricky and probably ephemeral popular circumstances following the 'military intervention' there shall be a (literally) national blitz of  'command agriculture'  as a means of retaining populist support via patronage and attempts at popular legitimacy. 

The third and perhaps most 'dangerous to democracy' element is what will occur after securing an electoral 'victory' in the 2018 harmonized elections.  A new five year term will no doubt give Emerson Mnangagwa the time and opportunity to consolidate what would be a political hold on power as supported by the military-political complex that is the ruling party.

In this there shall be concerted attempts to drown/crowd out opposition voices through dominating the national narrative with economic plans set in neo-liberal frameworks.

Adherence to democratic values such as human rights, public accountability and social service delivery shall be done through the prism of retention of power via performance legitimacy.  All with the intention of limiting opportunities for the mainstream or new opposition to regain a national popularity similar to that of the 1990s and the first decade of the millennium .  And for this I am certain Zanu Pf apparatchiks have closely studied and drawn lessons from their Russian Chinese and probably Angolan, Egyptian and Ethiopian political-military counterparts.

As for the opposition, they are well advised to crosscheck the thoughts of Antonio Gramsci (Selections from the Prison Notebooks) and Amilcar Cabral (Collected Speeches and Writings) even before they dust off Fanon's 'Wretched of the Earth'.
*Takura Zhangazha writes here in his personal capacity (takura-zhangazha.blogspot.com)


Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Echoes from Goree: Resisting a Contemporary African Slave Trade

By Takura Zhangazha*

Visiting Goree Island in Senegal did not turn out to be as eerie as I had initially anticipated.  And I wasn’t going to have an Obama picturesque moment of looking austerely toward the open Atlantic ocean.  Or trying to find the deepest of meaning from it.  But approaching the island on the hourly ferry from the coastal city of Dakar, past the ocean freight tankers, and in the midst of relaxed Goree island residents, there was always going to be a significant pause for thought, pained emotion and a sense of liberation.  

Thought in the realization that you were approaching a symbol of global inhumanity and injustice as led by the capitalism of human flesh in the 16th through to the 19th century.

Pain at what the island now means in contemporary African historical and political consciousness. Liberation in the sense that for you to even be able to visit this island, emblematic as it is of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade in which millions of African lives were lost or forcibly displaced, it means that as Africans we conquered the evil that it was. 

Not just by way of the religious Abolitionist Movement but by way of our struggles against mercantile capitalism, colonialism and neo-colonialism. 

In this regard, a visit to Goree Island, at least a first one for me, is a rite of African passage. Especially as one recalls the haemorrhagic human and economic effect of the Atlantic slave trade on the African west coast.  (The same is true for the Arab Slave trade on the  East African coast though to lesser recorded impact). 

Meeting with African bloggers and thinkers on the island was without doubt a reclamation of the spirit of liberation.  Amid serious discourse as to the state of freedom of expression on the continent, the tour of the island was always going to be a grim reminder of Africa’s peripheral placement in global economics and the commodification of the human body.  Both historically and in the contemporary.

I mention contemporary because during the week of our visit to the island, the BBC broke a story about a ‘new’ slave trade in Libya.  It is a story that outlines the auctioning of black African migrants from countries in or close to the Sahel region such as Ethiopia, Gambia, Sudan, Mali and Nigeria.  And the debate has been raging as to who is to blame for this contemporary trade in African bodies. A recent Al Jazeera programme ‘The Stream’ showed the glaring differences of opinion on the matter.  

Commentary has ranged from blaming African governments for not creating economic environments where their citizens chose to stay as opposed to attempting the dangerous journey to Europe via Libya.  Other opinion points to the fact of the liberal intervention in Libya by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) that has led to porous borders and political instability in the Sahel. 

All of these arguments validated as they may be by their propagators, do not take away the tragic fact of the dehumanisation of the African body. Not only by way of its commodification but also the clear historical inference of what can be done to it via the memory of the slave trade.
And its not just the memory of us Africans as former victims but also the memory of those that would be the perpetrators.  

The latter seeking to reinforce what should be a perception of the past, that is the wrong assumption that black Africans can be traded like animals.  Such a throwback represents the worst of contemporary race relations between Africans in the north and those south of the Sahara. At the same time, given the fact that those that are being subjected to this inhuman and degrading treatment are intending to travel to where they are not wanted, the Global North cannot escape complicity in the current state of affairs. 

The new found anti-immigrant groups and parties of the industrialised world perpetuate not only inherently racist attitudes toward people of colour but even more significantly cloud over the global injustice that was the slave trade.  A trade that in part led their countries to arrive at the state of development that they so jealously guard.

Leaving Goree Island was equally a moment of reflection as had been arriving.  Knowing that this was not the only slave outpost island on the west or even the east coasts of the continent but also that here has been a muted but ever existent sentiment and call for reparations gives one hope of redress for an historical injustice.  Knowing too that there are still contemporary actors that want to pursue this trade in Libya (and elsewhere) means the struggle against slavery is not over. Both by way of its real occurrence as well as racist perceptions of black bodies and black people. 

*Takura Zhangazha writes here in his personal capacity (takura-zhangazha.blogspot.com) 

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Monday, 20 November 2017

Zim's Political Reality Check + Zanu Pf’s Internal Transition

By Takura Zhangazha*

There is one good thing that is now emerging from the current political crisis in Zimbabwe.  This is that the lead role in seeking to resolve the impasse has now been taken over by the politicians.  At least by way of pronouncements, rallies and internal ruling Zanu Pf party meetings.
 
The broad popular support for the army in the last week, as seen via Saturday 18 November 2017 marches in Harare and Bulawayo turned what was initially a feared presence of the army on the streets to a popular one.  At least for now.  

Subsequent appearances of President Mugabe at a graduation ceremony and on national television (where he disappointed many by not resigning in public) has further entrenched the political option out of this current national crisis.

This is an important consideration primarily because the problem of succession has largely been one that resides in the ruling Zanu Pf party.  That it got out of hand is entirely their fault and they have a national and historical obligation to return the country to full civilian rule.

The latter process they have already begun with their appointment of Emmerson Mnangagwa as the interim President and First Secretary of Zanu Pf to replace Mugabe.  Interestingly they have also announced their new interim leader will also be their candidate for the 2018 harmonised elections (if accepted by their Congress. )

So a return to 'normalcy' essentially points to a retention of political power by Zanu Pf under the leadership of Mnangagwa. 

And to do this, they will not need the opposition to partner them whether be it through a national transitional authority or any other similar arrangement.  They will make overtures to it, but not integrate it into influential positions either in government or in electoral processes. They will listen to the oppositions suggestions but not always be inclined to pursue them.

So the step by step process , and as agreed by their Central Committee, would be to get Mnangagwa to finish off Mugabe’s term, hold their scheduled congress as planned in early December, and begin in earnest to campaign for elections in 2018.  

There are very limited options for the opposition here.  They may simply have to buckle up and get back to campaigning with a renewed vigour and vigilance that speaks more to people centered politics.  At the moment, their public popularity cannot exceed that of the ruling establishment and those who if they finally succeed, are at the front of seeking  the departure of Mugabe.

Opposition leaders therefore need to stop being ambivalent and pursue electoral politics with greater diligence and vigour or else they will be defeated in 2018. And resoundingly so. They need to re-coagulate their support bases, conclude their alliance talks and avoid easy co-optation into ruling party processes that they do not have equal say on. 

Where mainstream Zimbabwean civil society is concerned, they are best placed remaining true to democratic value and principles. Even where it seems at odds with a popular support for the army’s ‘intervention’.     

Furthermore, civil society needs to be aware of the economic blueprint of the Mnangagwa government.  It is likely to be one which puts business and private capital a the core of its economic policies.  This is moreso as confirmed by ZNLWVA chairman Chris Mutsvangwa in a press conference he held last week.  And as indicated when Mnangagwa was still vice president under Mugabe when he spearheaded the ‘ease of doing business’ policy cluster.

CSOs and social movements should push back against this planned neo-liberal economic model and place on the table people centered social democratic economic policies.   These policies should clearly outline the progressive welfarist role that the state should play in the provision of education, water, infrastructure development and affordable, accessible health care for all among other services. 

Indeed while it is early days, the likelihood of a determined and ‘new’ Zanu Pf leadership’s concerted efforts to prove their critics wrong but without necessarily sharing their newly acquired power, are high.  

There may be opportunities to glean from this state of affairs but essentially these will be subject to the benevolence of Zanu Pf.  SADC’s role is still critical but we may have passed a phase where it will directly intervene and seek means to reverse internal political processes as they are now occurring.

*Takura Zhangazha writes here in his personal capacity (takura-zhangazha.blogspot.com) 

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Zim Politics by Soap Opera: Ambition minus People nor Democratic Value.

 By Takura Zhangazha*

You couldn’t make it up if you tried.  It is the stuff of soap opera scripts.  An aged patriarch with a relatively young spouse.  A (previously, but that would be a spoiler) blue eyed ‘boy’/ successor/runner.  And the supposedly intriguing issue of ‘succession’ to head the empire. And yes, there is a much suffering audience, but as with soap operas, it is enthralled by the rapid speed at which events occur, empathising with one side or the other and forgetting its own real circumstances.  Of course there are bit part players (the opposition) that will occasionally get a glance by the audience but it is clear where the latter’s attention is.  

For the main actors (the ruling establishment) speed is key.  Hence the rapid nature of the dismissal of the runner and the ascendency of the wife of the patriarch. As well as the emergence of new and younger ‘runners’ together with a captured media  for the patriarch and his spouse.
While the main (political) actors are key in all of this, it is the audience (the people) that is most important. 

On the face of it the audience is not only intrigued by the goings on in the establishment but regrettably it is also entertained. With each passing (melo)dramatic event as led by the patriarch’s youngish and ambitious wife, national chatter goes up.  What will the former blue-eyed boy do?  What will his supporters do?  How will the first family defend its position?

These are questions that would be typical of a person watching something they know they are powerless over when it concerns the script.  Their only control is akin to the television switch and turning their gaze away from it.  And with many soap operas it is the will to be entertained that keeps viewers gazes firmly set.  Even if for 30 minutes at a time. 

This captivation of the people of Zimbabwe by the factionalism and real division in the ruling establishment points to a paucity of organic democratic values in our national politics.  And the lack of a people-centered understanding of the meaning and import of a progressive, virtuous politics. 
This is because in essence the factionalism in the ruling party and divisions in the mainstream opposition, as they play out at rallies and in boardrooms are elitist fights for the spoils of the state. 

Quite literally these are mini-struggles for power for its own sake.  That is to wield power and utilise it for self-aggrandisement.  Either as powerful individuals, cliques or as politically correct hangers-on.

These manoeuvres to acquire the levers of state power are therefore devoid of  broader national agenda beyond removal of either the ruling party’s incumbent leader or being the next in line to lead a struggling opposition.  But that is not the real problem, only a symptom of it.

The direct link of political power and wealth has made for many any ordinary Zimbabwean, politics appear as a privileged exercise for those that already have money or those that are close to them.  That is why across the board (the ruling and opposition political parties) there are startling similarities such as an all powerful leader, youngish wives, blue eyed ‘boys’ and ethnocentric assumptions of entitlement to power.  Hence our national politics has the characteristics of a soap opera.

But these are not ‘the days of our lives’.  It is imperative that we begin to seek and achieve a value driven politics that is people-centered and in the process transformational if not revolutionary in its democratic end effect.

In order to do this, we need to challenge two key inhibiting developments in our national politics. The first is the crass materialism that has come to determine who gets into political office and why.  This materialism has led to not only elitist political leaders but also a culture of entitlement merely because they have the resources to create undemocratic political patronage networks.   

The second key issue that requires not only broader national introspection and counter action is a creeping culture of a deliberate strategy of pursuing incremental politics. The most emblematic process that brought this into being was the undemocratic constitution making process of 2013.  It ushered in a culture of accepting what political principals of ruling party and opposition elite instructed.  And with this we began to accept piecemeal change as though it is fundamental to the extent of losing sight of the structural problems our country has.  We need to revert back to a more thorough approach in our activism, one that is perhaps more difficult but is people-centred and that fully understands cause and effect of the national economy, national politics and broader societal challenges as they occur.
*Takura Zhangazha writes here in his personal capacity (takura-zhangazha.blogspot.com)


Thursday, 26 October 2017

Parliament of Zimbabwe’s Crass Materialism in the Midst of Poverty.

By Takura Zhangazha*

In the last week Zimbabwean Members of Parliament (MPs) in the National Assembly have staged quasi –protests over a reported outstanding US$15 million in unpaid ‘sitting allowances’.  This is not their only grievance. They also want to be given iPads (apparently promised last year), the disbursement of the controversial US$50,000 Constituency Development Fund (CDF),  diplomatic passports and security details.

And they chose their protests at a time they probably feel they can force governments hand.  It is national budget season and they have made headlines by stopping proceedings of at least one of their own budget review workshop to seek clarity from the new minister of finance, Ignatious Chombo.  The intended effect is to imply that if their demands are not met, they may not be willing to pass his 2018 proposed national budget.

I am certain that in their actions they are most certainly not looking for public sympathy to their plight, if it can be called that at all.

They are already on a US$2000 monthly salary and get fuel coupons for their, again, parliament issued vehicles. They however insist on getting what is due to them because, as one MP was quoted in a local paper saying, they are ‘subsidizing’ government in their respective constituencies.  By this the MP meant that they are using their personal resources to pay for funerals, school fees of their constituents.  Other MPs are a bit more brazen in stating their reasons for their ‘industrial action’. They just want what was promised them and also that they are as important as members of the executive and therefore deserve to be given somewhat equivalent perks. 

It’s a significant dose of political luck that there has been no major public oturcy against the MPs demands.  And the reasons for this are many.

First of all, Parliament is generally not viewed as being of much institutional significance by a majority of  the Zimbabwean public.  Make no mistake its part of our national political culture, but is never seen as a centre of political power by way of practice or democratic virtue/principle.  This is largely because it has come to be about political party representation and commandeering of legislators from the top or the centre of the political party as opposed to constitutional democratic function. 

Secondly, and this is a result of the first reason, Parliament’s actual democratic role is little understood by the public.  So the expectations of the role of MPs is not that they  rein in the executive’s  undemocratic excesses.  Instead, the MP serves, especially if directly elected, as a social welfare provider (assistance with school fees for supporters).  And the MPs themselves are fine with with this because it is also what gets them elected in the first place.  And because we have harmonised elections scheduled for next year incumbent MPs are desperate to provide these services ahead of what will be tumultuous primary election campaigns in their respective parties.  And this also goes for their challengers who have also started usurping what should be the function of local governments by rehabilitating local clinics or resurfacing roads or paying school fees of the children of supporters.   

The end effect of such an evidently materialist political culture is that it is the candidate with the most resources/tools for patronage that ends up winning both the party primary election and the constituency one.

I am certain a number of MPs who may read this blog will argue that  it is money that wins elections.  While this may, in our national context, be a pragmatic point, it is one that severely undermines the meaning of democracy.  Moreso where and when we have serving and potential MPs who are at the forefront of ensuring such a crass materialism in our national politics continues not only to exist but potentially expand. 

If one was to seek to apportion blame for this ‘political materialism’ it would lie squarely at the doorstep of political party leaders who have allowed it to not only exist but also blossom.  Particularly those in the ruling party and the mainstream MDC-T opposition.

But beyond these players, it is also an electorate that accepts this as the norm.  Not by way of an inexplicable eagerness but more because they see no other option. Or are not allowed to see any other option.   Both by way of a lack a people centered state and by way of elite collusion of political leaders together with the wealthy (individuals, private corporations) who will always seek to purchase votes and political influence. 

So while I hold no brief for MPs who already earn a comparatively significant US$2000 per month, together with other perks, their recent actions point to a dire problem we have with our national politics.  This being a crass materialism attached to not only being in political office but also seeking it.
*Takura Zhangazha writes here in his personal capacity (takura-zhangazha.blogspot.com)



Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Africa in Social Media: Terror Victims Minus Viral Global Empathy

 By Takura Zhangazha*

There was a terrorist attack in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu this week.  Over 300 Somalian citizens were murdered and scores more were injured.  Social media did not explode with emotion as it has done with other terrorist attacks on innocent civilians in the global north.  There were no Somali flag coloured backgrounds to Facebook images.  Neither was the story covered with as much fervour and thorough analysis as global media is wont to do.

African social media acolytes did express twitter solidarity.  Some tried to put out/ post  streams of anger, solidarity with the victims and even consciousness on the callous incident.  In this they were also quick to remind anyone who cared to check out their social media feeds the evidently different attitudes to social media solidarity when it concerns tragic and callous incidences of terrorism in Africa. 

Regrettably such comparisons have never had an actual impact on how African lives are viewed.  And how no matter what happens, global social media’s reaction will always be more sympathetic to events that affect the global north.  Not only because it is where social media’s centre is but more as a result of an historical solidarity and togetherness.  A solidarity that has failed to transcend artificial social borders.

Add to this our own propensity, as Africans, to demonstrate this emotional solidarity with the global north in its times of tragedy and things become a little clearer.

For all of this there is never a singular explanation.  Social media has come to mean many things to us as Africans who have acess to it.  It has changed our ability to receive and impart information within our own contexts and it has connected us to the world.  It does not however mean that social media is not without its own baggage with regards to racial bias or negative profiling of people of colour globally but even more if they are African.

And this, in a similar manner to what Palestinian academic  Edward Said referred to as Orientalism, is the result of historical/colonial biases against the African continent that persist even after we appear to have arrived at liberation.  And its not our fault that undercurrents of negative views of Africans and their ways of life exist.  These are biases that have been brought to being not only through direct or indirect rule as it occurred during the colonial era but also through language, imposition of cultures. 

Indeed this topic remains uncomfortable in the global north especially given the rise of the right and in some cases ultra-right to power or at least close enough.
Where we add the wide and hegemony crafting reach of social media, these views are generally fortified as opposed to being undermined. 

And as Africans we have to understand that this new age of negative perceptions on migration, race and nationalism in the global north, aided by social media, is not a push over.  But we must be wary of seeking recognition from such bigotry and pursue social media solidarity based on shared values and principles than a desire to be seen to be going with the flow.  

This would require that we should also have our own strong social media solidarity and be quick to show it.  Not in mimicry but in meaning. The latter being a reflection of what we would have referred to yesteryear and partly today as Pan Africanism and a realisation that our placement in the global order of political and economic things requires that we retain such a consciousness.

In the case of us Africans on social media, the medium does not have to become the message. That is to say, we cannot use this tool in order to be co-opted into a lifestyle and value system that is not reflective of our realities and aspirations. 

We may not be the owners of social media as a medium but we can most certainly influence its content while we are at it.  This requires a return to understanding ourselves and our contexts and not always being swayed by events as they occur via social media in the global north. 

In this we must be careful to avoid viewing issues in binary terms and repeat the very mistake that has brought us to a social media that reflects more sentiment from the global north. We must avoid ‘othering’ those that would want to ‘other’ us. 
*Takura Zhangazha writes here in his personal capacity (takura-zhangazha.blogspot.com)   

Friday, 13 October 2017

Zimbabwe's Dying National Consciousness

 By Takura Zhangazha*

There are a lot of ‘political’ events that leave a sour taste in the mouth at the moment in Zimbabwe. And sometimes even the thought of writing about or accepting a request for an interview on them appears abstract. Or more like partaking in a cyclical ‘politics as entertainment, gossip and soap opera’  debate that in the end will re-invent and repeat its own mistakes.  Almost in similar fashion to how politicians (though not the only ones) are perpetually late for their own meetings and still get applauded for it.

And in the age of social media and the internet the general advice is never to take oneself too seriously.  Or to seek and  perceive of everyday events beyond their actual occurrence and ephemeral public perceptions. The same perceptions  also do not generally accept long term perspectives to political processes or events that are either structured or ideological in their search for solutions.  Unless of course they follow a neo-liberal narrative that suits the current intentions of the ruling party and the regrettable political mimicry of the same to be found via our mainstream opposition. 

So when there is a cabinet reshuffle by the ruling Zanu Pf party and social media goes apoplectic (with the aide and confirmation of mainstream media) it is already apparent that there will be politics by entertainment (humour, gossip and conjecture).  A development which while understandable is a sure sign of the powerlessness of the many that eagerly scroll their social media feeds waiting for the latest gossip or news on the developments in the factional fights of the ruling party.  

And given that these factional fights/events are now an almost daily occurrence their effect is to dominate national discourse with, again, elitist rumour and conjecture.  As well as to reinforce the retrogressive narrative of power residing solely in Zanu Pf and building a default public support for rival factions in anticipation of some highly unlikely structural change to the state of affairs in the country.  


One may immediately ask the question, 'What is national consciousness?'.  

To put it briefly, it is the sum total of the revolutionary awareness of a people of their struggles and pursuit of a just, equitable society that transcends a repressive (colonial, tribalist) past and embraces the idea that human dignity for all (regardless of race, gender, ethnicity) is possible. Not only in the now but in perpetuity. 

 As Fanon predicted in his seminal chapter with the same title in his globally famous book 'The Wretched of the Earth'  our national consciousness has come to be dominated by a self serving leadership that claims the past as its sole right to rule.  And in this, Fanon argues, while all the while protecting the narrow interests of a rabid bourgeois (and global capital) and keeping the masses in their poor place and resorting to use of the military to repress them. 

In our national case, we are be-straddled by an aged/ageing political  elite (and its families, ethnic groups) that uses the state to not only enrich itself but also to co-opt the masses into a specific silence that leaves them with no choice but to appear to accept the invincibility of the ruling party. Or to accept that change of leadership can only be found by being part of the ruling establishment.   

Where we look at the opposition it finds itself in a bind through its default mimicry of the same ruling establishment that it opposes.  By way of how it does its own politics and how it seeks to manage its own internal political processes of ideological grounding and leadership renewal.  It offers  just like the ruling party abstract notions of what is political change without becoming enamored to a revolutionary national consciousness that keeps the country before its own variegated material and class interests.  

If you add to the mixture the emergent Pentecostalism as enabled by millennial capitalism/ neo-liberalism  you have a national consciousness  that is no longer aware not only of its values but more regrettably, one that does not know where it is headed.  

That is why each event in Zimbabwe's political life has as the only singular consistency the theme of what’s going on in the ruling establishment and little else by way of national discourse.  And why every other emerging conflict is a return to a retrogressive past of ethnocentric (tribalist) narratives of would be paths to power and profiteering from the state.
  
If you were to ask me what is required I would quickly retort that its as complicated as it is simple.  We must begin with a much more organic and structured analysis of our country (throw in class and revolutionary theory) and actively seek to be visionaries of a people centered social democratic state.  Or remain saddled with watching/seeing a bad (really bad) soap opera defined by the politics of a self serving ruling elite. 
*Takura Zhangazha writes here in his personal capacity (takura-zhangazha.blogspot.com)