HERALD Political Editor, Tichaona Zindoga, this week published an opinion piece in the Zanu PF controlled broadsheet titled ‘Biti’s big bite of opposition cake’. The piece cannot go unchallenged. I see it as nothing but a Professor Welshman Ncube bashing stunt poorly disguised as political analysis.
I am no political guru myself, but have encountered most ‘post-2000’ democratic political leaders, close enough to proffer objective judgement. What is astonishing about the piece is a futile attempt at portraying MDC President Professor Welshman Ncube as a nonentity in Zimbabwean politics. The constant Welshman Ncube bashing – also usually associated with ‘post 2005’ MDC-T fundamentalists – is quite surprising, if not irritating, for someone of ‘nonentity’ status.
I am at a loss to figure out what makes a political party a ‘party’. Parliamentary presence perhaps? Certainly not, considering that Zindoga’s employers are beneficiaries of thirty-five years of plunder, expropriation, intimidation and widespread electoral fraud legitimised only by SADC and the AU.
His so-called political analysis lacks depth and substance, littered with the usual stereotypical rhetoric we have become accustomed to from the state mouth piece when it comes to not only Professor Ncube but also other opposition leaders. One wonders, what is it about this learned man that attracts so much vitriol? More important, Zimbabwe claims to be a multiparty democracy because of players like Professor Welshman Ncube.
For a political editor, it is astonishing that Mr. Zindoga can get his facts so horribly wrong. Yes, if his ‘standards’ of electoral excellence are anything to go by, Professor Ncube did not do so well in the last Zanu PF stage managed polls. However, a quick Google search or mere enquiry from ‘enlightened’ Herald reporters would reveal that Hon. Priscila Misihairabwi-Mushonga, Hon. Jasmine Toffa, Sen. Tholakele Khumalo and Sen. Joyce Ndlovu are in fact MDC deployees. Of course, according to Mr. Zindoga, proportional representation is not part of REAL electoral democracy in Zimbabwe!
Predictably, he quotes the contested MPOI / Afro Barometer report since it places his boss, Robert Mugabe, at the top of the political pile. Yet, a sample of one thousand people would really not be much to write home about in serious statistical practice. Besides, getting 2, 68 % of the vote in a plebiscite supervised by Zanu PF dicey electoral institutions would really not keep me awake at night. The missing piece in Mr. Zindoga’s puzzle of analytical claptrap is how Zanu PF has managed to maintain its so-called high level brand. I would not want to bore the readers but simply to remind Mr. Zindoga that until there is a truly free and fair, democratic election in Zimbabwe, we will assume that all Parliamentary seats are a result of obscene benevolence from Zanu PF’s electoral Father Christmases. Tendai Biti has never contested as a presidential or national candidate, so measuring his electoral efficacy with the same analytical scale as Professor Ncube is misdirected.Advertisement
I do not do the bidding for any political party leader, but the danger is that people like Mr. Zindoga who bend over backwards to cast Professor Ncube as a nonentity, or opposition party leaders as ‘foreign funded’ are reading the script backwards. I dare say without the deadly combination of (foreign) Chinese support, abuse of the security services, traditional leaders and electoral institutions – not to mention high jacking of public media – Zanu PF would long have been history. Professor Ncube’s role in Zimbabwe, coupled with his service to the legal sector, is, as Gugu Magorira says, a game changer, cast in stone in the annals of history. Mr. Zindoga’s opinion does really not matter anymore.
Rejoice Ngwenya is an average political observer