Now the hen is eating its own eggs. Robert Mugabe has so mismanaged his party that his partners since 1987, PF ZAPU, the party of Joshua Nkomo, have broken away. Dumiso Dabengwa (popularly known as DD), is expected to be elected president of the party in March next year, when the resurgent liberation war movement holds its national convention. Most of us will recall the DD came out for Simba Makoni in this year's presidential election. A retired colonel, Ray Ncube, is spearheading this latest body-blow to Mugabe. Ncube was also an active part of Makoni's Mavambo in the region.
The question on most people's minds is what this development means for Makoni's nascent party. There are some amongst us who see this as a natural development, a confirmation of Makoni's oft-repeated mantra during the presidential campaign, "After March 29, there will be a major realignment of the political landscape of this country."
This new party is almost certain to capture the lion's share of the loyalty of the people of Matabeleland and the Midlands. If it turns out to be genuinely the torchbearer of the legacy of Joshua Nkomo, then it also follows that the party should feature prominently on the national political landscape.
To do this effectively, the party will have to seek an alliance with another major political entity. The natural choice would be Makoni's own envisaged political party. An alliance that respects and guarantees the national vision of Zimbabwe, true unity of purpose and equitable distribution of national resources is the natural alliance of PF ZAPU and Makoni's party. It would an alliance that gives PF ZAPU its natural place in the politics of Zimbabwe and guarantees it a role commensurate with its historical and ideological weight. As you may recall, Joshua Nkomo was never a Marxist.
The alliance would be a continuation of the alliance of March 2008, which saw the big hitters and leaders of the people of Matabeleland, from DD to Cyril Ndebele (the former Speaker of The House), throw their weight behind Simba Makoni. The PF ZAPU members who remain in ZANU PF, such as Msika and Sikhanyiso Ndlovu will no longer be representatives of PF ZAPU. Head to head with DD, Rtd Col. Ray Ncube, Thenjiwe Lesabe, Cyril Ndebele and a host of thrusting younger leaders from the revived PF ZAPU, these people will struggle to get even a goat from Tsholotsho to vote for them. Speaking of which, this may also spell the end of the Independent run of former Information Minister Jonathan Moyo.
It is almost certain that you will see an alliance of PF ZAPU and Makoni's new party once the former Finance Minister formally launches. A party interwoven into the fabric of the entire nation like that would be hard to beat. It remains to be seen how these new developments play out. It must be said, however, that the critical mass as well as the impeccable credentials of the people of such a new coalition, including Dr Simba Makoni, ought to make this, strategically, the most formidable foe Mugabe and ZANU PF have so far faced. Yes, more formidable than even the MDC in its heyday. Right now, some of us have every reason to be very optimistic.
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