“Zanu-PF Needs Shift From Liberation War Rhetoric”
Zanu-PF needs to change its way of thinking and approach to politics if the country is to realize democratic principles, an opposition leader has said.
Ideas Party of Democracy (IPD) president, Herbert Chamuka ripped into the ruling party accusing it of holding on to yesteryear methods of ruling which make it difficult for new political voices to thrive.
He said Zanu-PF should move away from stifling voices of opposition parties whom it accuses of not having fought in the liberation war.
“We all know that Zimbabwe was fought for. It’s true, there are men that fought, men that were in the bush fighting to make things right but the problem that we have now is that Zanu PF’s story is that only the people who fought can rule the country and this story remains and is repeated time and again,” Chamuka said.
He noted that the rhetoric has made it difficult for new voices to come to the fore and have a shout at national politics because most are afraid of not being recognized due to a lack of war credentials.
“Every time we have elections, we hear this story. This means it was just supposed to be clear that those who didn’t fight should be put in parliament than those who fought can run for the presidency.
“Edgar Tekere came, he was told he didn’t go to war but he actually did go to war; this is because they felt challenged and decided to say that he didn’t go to war. Then it was the same story with Mai (Joyce) Mujuru, they said that her story about bringing down a plane is not true, with (Morgan) Tsvangirai, they said he was a tea boy and now there is (Nelson) Chamisa and they are saying he was in University,” Chamuka added.
In 2002, the then Defence forces Commander, General Vitalis Zvinavashe infamously declared that the military would only back leaders who fought in the country’s wars of liberation.
This, Chamuka said, leave a sour taste in the mouths of opposition hopefuls who might be intimidated before the elections.
“We encourage that these questions should be asked to the president before election time because the constitution says that the president is the one who declares the date for the elections but before he declares, he should confess that he declared that those who didn’t fight cannot rule.
“If he can answer this, it means that all the opposition parties have to withdraw because it’s pointless for them knowing that the country is only ruled by those who fought,” Chamuka warned.