|Zanu-PF DCCs disbandment long overdue|
|Sunday, 08 July 2012 18:57|
THE eagle has the longest life-span of its species, it can live up to 70 years, but to reach this age, the eagle must make a hard decision.
In its 40th year, its long and flexible talons can no longer grab prey which serves as food. Its long and sharp beak becomes bent. Its old-aged and heavy wings , a result of thick feathers, stick to its chest and makes it difficult to fly. Then, the eagle is left with only two options: die or go through a painful process of change which lasts 150 days.
The process requires that the eagle fly to a mountain top and sit on its nest. There, the eagle knocks its beak against a rock until it drops off. Then the eagle will wait for a new beak to grow back and then it will pluck out its talons. When its new talons grow, the eagle starts plucking its old-aged feathers and after five months, the eagle takes its famous flight of rebirth and lives for 30 more years. The story of the eagle also applies to political parties. They need change. Many times, in order to survive, political parties have to start a change process. They sometimes need to get rid of old memories, habits and other past traditions. Only when they are freed from past burdens, can they take advantage of the present.
Last Friday, saw Zanu-PF's Central Committee endorsing the decision by the party's supreme decision making board, the Politburo to disband the District Co-ordinating Committees with immediate effect.
In announcing the disbanding, President Mugabe said: "As we discussed the matter, we decided that the Central Committee should look at the issue of DCCs and we came to the conclusion that they are serving a divisive process. They are an organ which must go. The Politburo came to the conclusion that DCCs must be repealed. A recommendation would be made to the Central Committee so that it could remove the organ from the party."
To some, it signaled the demise of the revolutionary party, but those in the thick of things say the bold decision was long overdue as the DCCs had long derailed from their expected mandate.
Some powerful politicians had found a very good weapon to further their political ambitions by 'buying' their way up the political ladder using the DCCs.
Instead of uniting party cadres, the DCC elections that were held across the country had helped to sow seeds of divisions, with ammunition being wasted on party cadres instead of the real enemy.
The discord was almost uniform from all the districts where DCC elections were held and from his report, the Zanu-PF national secretary for the commissariat, Cde Webster Shamu, hit the bull on the eye.
Two reports were emerging from almost all the districts where the DCC elections were held, with one endorsing the outcome of the elections, while the other was full of complaints citing irregularities in the conduct of the elections. This left the Presidium in a quandary on which report to accept.
In an interview, the Zanu-PF national secretary for administration, Cde Didymus Mutasa, said Cde Shamu's report on the recently held DCC elections was an honest one because it clearly showed how disfranchised the party was.
"From Cde Shamu's honest report, we realised that the discord emanating from the DCC elections were similar from province to province and after some deliberations we found it necessary to disband these party organs. The Central Committee accepted the Politburo's recommendations and now the DCCs stand disbanded. The main reason for coming up with this decision was that our people were behaving even worse than the opposition during the DCC elections and therefore it stood to reason that our party cannot behave like that," said Cde Mutasa.
He said some people with money were using their financial muscle to buy their way up the political ladder.
"We believe that our people because of poverty, were being manipulated by those with financial resources. They were being persuaded to do anything in return for the money they would have received from 'their handlers'. The situation prevailing during the DCC elections was very sad indeed, so as the leaders we had to move with speed to correct the situation.
"It was almost a free for all situation, with the DCCs being used for personal gain. Those who wanted to be MPs knew that they could easily buy their way to be the party's representatives after greasing the palms of the DCC chairpersons. Even senior party members were using their muscles to influence the outcome of DCC elections for their personal gains and that is not what we believe in Zanu-PF. A leader should come from the people and not from someone who wants to gain political mileage. One thing people should know is that those with political power can easily abuse it and change DCC leaders as if they are changing their socks. This is done at the detriment of the party and we have now seen the light and we will continue improving in everything that we do. We will never allow the party to be controlled by a few individuals who have sinister motives," said Cde Mutasa.
Zanu-PF Central Committee member, Cde Mandi Chimene, said the decision by the Central Committee to disband the DCCs was a very good one.
"It should be cleared that it was not President Mugabe's decision to disband the DCCs. This was a party decision, which is a very brilliant one considering that we were more divided because of the DCC elections. We know that there are some people who had invested heavily to try and control the DCCs and we say tough luck to them. Leaders should come from the people and not be imposed on them. We should not forget that the DCCs were a very powerful organ as it used to determine the party's candidates in any elections and I was once a victim of this creature in Mutasa.
"It should also be noted that this is not the first time this issue of DCCs was debated. We once tabled it about three years ago, but it was shot down because at that time it was working well for some people, who thought they had an upper hand in this political game.
“They saw the light after realising that they no longer have control of the same DCCs they were protecting. In short, we are saying the DCCs had lost direction and were now a personal weapon of some people with bigger political ambitions. We cannot allow the party to be destroyed from within by some few individuals angling for party positions.
"For those who are saying the disbandment of the DCCs signals the demise of the party, they need to revisit their thinking because Zanu-PF once operated without them. The party was even stronger without the DCCs and we should devise better ways of co-ordinating party activities," she said.
Cde Chimene also the decision to disband the DCCs was a lesson to party cadres that the party was supreme than individuals.
"This also helps in educating people that you don't serve the interest of an individual, but the party. Those who invest in you will make decisions on your behalf and you will be their puppet forever. It means that if these individuals jump ship, you will be left in the open and you will lose out. There is a leader who openly said he jumped ship after realising that his preferred horse was losing the race and this should be a lesson to everyone else," she said.
The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association provincial secretary, Cde Godfrey Chitakatira, said the disbandment of the DCCs was long overdue.
"The DCCs were now subject to abuse by individuals. We have some elements in the party that were creating personal kingdoms using this organ of the party. The DCCs had long stopped to be co-ordinating committees because they were serving the interest of particular individuals. What we know is that DCCs should not be loyal to individuals, but the party as a whole.
"The disbandment of the DCCs now gives everyone free-play in participating in party activities without any intimidation from the so-called godfathers. We as Zanu-PF have identified common enemies and we should not waste time fighting among ourselves. If we fail to address the problems affecting us as a party we will not move forward. We are happy that our leaders have rightly identified the root cause of the problems in our party and acted accordingly.
"Some individuals always think that they are superior human beings, but this is not the case. Those in leadership positions should be there on merit, than just because they are loyal to someone.
“Do you expect those individuals to serve the interest of the party, or they will ensure that the interests of their paymasters are protected? We did not fight the liberation war to prop up a few individuals, but to ensure that Zimbabweans enjoy better lives. We are not in Animal Farm where it was said some animals were more equal than others," he said.
Law lecturer and political analyst, Professor Lovemore Madhuku, said by disbanding the DCCs, Zanu-PF was trying to put its house in order.
"From the look of things, it shows that all is not well in Zanu-PF and they are trying to address the problems within their rank and file. The DCCs have been in place for sometime now and why disband them now. They should address the real problems bedeviling the party and not the symptoms. This alone shows that the party is in serious problems which need urgent solutions," said Prof Madhuku.
Following the disbandment of the DCCs, provincial structures are now expected to play a pivotal role in the co-ordination of party activities.
"We are reverting to the original position where the PCCs were responsible in co-ordinating party activities. We know we will succeed in rejuvenating the party. The will is there and for all the prophets of doom, they will surely eat humble pie when everything will be in order," said Cde Mutasa.