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Divided Zimbabwe Opposition Fails to Capitalize on Zanu PF Infighting

PDP leader Tendai Biti apologizes for opposition's 'collective stupidity'.

The infighting in Zanu-PF is raising questions about the party’s priorities in as far as addressing some of the nation’s critical issues such as the economy are concerned.

As a result, there has been a deluge of party manifestos and economic blueprints from the country’s various opposition parties, countering Zanu-PF’s ZIMASSET, or the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation, which they say will not solve the country’s problems.

All fingers are pointing to Zanu-PF’s mismanagement of the economy.

Elton Mangoma who leads Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe, says his party could set the country in the direction it needs.

“The economic problems are the result of economic errors made by Zanu-PF. Mangoma’s presidency will make sure that the corruption that is there is stopped,” the RDN leader said.

“Our ideology is that of modern nationalism, which of necessity means that the people of Zimbabwe must enjoy the resources that are in the country.”

Many place Zanu-PF’s indigenization policy at the heart of the cause of the collapse of the economy and the country’s social fabric.

President of the African Democratic Party, Marcellina Chikasha, says Zanu-PF policies have ruined the economy.

“We are facing a deflation which is any country’s worst nightmare. It leads to deindustrialization, falling profits, increased default on loans, unemployment,” said Chikasha.

“We are also looking at a situation where we have uncertainty in areas of policy. You know we talk about indigenization (but) there’s no clarity, there’s no fairness.”

Former finance minister and leader of Mavambo Kusile Dawn, Simba Makoni says it is sad to see Zimbabwe is now a shadow of its former self.

“What is wrong with our economy is the management,” says Makoni. “Firstly, (Zanu PF has) unclear policies, inconsistent policies, very few good policies, inappropriate policies. But what is worse, there are few good policies, no implementation.”

Former Prime Minister and founding leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, Morgan Tsvangirai, describes the situation as dire, and in need of external and internal assistance.

“The economy has got both structural and policy matrix that needs to be addressed,” said Tsvangirai.

“In the first instance we need to restore confidence in the economy both nationally and internationally, which means you have to address the perception that are created by Zanu PF policy; indigenization, tomorrow they are flip flopping to try to revive it.”

As for Egypt Dzinemunhezva, who leads the African National Party, says there’s no economy to even talk about.

“What kind of economy? The economy is more than the word worse. There is nowhere to go,” said Dzinemunhenzva.

Zanu-PF, however, contends its policies are effective and that it has not lost sight of the needs of the people or the importance of addressing the crippling economic crisis.

Of criticism by opposition groups, party spokesperson Simon Khaya-Moyo, says they should offer solutions to economic recovery rather than criticism.

While all opposition groups agree there is a problem and that Zanu-PF is largely to blame, some like Tendai Biti of the newly formed People’s Democratic Party or PDP says the opposition groups are largely to blame too for not forming a united front against President Mugabe’s ruling Zanu PF.

“It looks like we are getting more and more divided which is why personally I have apologized in the past for the collective stupidity,” said Biti.

But Lovemore Madhuku of the National Constitutional Assembly or NCA, who says he will not be part of any coalition, says what the country basically needs is a fresh start with new leaders.

Report by Blessing Zulu on Zimbabwe's Political & Economic Crisis
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