Opinion

Legitimacy circus should not disadvantage electorate

By Anonymous

Both MDC Alliance and Zanu PF are parties constantly competing to control the hegemonic space in Zimbabwe.
Hegemony refers to contestations over the control of the state’s resources and discourse.

The means to material and intellectual production.

This is a fight which aggressively rears its ugly head during elections.

No single election has happened in Zimbabwe without tension, if our politicians were athletes I would say they lack good sportsmanship.

Those who win gloat, while those who lose sulk, both parties (pun expertly intended) ruining everything in the process.

The latest casualty of the tone-deaf political catfight is the Zimbabwean Parliament, our debate is losing nuance.

In an ideal world, Parliament should be where national issues take precedence over party affiliation.

But it appears conflicting agendas set by Nelson Chamisa and President Emerson Mnangagwa are prevailing over the people’s will.

Meaningful conversations get lost in that MDC Alliance people are only willing to speak in unison with Zanu PF people if there is a direct financial benefit for them.

They are politicians, after all, interests precede any other form of reasoning.

When it is time to argue for diplomatic passports legitimacy issues are set aside but when it gets to the core business, the discord becomes apparent.

I miss the days of Eddison Zvobgo, the days when policy was at the centre of the conversation.

Where even humour was anchored on the subject matter, those were the days, when Parliament was still parliament.

Whether the glory days will be back cannot be ascertained.

Zimbabwean politics has been reduced to a zero-sum game.

Maybe it’s time Zimbabweans saw MDC Alliance and Zanu PF for what they are, elites competing for state power.

MDC has been adamant they will not respect President Emerson Mnangagwa and Zanu MPs have hit back.

They say no MDC leader will chair a Parliamentary committee and because they have the majority the can operationalise their threat.

In principle what does it mean?

It means the Public Accounts Committee can lose Tendai Biti who has tried to bring to the fore matters to do with accountability and how public funds have been handled.

It means the unproven victory of Nelson Chamisa is costing the oversight principle that Parliament is supposed to effect as the approvers of a public budget.

There is no guarantee that a Zanu PF replacement can be as useful as Biti in that role, considering the people from parastatals who are usually questioned on the committee are aligned to Zanu PF.

Plus Tendai Biti has an institutional memory of how Treasury functions, so he has the range to ask the right questions on all matters economic.

All this competence will be put to waste if the tension between Zanu PF and MDC persists.

Is the legitimacy question bigger than the Zimbabwean dream?

Our political parties must find each other, for the functioning of our Parliament.

Presently, it looks like it is going to be a long road to 2023

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Daniel Chigundu

Daniel Chigundu is a male journalist in Zimbabwe and has been practising since September 2009. He used to the editor for The Business Connect (newspaper) in Harare, has his own news website Tourism Focus which is biased towards the tourism sector. Daniel is also working with Magamba Network on their project called Open Parliament where they do live coverage of Parliamentary activities on Twitter and Facebook. He is currently the secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Journalists Forum, is a member of Zimbabwe Small Broadcasters Association and a board member of Digital Communication Network. He holds a Diploma in Communication and Journalism from the Christian College of Southern Africa (CCOSA), a certificate in Youth leadership training from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), a certificate in Citizen Journalism from Magamba Network and is currently a first-year student at Zimbabwe Open University studying for a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Ethics and Organisational Leadership.

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